Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Should McCain Resign?

Sen John McCain (R-Arizona) has been so busy campaigning for President that he's just plum forgotten that he is....still a Senator.

McCain has missed the last 43 roll call votes in the Senate, nearly half of all the votes cast this year.

By comparison, Hillary Clinton has only missed 2% of votes, while Barack Obama has missed only 6%. Sam Brownback, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, while missing more, have missed far less than McCain.

Now an Arizona state legislator, and a Republican to boot, is calling for McCain to resign from the Senate if he wishes to continue his campaign for President. State Rep. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa) has asked McCain to resign, which would force Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano to appoint a replacement. Democrats shouldn't swoon though, as Napolitano would be forced to replace McCain with a Republican.

McCain's campaign said this as a defense;

"Although he has missed a few votes, he works really hard to ensure that he has not missed any votes in which his vote would have been the determining one,"

Is that was the people of Arizona elected? A man who only votes when it matters? I, for one, was quite critical of John Kerry's and John Edwards' decisions not to resign from the Senate in 2004. Although Mitt Romney would have had to appoint Kerry's replacement, (I suggested the Massachusetts State Legislature pass a law which would've overriden Romney's veto forcing the Governor to appoint a replacement from the same party, a la Arizona,) Massachusetts and North Carolina would've been better served by a Senator, even a conservative Democrat, who represented their respective states. However, even when running for President, Kerry and Edwards only missed most of their votes AFTER they had received their nominations. They still did their jobs when running in the primary. McCain hasn't even gotten the nomination yet. Are the people of Arizona now forced to only have one Senator until next summer?

If McCain looses the nomination, which I can't see how he wins right now, his Senate seat is next up in 2010. With the possibility of Governor Janet Napolitano running for it, McCain may even have a hard time KEEPING his seat, assuming he decides to run again. If McCain truly believes he can be president and truly wants to run a full time campaign, he should resign from the Senate and allow Arizona to have new representation. If McCain looses, he can always primary the guy who was appointed in his place in 2010.

Either way, McCain should take a page from the books of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Sam Brownback and Chris Dodd and realize, if you're going to run for President, you need to do that AND be a Senator, or resign. How good does it look to voters if the guy who wants to be President is neglecting his current job?

No comments: