Jon Kyl Is Replacing John McCain. What Will That Mean?

He's a social conservative, but not necessarily an immigration hawk or a Trump loyalist.


Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

Jon Kyl has been tapped to temporarily fill the late John McCain's Senate seat.

Kyl previously served in the Senate from 1995 until 2013. At the time of his resignation, he was minority whip, the second-highest ranking Republican in the upper chamber.

In the years since, he has worked as a Washington-based lobbyist. He also acted as the "sherpa" for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, meaning he escorted the judge around Capitol Hill to his meetings with senators. Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings began today.

Kyl has agreed to remain in the Senate through the end of year, a representative for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tells the Arizona Republic. But with the special election to fill McCain's seat more than two years away, Ducey might have to appoint someone else if Kyl steps down early.

In 2007, the National Journal ranked Kyl the fourth most conservative senator in the upper chamber. He has spoken out against abortion and Planned Parenthood, and in 2010 he came out against a state ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana. But he might not share the GOP's obsession with stopping illegal immigration. In 2007, after McCain started negotiating a bipartisan immigration reform bill, he handed the task over to Kyl so he could focus on appealing to conservatives during his presidential run. (The legislation ended up dying in the Senate.)

Kyl has also shown he's not afraid to criticize President Donald Trump, saying earlier this year that Trump's "style…is boorish." It's conceivable that he could become a rare anti-Trump Republican voice in the Senate. Since he holds mostly conservative views, it will be hard for Trump to criticize him on policy. And he probably has no intention of seeking reelection, so the president would have less power over him anyway. It's the lame ducks who tend to quack.

NEXT: Kavanaugh Hearings Open With Screaming Protesters and Grandstanding Senators

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  1. Kyl has agreed to remain in the Senate through the end of year…

    He can’t afford the pay cut to last much longer than that.

    1. Why would you think his corporate masters would stop paying him?

  2. What will that mean?

    Will the ProgTards cry or not?

    Only twitter time will tell.

    1. Did you hear them actually cry loudly at the Kavanaugh hearing?

      Its hilarious! These Lefties dont see whats coming election 2018, and their tears will be Legend.

  3. Cindy and big Meg have a sad.

    1. Its a shame when spouses of asshole US Senators dont get to be Senators themselves or pick the successors.

      Did I say ‘shame’, when I meant ‘a good thing’?

      1. Oh, the US can’t have its own House of Lords?

    2. Best wisecrack about McCain’s funeral:

      “They should have hit his funeral with a drone strike. He would have wanted it that way.”

      1. Holy crap, that’s funny!

        1. Best I’ve heard so far. Im’a keep it in my pocket for when we get to Obama’s. (Note to NSA: Cool it. I’m far younger than him, and I don’t smoke.)

          For Rand’s funeral I expect nothing less than complementary weed and a tasteful, traditional Aqua Buddhist liturgy.

          1. But who’s gonna blindside Rand’s corpse?

            1. Aqua Buddha demands of his followers that they be laid to rest, using no preservatives whatsoever, in an extremely, extremely short tower of silence constructed just within their property line.

              But I like your suggestion too.

    3. Cindy and big Meg have a sad.

      It has been reported that Cindy McCain is friendly with Kyl and supported the pick: “Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona.”

      Do you have conflicting information? Were you merely poking fun at, or ineptly making a stab at human conversation about, a grieving widow?

      1. Lighten up, Francis. Even Tony cracks a joke once in a while; you could at least crack a smile.

        1. I find Tony’s every post to be funny.

      2. Been stories floating around for months that McCain wanted his wife to succeed him.

      3. The widow who freely and voluntarily co-habituated with a married, fake war hero for nearly year?

        The widow who is worth close to 100 million bucks, courtesy of dad’s liquor distributorship / mob connections?

        The widow who was held in such low esteem by Ronnie and Nancy Reagan?

        The widow who enjoyed her many vacations to the Bahamas and the Riveria, on the dime of Charlie Keating?

        1. Did the Reagans actually hate Cindy? I have only read about their hostility to John (which was not reciprocated; he continued to admire them). They were fiercely loyal to Carol, and never forgave him–which was odd, since Carol herself has continued to think the world of him.

          1. Hate may be strong, and it is not the word I have seen in various accounts.

            It does stand to reason that the Reagans would have had more hostility for John, but, Nancy could be unforgiving and having allowed John and Carol to enter their world, it is not hard to accept the proposition that Nancy could hold Cindy in low esteem.

            I make not bones about the fact that, in my view, McCain was a nasty, slimy, vile human being.

        2. They were habituating together? (gasp)

          I bet they were habitually habituating as well.

      4. “It has been reported that Cindy McCain is friendly with Kyl…”

        Gimme a break. All the Establishment talks that shit for everybody who is a part of the The Establishment. It’s a thing. Grasp at something why dontcha.

