Arizona Suprised Trump and Republicans; ‘John McCain’s Last Laugh’

For 24 hours after voting ended in the United States election global attention has a lock on Arizona as Donald Trump’s pathways to victory tightened around the country, but some enjoyed the poetry of it.

Since Bill Clinton took Arizona in 1996, Democrats – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – have blown time and treasure trying to flip, but none have won until now in the 2020 election and Joe Biden did.

McCain’s former adviser in 2000, GOP strategist Mike Murphy, told MSNBC that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s win in the Copper State could be McCain’s “revenge” against President Trump, with whom he had a contentious relationship.

“It would be poetic justice if Trump’s pettiness toward Sen. McCain (AZ) cost him the election,” “Anonymous” author and former Trump official Miles Taylor tweeted. “His demand that we *not* lower U.S. flags in honor of the late war hero is what prompted me to write the anonymous op-ed in the first place.”

Over the weeks leading up to the election, polls suggested the race was getting tight, but it particularly annoyed the Trump campaign that the first major media outlet to call it on election night for Biden was Fox News.

According to Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman – reported through his Fox insider contacts – Trump was so angry about the call he rang Rupert Murdoch to demand a retraction but Murdoch refused.

The following day other media outlets had still not called the state, and as the count slowly continued Trump then undermined Biden’s lead.

Trump stewed in the White House, spending much of the early part of the day venting spleen and sharing sympathetic commentary via Twitter, lapsing into silence as news from the counting states slowed.

“We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact, …..there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” he declaimed at one point in a pair of missives marked by Twitter as potentially misleading.

The Trump and McCain continued to spar until McCain’s death, and even after, with Trump griping to Fox News Business last year about McCain’s last-second 2017 vote against an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“He was horrible, what he did with repeal and replace,” Trump said. “What he did to the Republican Party and to the nation and to sick people that could have had great healthcare was not good…. I’m not a fan of John McCain, and that’s fine.”

McCain’s family members have been open in their dislike of Trump, including daughter Meghan McCain and wife Cindy McCain.

Cindy endorsed Joe Biden in September, writing that he was the lone candidate in the race who “stands up for our values as a nation.”

The outcome of the presidential race remains uncertain, however, as battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin continue to count ballots and Biden has 264 and Trump has 216 electoral votes.