Martha McSally Insults CNN Reporter, Makes In-Kind Donation To Mark Kelly's Campaign
You could almost feel sorry for Martha McSally (please don't). Arizona's junior senator was appointed to her job after voters already rejected her. Now she'll have to face Democrat Mark Kelly in a real election this year, and real elections are hard. She tried raising money like a good Republican. McSally Inc brought in more than $4 million in the final three months of 2019. Her total fundraising for the year was $12 million, and she rang in 2020 with more than $7.6 million cash on hand. That is objectively good news if viewed in a total vacuum.
Ruh-roh! Kelly, who rejected corporate PAC money and must soldier on with just "pocket change," outraised McSally. He brought in $6.3 million in the last quarter, and he's sitting on top of $13.6 million in cash. He's consistently outperformed her fundraising numbers, and she's the incumbent senator. Of course, Kelly has the advantage of not sucking.
Recent polling shows Kelly up four points over McSally. Keep in mind she couldn't even beat the fierce Kyrsten Sinema, who she "exposed" as a tutu-wearing commie in a failed attack ad. Kelly is the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, whom we all love. Plus, he's also a former astronaut. My boy was in space. Seriously. I almost feel sorry for McSally (not really). She can't win this shit. Donald Trump at the top of the ballot won't help her much, either, because he's struggling in the state. If Elizabeth Warren drops out, I'm considering a #DraftKelly campaign for the presidency. I don't know what Democrats are thinking not running astronauts for everything.
McSally is burnt toast. She will end her Senate career after two years, and her most notable achievement will be voting to acquit Trump in his upcoming Senate trial. You can imagine she's cranky, which might explain her encounter Thursday morning with CNN reporter Manu Raju. He asked her if the Senate should "consider new evidence during the impeachment trial." Her response was about an eight on the Trump scale.
MCSALLY: Manu, you're a liberal hack. I'm not talking to you.
The video above comes from a Martha McSally YouTube channel. I can't tell if it's official, but if it is, it's embarrassing. There's just five videos uploaded, including an endorsement from Lindsey Graham and one where she plays with her dog and reminds her supporters that the election she's losing is a year away. Here's the key takeaway:
MCSALLY: Keep Arizona red and keep the Senate majority! That would be awesome.
It's impossible to "keep" Arizona red because one of its senators, who was actually elected, is already a Democrat. McSally should know this because it was her ass that got beat. I kind of prefer the pet-free McSally, who verbally shivs reporters in the Senate hallway. The way she packs so much contempt into the single word "hack" is inspired. Actors who work with me on my next project will watch this video. Unfortunately, not everyone was as charmed as I was. The Washington Examiner, a conservative publication, said it was a cheap shot, and that it wasn't "appropriate" for a senator to insult a reporter who's asking a "perfectly legitimate question" -- even if he works for the Commie News Network.
McSally stood her ground, however, and fully embraced the Streisand Effect. She shared a butt-angle version of the exchange on her Twitter page and doubled down on her belief that Manu is a "hack." Nothing turns a campaign around like some light slander.
The irony here is the person McSally derides as a "hack" tweets an accurate description of their encounter. She just insults him again and shares video that only supports his reporting. Oscar Wilde wrote that "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about," but he never held political office. McSally might want to take a different approach if she wants to keep her seat, but if she wants to keep us entertained on her way out, we are fully on board.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).