        Not to say I’m a fan of the pick, just, c’mon. Retarded af.

  4. He’s a social conservative, but not necessarily an immigration hawk or a Trump loyalist.

    You put that as the subhed and nobody’s going to bother reading the article. You should save that sort of spoiler alert for the end of the article. Nobody gives a crap about all the boring stuff in the article, all they want to know is whether or not he’s a member of the cult.

  5. Evidently Jon Kyl said he would no seek reelection in 2020.

    A single partial term US Senator? Sounds good to me.

    1. I’d buy it…except Mike Nifong made that same promise in NC.

      Power is seductive.

  6. That we’re spared the seat becoming a family heirloom?

    1. I was kind of hoping he’d appoint Megaham. It would have been crazy fun to see the seat collapse underneath her.

      1. If a government chair can handle a lying 239-pounder, I think the situation is manageable.

  7. I lived in AZ when he was a Congressman, then a Senator. While he is a social conservative, he is certainly not the worst that Ducey could have picked.

    I am sure that for some issues, we would have the typical disagreements, but he isn’t like Jeff Sessions.

  8. Is this a good thing? Obviously Kyl is a more than decent choice, but isn’t Arizona a purpling state? Perhaps we’d have liked it if the guv had chosen a strong conservative who was planning to stick around and use that incumbency advantage.

    The timing could not make the difference more stark; the appointment just misses having to run immediately; instead, there will be an election in two years and another one two years after that. That’s a lot of elections; on the other hand, an incumbent would have the maximum amount of time to make a name for himself.

    1. I suspect this was a political move to politely brush off McCain family picks, give a buffer to find someone else, and make sure the GOP does not get steamrolled on some Senate vote because they are short a US Senator.

      1. That seems like an excellent explanation; it does indeed seem an adroit move that neutralizes all those considerations very nicely.

        And who knows? Kyle may decide to stay on after all. Frank Lautenberg did! No better feeling for an old pol than to pass by all the shit named after you as you commute to work. It’s like Michael Jordan passing by his own statue after his first unretirement.

        1. He might run again.

          Although, Feinstein in that Kavanugh hearing looked like she regretted staying in politics. Feinstein seems visibly shaken by hecklers. To be fair, Feinstein doesnt get many conservative hecklers pestering her.

          1. Speaking of which, has everyone checked out Napolitano’s McCain remembrance?

            1. Thanks. I didnt know they knew each other well.

              Napolitano kept his remembrance to his personal interactions with McCain while acknowledging McCains actual Senate voting record. Makes me like Napolitano even more.

          2. Feinstein’s had one political office or another for the past 60 years. Does she think she’s immortal? Politicians should take a hint from George Washington, who served as President for 8 years and then RETIRED.

    2. Ducey did this *because* this is a purpling state. If McSally loses in November, watch Kyl step down so Ducey can appoint her to the empty seat.

  9. “Jon Kyl Is Replacing John McCain. What Will That Mean?”

    Arizona will have two Senators again, for the first time in something like a year?

    “Since he holds mostly conservative views, it will be hard for Trump to criticize him on policy. And he probably has no intention of seeking reelection, so the president would have less power over him anyway.”

    To the extent he genuinely holds conservative views, Trump is unlikely to have cause to criticize him on policy.

    1. The article leaves me questioning a lot more than it answers, especially in regards to its main premise. While I could look up the guy’s record, it would have been nice to substantiate on what issues he is a social conservative. I don’t mind that he is against abortion and planned parenthood even if I would like to know what sort of policy he’d support regarding the issue. I don’t care about his position on pot so long as it’s his personal choice and he only would seek to influence it on the local level. I don’t even have a clue what his immigration stance might be aside from this vague note that he might not see eye to eye with Trump on it.
      On a side note, Seyton needs to stop making everything about Trump. Trump does not represent conservative ideology. Trump does not have the support of the elitists in the Republican party (many of whom are senators.) Vocal anti-Trump sentiments from elected Republicans isn’t rare especially if the criticism is that he is boorish (something I think his most ardent supporters would agree with.) This guy needs to understand the subjects he is writing about.
      On a side note, I’m happy that McCain’s seat wasn’t filled with a typical Democrat and that the guy who was appointed to it does not intend to stay long.

  10. Kyl throwing “boorish” around is comical.

  11. Since McCain was pretty much politically unpredictable (except for being a hawk), following Kyl will be somewhat easier, in that sense.

    1. McCain was pretty much politically unpredictable (except for being a hawjerk)

  12. He’s a social conservative, but not necessarily an immigration hawk or a Trump loyalist.

    As long as he isn’t a corrupt, selfish, incompetent a–hole, he’ll be a big improvement over McCain.

  13. Just throw another gator in the swamp!!!!

  14. What does that mean? Cindy McCain is on her own next time she gets caught stealing drugs and money from her own non profit

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