David Nather of Congressional Quarterly investigates John McCain’s curious decision to pollute his maverick image by hiring a bunch of lobbyists to run his campaign. The list includes “campaign manager Rick Davis, senior adviser Charlie Black, deputy campaign manager Christian Ferry, congressional liaison John Green, senior policy adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer” and, of course, neocon chicken hawk Randy Scheunemann, who is McCain’s foreign policy adviser and a former lobbyist for the nation of Georgia.
One of the biggest mysteries about John McCain, the man who claims to be the enemy of powerful lobbyists and special interests, is why he has surrounded himself with lobbyists and former lobbyists on his campaign team.
The latest adviser who’s causing headaches for McCain is foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann, whose lobbying firm has represented the Georgian government, raising questions about how neutral a broker McCain can be in the crisis caused by Russia’s invasion. Why would McCain put himself in this position, given that his political identity is shaped largely by his battles for higher ethical standards in Washington?
The answer, when you look back over his entire Senate career, seems to be that McCain was mainly bothered by lobbyists who frustrated his own goals. He doesn’t seem to have any problem with lobbyists who share his goals.