President-elect Joe Biden may name John McCain's widow Cindy UK ambassador after she helped Dems bag Arizona
Cindy, an Anglophile, appeared in a video at the DNC in August to show the close family relationship that Biden had with late John McCain
Cindy McCain, the widow of late Republican senator John McCain who praised Joe Biden ahead of this year’s election and endorsed him for the presidency, is reportedly set for a big gain. According to The Times, the 66-year-old mother of four could be in line to become the next US ambassador to the UK, one of America’s oldest allies.
Cindy, an Anglophile, appeared in a video at the Democratic National Convention in August to show the close family relationship that Biden had with the late McCain. She endorsed Biden for the presidency and has been credited by the Democrats with helping them to win the key state of Arizona (Biden won by less than 11,000 votes) after a long gap of 24 years, the Times report added. All 11 electoral college votes from the red-turned-blue state went to Biden, helping him secure a hard-earned victory over Trump.
The UK ambassadorship is ‘hers if she wants it,’ a source close to the president-elect was quoted as saying in the Times report. “She delivered Arizona. They know that.”
John McCain, who died in 2018 at 81 after fighting cancer, was one of the most vocal critics of Trump in the GOP and tried to resist the latter’s takeover of the party. Trump has also been critical of the man who fought in the Vietnam War and ran for the presidency against Barack Obama in 2008, even after his death, leaving the latter’s family aghast. Trump even said once that McCain was not “a war hero because he was captured” and that he preferred “people that weren’t captured”.
Political observers feel Trump’s personal vendetta against McCain may have disappointed several Republicans in the state to push them to vote for his Democratic opponent.
It was though not clear if Cindy, a businesswoman and philanthropist, even wants the plum post herself. Besides her humanitarian work, she also served as the chair of the board of trustees of the DC-based McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. In that role, she ‘oversees the organization’s focus on advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom, and human dignity’, as per the institute’ website.
The ambassadorship to the UK is considered to be one of the most-sought-after positions in the US Foreign Service. The post is often offered to political allies who help leaders win the presidential election. The incumbent, Robert Wood Johnson IV, who was appointed by Trump in November 2017, is a longtime GOP donor.
Cindy asked GOP to put country first
Cindy was offered an advisory role for Biden’s transition team just days after he was projected as the winner in the November 3 election by the US media. In an interview after the Democrat’s victory, Cindy told the Republican Party: “It’s time not just for Americans to get together and work together, but most importantly, it’s time that we Republicans put country first, not party.”
Cindy is the second Republican to join Biden’s transition team after Bob McDonald, who served as the secretary of veteran affairs for several years under Obama, a Democrat, owing to his military background and business expertise.
Cindy has also requested Trump to concede defeat against Biden gracefully, citing the example of her late husband who congratulated Obama on his win after the 2008 election. Trump has so far refused to concede defeat, alleging that the president-elect was claiming victory by bagging illegal votes.
If Cindy goes on to become the US ambassador to London, it could mark a new beginning in the chapter of the two country’s relations. The Trump years saw relations between the two allies souring at times, thanks to the president’s words and actions. While he has criticized former British premier Theresa May over the Brexit issue, former UK ambassador to the US -- Kim Darroch -- faced his wrath after his negative feedback on the US president was leaked. Darroch resigned in December last year.