The other half took the time to talk to sheriff Babaeu and Kelli Ward first, as I had assigned him the “local candidate” tables primarily. I did that as he doesn’t have my experience level at observation, nor can he retain as many factoids as I can without taking notes. Since I also had obligations at the convention and he didn’t it made the most sense.
At the Sheriff’s table, the general atmosphere was one of gratitude for Babaeu’s speaking out on the illegal issue, and expressions from people in Pima and other counties that wished their sheriffs were more like him.
At Kelli Ward’s table, people were thanking her for running against Mc Cain–some of the names my other half recorded in his notes were : Mc Shame, Mc Slime, The Carpetbagger, Mc Fraud, and Mc Asshat. The sentiment level he recorded trended towards unqualified support for Kelli because of her personal voting record at state level, though he did note that about 1/4 of the people who signed her petition slate were in the #anyonebutmccain category, with a little over 1 in 10 not even bothering to find out her positions, just signing her petition to primary John. Both of us heard at least several dozen people stating if Kelli lost the primary against Mc Cain, they WILL vote for Kirkpatrick (the Democrat) to get rid of him anyway–talk the AZGOP is completely ignoring, or joking about (at least publicly).
The GOPer Insider View On MC Cain
Interestingly enough, the scuttlebutt among the actual party operatives was still trending towards what I heard directly from one at my GOPer meeting in Tucson–that Kelli has “peaked”, and Mc Cain is getting a last term before they “transition to his replacement smoothly”. This was confirmed in different ways in several dozen conversations with operatives from all counties and all levels of the party. Many of them expressed dissatisfaction with MC Cain, but still stuck with the party line on the issue.
The overall opinion of Mc Cain is that he’s no “war hero”, and even if he were, that’s ancient history BTW. I heard over a dozen jokes and quips about how the vets and servicemen and women would REALLY feel if they knew just how little Mc Cain does for the military in actuality.He’s seen as an average Senator whose pork deliveries to our state have been slacking off a little too much in the last decade or so. The AZGOP is apparently now looking at and grooming Flake to up the pork level we get, and to be more proactive in the nest few years leading to his run for a second term.
There was also mention of Mc Cain’s son’s steady progress toward his Senate seat….
The GOPer To Do List, Flake, And Maricopa County
I overheard several gentlemen discussing a “To-Do” list for Flake while they were in a side room setting up things for the electronic voting–more technically supervising the staff doing the set up. Some of the items I heard mentioned included the new light rail/street car project in Tempe should lead to some “revitalization” money for certain enterprise zones, selling off some more land that one Indian tribe or another will likely declare is “sacred”, and some improvements and upgrades to Maricopa County services.
It’s interesting to note that all the pork talk I heard going on here and there as part of To Do lists for Mc Cain and Flake only involved money for Maricopa County in any large amount. Some guests from Graham County Yavapai Countyand Gila County were trying to get attention paid to some projects they wanted funded–small potatoes in both cases, under 10 million dollars–and were getting glad handed, given business cards, and moved on their merry way.
I saw no indication at all that the AZGOP realizes how disenfranchised the rural counties are feeling these days, and how high the resentment level is in outlying areas against the main party. This will work to our advantage if Arizonans in rural counties will actually GET ACTIVE IN THEIR LOCAL COUNTY GOPS.
But the main takeaway is that the AZGOP is confident their activities against Kelli Ward and in favor of Mc Cain will work.
The reasoning is important here–they are relying on the precinct level operatives to get out the vote against Kelli in our primary. While nobody flat out stated that the AZGOP was deliberately stumping for Mc Cain and suppressing Ward, the “you know how the game is played” comment was common. I was able to capitalize on my family’s long history in Massachusetts and national politics by trotting out some juicy (verifiable) family anecdotes about a famous relative’s “Presidential Walk” several decades ago. They aren’t public knowledge, but easy to check out if you have political connections.
And NO–we are NOT Kennedys! My ancestors go back to the Mayflower and the Boston Brahmin half of the family tree is tied up in the famous poem:
And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God.
I stay as far away from my Brahmin relatives as humanly possible–but occasionally their antics come in very handy LOL.