by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Isaac Schorr of National Review Online describes a clear mistake in Arizona’s recent gubernatorial campaign. One candidate decided to trash a significant chunk of her party’s electoral base.
Kari Lake, 11/4/22: “We don’t have any McCain Republicans in here, do we? Alright, get the hell out. . . . Boy, Arizona has delivered some losers, haven’t they?”
Kari Lake, 11/14/22: Projected as the loser of the Arizona gubernatorial contest.
It turns out that Lake’s emphasis on showering Donald Trump — who two years ago became the first Republican presidential nominee to lose Arizona since Bob Dole in 1996 — with praise and heaping scorn upon John McCain, the war hero who won six statewide elections in the Grand Canyon State, might have been ill-conceived, nay, doltish.
Kari Lake was thought by many, myself included, to have overcome her manifold and manifest character flaws by way of her obvious political talent; no doubt, Lake could give a snappy answer to a reporter and own a room. But in the end, her lack of self-control, and belief or professed belief in conspiracy theories, doomed her. Voters saw through the polished answers to the rotten motivations driving them, and rejected her.
This of course should also put an end to the narrative that it was Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s decision not to invest heavily in Blake Masters’s challenge to incumbent Democratic senator Mark Kelly that doomed Masters. Masters was a significantly less compelling candidate than Lake, and Kelly was a significantly more compelling opponent than Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s governor-elect. Masters and Lake didn’t need any help snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in what should have been a wave year for Republicans.
Boy, Arizona has delivered some losers, haven’t they?
One lesson: It’s never a good idea to go out of your way to dismiss potential electoral allies.