President Joe Biden is set to announce he has picked longtime Republican Cindy McCain as ambassador to the “coveted” ambassadorship to the U.N. World Food Programme, according to a report from Politico.
What are the details?
The outlet’s “Playbook” reported Monday that Biden picked McCain for the “coveted” Rome-based post in Western Europe, noting that the news comes “after the administration declined to install at least one member from the opposing party in a Cabinet position — a practice of three consecutive presidents (BILL CLINTON, GEORGE W. BUSH and BARACK OBAMA) before DONALD TRUMP broke the streak.”
Politico says the background check for McCain is already underway for the role.
The Washington Examiner pointed out that McCain, 66, “has worked to curb world hunger and human trafficking in her role as chairwoman of the McCain Institute board of trustees, overseeing work in Southeast Asia and Africa.”
McCain broke with the GOP in endorsing Biden for president — even speaking at the Democratic National Convention ahead of the election — and her late husband, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), often clashed with former President Donald Trump before passing away from brain cancer in 2018.
Trump continued to criticize the departed war hero after his death.
Biden has vowed to bring unity between Republicans and Democrats during his presidency, but thus far has not named anyone from the GOP to a post. While that is expected to change when he rolls out his ambassador picks, any Republican tapped by the Biden White House will likely be from the Never Trump faction of the party.
Another former Arizona GOP senator, Jeff Flake, told CNN earlier this year that had been in talks with the Biden administration for a diplomatic post.
“All I’ve said is I would have an interest in making sure that President Biden’s foreign policy is bipartisan,” Flake said. “You know, we used to say that partisanship stops at the water’s edge.”
Flake said he had been in touch with the administration, but there were no specifics discussed.
Axios reported at the time that Flake’s name has been floated by the Biden administration as a possible pick for ambassador to South Africa or a European country.
Flake is another longtime Republican who has been a vocal critic of Trump. He won election to the upper chamber in 2013, and did not seek re-election to a second term.
In an op-ed published earlier this year, he argued that Republicans should have voted along with Democrats in impeaching Trump over his alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.