Imagine my surprise today when I opened up my Chicago Tribune (online) during lunch, while I was attempting to eat, and discovered that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had endorsed a candidate in the upcoming Arlington Heights mayoral race.
If you imagine that I was unable to stomach my lunch, you'd be right.
You'll recall that I grew up in Arlington Heights. I lived there from 1974 through 1989 and then, again as an adult, from 2000 to 2011. That's 26 years. 26 of my almost 42 years of life have been spent in Arlington Heights. For the 11 years I lived there as an adult, I worked and ran my business in Arlington Heights, and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce where I served on the Board of Directors for three years. Additionally, my mom still lives there, as do a number of my friends. I still have significant interests in the goings-on in Arlington Heights.
I'm not a fan of John McCain. Yes, he served his country nobly in Vietnam. He suffered horribly as a prisoner of war. He came home and decided to become a public servant. I don't deny that he has given the majority of his adult life in service of his country in one way or another. That is to be applauded.
The biggest thing that trips me up about John McCain is the legacy that I believe spoils the rest of what he's done in his career: Sarah Palin.
John McCain gave us Sarah Palin. John McCain's first presidential act as a candidate for the highest office in the land in 2008 was to select less than one-term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as his running mate. He failed to vet her. Now I know, he relied on his staff to do that, but they failed to do it and the buck stops with him. Ultimately, it was his decision and he chose a woman who was horribly unqualified to hold the second highest office in the land and be a heartbeat away from running the country.
And now, John McCain wants to tell the people of Arlington Heights who to vote for on April 9th. He recommends a buddy of his who served as the mayor of an Arizona town from 2000 to 2006 and who has only lived in Arlington Heights since 2007.
Given John McCain's reputation for endorsing wholly unqualified candidates, I will tell my mom to vote for anyone but John McCain's buddy.