John McCain detested Donald Trump so much so that he willfully participated in assisting the Hillary Clinton campaign with what became the Trump/Russia collusion hoax. The longtime Arizona senator was said to be increasingly bitter over the likelihood he would not live to see the destruction of the Trump presidency. That bitterness would likely be worsened if McCain knew his replacement was former longtime Arizona senator, Jon Kyl—a man now firmly on the side of President Trump.
Kyl was not an immediate passenger on the 2016 Trump Train but his criticisms of the then-insurgent Trump campaign were muted and based primarily on Trump’s bellicose campaigning style. As Trump’s presidential successes grew so too did Mr. Kyl’s respect for the job the president was doing despite significant political and media-driven opposition. (He once admonished the anti-Trump media and told them to cut Trump some slack.) This respect recently culminated in Kyl’s willingness to assist in the now-ongoing (and critically important) Supreme Court appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Where John McCain’s ego and sense of self-importance and entitlement were so often front and center, Kyl’s leadership is both more subdued, stronger, and ultimately more successful than McCain’s long but dubious record of actual legislative achievement.
Make no mistake, replacing McCain with Kyl in the U.S. Senate is a big win for the Trump White House.