President Joe Biden is expected to name Republican Cindy McCain to an ambassadorship, Politico reports.
McCain, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain and chairwoman of the beer distribution giant Hensley & Co., is being vetted and undergoing a background check to be ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome.
McCain broke with her party to back Biden during the campaign, which may have helped him become the first Democrat to win Arizona since 1996.
Biden is expected to announce most of his ambassadors at the same time so McCain’s nomination is not expected to be announced individually.
McCain’s philanthropy a natural fit:
McCain, a former special education teacher, has spent decades heading philanthropic efforts.
She founded the American Voluntary Medical Team, which dispatched medical professionals to areas hit by disaster or war, and chairs the McCain Institute Board of Trustees.
She sits on the boards of Operation Smile, the Eastern Congo Initiative, CARE, and HALO Trust, and has made frequent trips overseas to help fight human trafficking.
She traveled with the UN World Food Programme to Georgia during her husband’s 2008 presidential campaign to visit soldiers wounded in a Russian invasion.
First Republican to join Biden admin:
Biden suggested that he may tap a Republican for a Cabinet position but that idea wilted amid pressure from the Democratic Party base. Past presidents routinely included members of the opposing party in their Cabinets until Donald Trump ended the trend.
Biden has previously considered other Republicans who supported him, like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, but backlash from the left and the party’s establishment prompted him to go with more traditional Democratic picks.
It hasn’t just been Republicans who drew heat from Biden’s left, with former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as Obama’s chief of staff, drawing arguably the most pushback from the left after the cover-up of the police killing of Laquan McDonald during his tenure, though Emanuel may still land an ambassadorship.