If confirmed by the Senate, she would be one of the few high-profile Republican picks in the Biden administration

By Virginia Chamlee
April 12, 2021 05:54 PM
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Cindy McCain
Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain and a leading Republican in her home state of Arizona, is reportedly being considered as President Joe Biden's ambassador to the U.N. World Food Programme.

Politico reported that Cindy, 66, was undergoing a background check for the position, which is based in Rome.

If nominated and then confirmed by the Senate, she would be one of the few high-profile Republican picks in the Biden administration. (She has not commented publicly.)

During Monday's press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said "there is an ongoing process on ambassadors."

"I know that there's a lot of eagerness and interest in learning more. It's ongoing. The president has not made the decision about the vast majority of his ambassadorial nominations," Psaki said.

Cindy was a major GOP voice backing Biden in Arizona, where he narrowly triumphed in the November election — the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since former President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Cindy, whose husband was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, made her endorsement of Biden in September.

She said it was based on character, in an implicit rebuke of then-President Donald Trump, who had ridiculed her husband even after his death from brain caner.

"My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost," she wrote in a tweet. "There's only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is @JoeBiden."

"Joe and I don't always agree on the issues, and I know he and John certainly had some passionate arguments, but he is a good and honest man. He will lead us with dignity," she continued of Biden, a longtime family friend, adding: "He will be a commander in chief that the finest fighting force in the history of the world can depend on, because he knows what it is like to send a child off to fight."

Cindy McCain; Joe Biden
From left: Cindy McCain and Joe Biden
| Credit: FilmMagic; Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Cindy's endorsement of Biden came in the wake of the late Arizona senator's fraught relationship with President Trump, who has continually been outspoken against him, before and after his death, including mocking his time as a prisoner of war.

"He's not a war hero," Trump said at a campaign event in 2015. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."

Sen. McCain was diagnosed in July 2017 with stage 4 glioblastoma, a rare and highly aggressive form of brain cancer, and he died about a year later, in August 2018, at age 81.

Following Cindy's endorsement Biden, Trump took to Twitter to write: "I hardly know Cindy McCain other than having put her on a Committee at her husband's request. Joe Biden was John McCain's lapdog. So many BAD decisions on Endless Wars & the V.A., which I brought from a horror show to HIGH APPROVAL. Never a fan of John. Cindy can have Sleepy Joe!"

Biden, meanwhile, thanked Cindy for her support, writing on Twitter that "this election is bigger than any one political party. It requires all of us to come together as one America to restore the soul of the nation. Together, we'll get it done."

Cindy also showed her support for the now-president in a surprise appearance at the 2020 virtual Democratic National Convention, making a voiceover appearance in a video narrated by actress Octavia Spencer about Sen. McCain's bond with the Democrat.

Praising Biden's "style of legislating and leadership," Cindy said that her husband and Biden "would just sit and joke. It was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them."

She currently serves as chair of the board of trustees for the McCain Institute, focusing on issues including world hunger and human trafficking.