Thursday, May 13, 2010

Montini Arizona Republic Mirror mirror: Hayworth vs. McHayworth
"Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth thought that he was challenging U.S. Sen. John McCain.He was wrong.There IS no John McCain, not since the issue of immigration and border security became the singluar issue of the Republican primary campaign. Since then, the senior senator from Arizona has been replaced by John McHayworth, a character who (based on TV advertisements) has not simply adopted some of Hayworth's strident positions on immigration issues, along with Hayworth's harsh rhetoric, but actually appears to have morphed INTO Hayworth.I asked Hayworth's campaign spokesman Mark Sanders how the former congressman will go about trying to defeat… himself. 
“Sen. McCain is going through an election year conversion,” Sanders said. “For years and years he tried to get amnesty through the Congress and now four months before the election he is apparently decided that is not what the people he must go before in August want… He is being what everybody hates to see happen. He has turned into a flip-flopping professional politician and the problem with it is that he is not going to get voters to believe that he is tougher on illegal immigration than Congressman Hayworth.”
I wouldn't be so sure about that. McCain has lots of money. Money buys TV time. And as much as politicians like to say that people base their decisions on “the issues” rather than image, the fact is TV ads work.
In McCain's recent and almost comical “complete-the-dang-fence” commercial, which was filmed along the border, you half expect the senator to reach under his chin (I'm thinking of Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible”) and yank off a mask revealing Hayworth's face.
Will it work on election day?
“Hayworth literally wrote the book (“Whatever It Takes”) on how to fix this problem,” Sanders said. “He has been on this for a lot longer than four months and we trust that this last minute conversion is not going to fly with the voters of Arizona.”
Back when there WAS a John McCain, the senator discussed the topic of immigration and the border as something that must be approached comprehensively, which meant dealing with security issues at the same time we deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already living in the U.S., some of them for decades.
In those days, “amnesty” was not an evil word.
When then-President Bush suggested a plan that would include a path to citizenship for some of the folks living illegally in the U.S., McCain said, "I applaud President Bush for his leadership on this critical issue and urge Congress to take action now on immigration reform. Immigration is a national security issue for all Americans and a matter of life and death for many living along our borders. The urgency of this issue should not be ignored, and congressional action this year is an imperative."
Meantime, then-Rep. J.D. Hayworth said, “If the federal government's not willing to enforce existing laws, what makes us think that the government will enforce any new immigration law? What this says in the Southern American vernacular, is, 'Y'all come.' "
McCain toughened his stand after the comprehensive plan that he and the late-Sen. Ten Kennedy produced was rejected. But during the primary campaign he has ramped up his position to the level of Hayworth and beyond, leaving Hayworth's campaign people pinning much of their hopes on an eventual face to face confrontation.
“This is why we have been pleading every week for a debate,” Sanders said. Meantime Hayworth can get in lots of practice. All he has to do is look in a mirror".