Saturday, April 5, 2008


This year's Republican presidential nominee (and one hopes eventual loser) John McCain is in my neighboring village this morning. Ever since Barry Goldwater launched his pitiful presidential campaign in 1964 by speaking from the courthouse steps in Prescott, Republicans have come here to emulate him. Considering that Goldwater, who was more Libertarian than Republican, got stomped in the presidential campaign, one wonders why subsequent Republicans want to remind people of their "common legacy."

I knew Barry somewhat. I first covered him in that '64 campaign when he came through North Dakota. Later, as a 15 year resident of Phoenix, I went to his news conferences when he was "home." I also did an interview with him back in the 70's when I was a stringer for a national magazine. I heard stories from Barry's friends about his early days, pre-politics, when he used to get in trouble across the border in Nogales, Mexico. But Goldwater was a decent, honorable man who generally stuck to his beliefs, whether they angered Democrats or Republicans.

I can't say the same for John McCain. As someone has said this year, the Straight Talk Express has gotten derailed in this campaign. McCain has changed about as many positions as that other flip-flopper, Mitt Romney.

One little lie, fairly harmless but irritating to Arizonans is that McCain has a ranch in Sedona. McCain's "ranch", which consists of two or three houses, actually is located in Page Springs. And his mailing address is Cornville, a burg which matches its name and is about as far in the opposite direction as the tony and spacey Sedona.

So, I didn't go to the courthouse square to see McCain this morning. Like I suspect most of the country will demonstrate in November, I can do without him.