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« Clinton Shrugs Off Subtlety | Blog Home Page | Morning Thoughts: It Ends Tonight »

McCain's Happy Irony

Over the weekend, the Northern Mariana Islands allocated all nine of their delegates to the Republican National Convention to John McCain, putting him that much closer to officially locking up the Republican nomination, the Associated Press reported.

It is something of an irony that McCain, who led one of the investigations into imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff's illicit dealings, would pick up delegates from the Marianas. Abramoff served as a top lobbyist for the islands and helped steer legislation through then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay's office, actions that got both men in trouble. McCain's investigation of Abramoff centered on his use of non-profit anti-gambling organizations through which to direct money.

McCain has used his investigation of Abramoff to bolster his reputation as an outsider in the Beltway. "Ask Jack Abramoff if I'm an insider in Washington -- you'd probably have to go during visiting hours in the prison -- and he'll tell you and his lobbyist cronies of the change I made there," McCain said during a Fox News debate in South Carolina in January.

McCain will gladly take the delegates, but he might want to dispatch some talking points to island Republicans. "With [McCain] as president, I feel that we will have a better chance of being heard in Washington, D.C.," local GOP vice chair Ana Teregeyo told the AP. Some of the higher-ups who worked with Abramoff probably thought they already had an in.

This is the first year Republicans from the Northern Marianas have a say in their party's presidential election. The territory was admitted to the national GOP after the 2004 elections, AP says.

For the record, a flight from Saipan to Minneapolis from August 31 to September 5 would run delegates an affordable $1629.