Tuesday, December 10, 2013

LISTEN: Sen. McCain Likens Obama/Castro Handshake To Chamberlain/Hitler; RELATED(!): Arizona's Raul Castro Receiving "Global Diplomat Award" Tomorrow

When I heard on the news that President Obama had shaken hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial service today, it did not take much to know that that would prompt a lot of chatter.  And that, with Arizona's two Senators, some would emanate from our political scene. What I did NOT anticipate is that Arizona's former Governor of the same name as Fidel's brother would also be in the news.

Sure enough, senior Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was asked by PRI reporter Todd Zwillich his
opinion of the Obama/Castro handshake.  McCain actually dug deep to pull out the oft-controversial comparison to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain shaking Adolf Hitler's hand.  Here's the raw audio:

We have not yet heard from Arizona's other Senator, Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has been front and center in efforts to end the U.S. embargo against the Castros' Communist Cuba.  When he does comment, it is unlikely to echo McCain's.

In Tweeting about @SenJohnMcCain's quote (and with tongue firmly in cheek) I noted the "context and little-known fact" that Castro had been Arizona's Governor in the 1970's. I included a link to Gov. Raul Castro's Wikipedia page, but neglected to put a winky-faced emoticon.  (In fairness, I should have noted that Sen. McCain was probably not in Arizona when Castro was Governor; while that is saying something in itself, the Senator could be excused for not catching the attempted "pun.")

I had actually met Arizona Gov. Raul Castro when he was Governor, and realized today that - like Obama - I had also shaken Raul Castro's hand!

Minutes after the Twitter exchange, I received - apparently, coincidentally - a news release about an event tomorrow night in Phoenix.  97-year old Raul Castro - former Arizona Governor and former U.S. Ambassador - is being presented with the Global Diplomat Award, by the Consular Corps of Arizona.

Awesome coincidence, and I am very glad that it gave me the opportunity to point out the honoring of one of Arizona's icons.  Congratulations, Governor!

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