That pesky Tea Party rears its head again. Arizona has a fairly robust Tea Party organization and McCain ... is McCain. His daughter Meghan is no help at all.
WASHINGTON — First John McCain lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, humbling enough for a politician who had spent a decade pursuing his White House ambitions.
Now the Arizona senator is in jeopardy of losing his U.S. Senate seat amid a challenge from within his own party ahead of this fall's midterm elections.
McCain, a self-styled maverick who has never been a darling of the American right, is preparing for an unexpected primary election battle against a former GOP congressman who has the backing of members of the anti-establishment Tea Party movement.
Hayworth was once a McCain ally, campaigning for the Arizona senator in 2000 when he ran against George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination.
But Hayworth has earned statewide recognition over the past two years in Arizona as a right-wing radio talk show host, frequently criticizing McCain for his past support of immigration reform, highlighting his votes against Bush-era tax cuts and casting him as weak on terror by opposing controversial interrogation techniques against terror suspects.
"The John McCain I supported for president in 2000 is not the same John McCain I've watched frustrate conservatives time and again as our senator," Hayworth wrote last week on a conservative website.
This could the year of Conservative Discontent when the parties finally start paying attention to tens of millions of voters who have had enough. They start paying attention when their main people get thrown out on their asses.