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Failed Republican Jeff Flake has completed his transition to the dark side: Joe Biden has thrown him a bone in the form of an ambassadorship for his loyal service to the Democratic Party.
President Joe Biden is nominating former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona as his ambassador to Turkey, whose alliance with the U.S. has in recent years been marked by major disagreements on key foreign policy issues.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake wrote in a post on Medium.
“This is a pivotal post at an important time for both of our countries,” the former senator wrote.
Flake has been a darling of the Democrats ever since he threw in with the sad-sack Never Trump crowd a few years back. He did that after having failed his Republican constituents in Arizona so utterly that he had to end his bid for a second Senate term more than a year before the election.
In Flake’s revisionist history version of the story, he was run out of office by rabid Trump Republicans in my native state. In reality, voters here — especially conservatives — began souring on Flake long before Trump arrived on the scene. By the time I moved back here in early 2018, the only prominent Republican in the state more loathed than Flake by conservatives was John McCain. In fact, McCain had far more to do with Flake’s political demise here in the Grand Canyon State than Trump.
Flake was a rock-solid conservative when he served in the House of Representatives. Voters were expecting more of the same when they elected him to replace the recently retired Jon Kyl. Instead, he almost instantly became John McCain’s “Mini Me.”
McCain had been drifting leftward for years. Every conservative I knew here was sick of the guy. The only things that kept him in office were the financial connections made through years of incumbency and the fact that Arizona has a lot of elderly voters who still read campaign mailers. Unfortunately, Maverick dragged Flake to the left with him.
That’s what really happened. Flake was pretty awful from the get-go in 2013, when there was no Donald Trump around. The honeymoon was over quickly. The running joke among conservatives here now is that Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is a better Republican than Jeff Flake ever was.
This Turkey gig isn’t going to be the typical cushy ambassador job. One could view it as Biden either having great confidence in Flake or giving him table scraps. I know which way I’m leaning.
Turncoat Republicans will always land on their feet in today’s America. This will no doubt encourage more to sell out.
It’s cool, we don’t really need the ones who do.