Biden to nominate Cindy McCain as UN food and agriculture ambassador

Jun 23, 2021, 2:10 PM | Updated: 9:10 pm
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo Cindy McCain, wife of former Arizona Sen. John McCain, wav...
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo Cindy McCain, wife of former Arizona Sen. John McCain, waves to the crowd after being acknowledged by Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey during his State of the State address on the opening day of the legislative session at the Capitol in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX – In a long anticipated move, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he intends to nominate Cindy McCain to an ambassadorship.

The Democratic president selected the widow of Arizona’s longtime Republican senator for the position of U.S. representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, with rank of ambassador.

Despite being in opposing parties, Biden and John McCain were good friends while serving together in the Senate. Biden delivered a eulogy at McCain’s funeral in 2018.

Cindy McCain endorsed Biden over former President Donald Trump during the 2020 campaign.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a Democrat, applauded Biden’s move.

“Cindy McCain is a demonstrated humanitarian, civic leader and a terrific choice to represent America’s work with the United Nations combatting famine and hunger crises around the world, Sinema said in a statement. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cindy’s leadership will prove even more important to the world’s vulnerable populations.

“I look forward to supporting her nomination, and I know she will make Arizona – and America – proud.”

In January, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure McCain over her support for Biden, which included a video appearance during the Democratic National Convention in August 2020.

After Biden was elected, McCain said she would be open to serving in his administration.

“Of course I would,” she said during a February interview with CBS Sunday Morning. “You can’t turn down when a president says to you, ‘We need you.’”

Biden included McCain among 17 nominees he announced Wednesday.

Kip Tom was the previous U.S. representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, a segment of the UN that consists of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme.

The ambassador position requires Senate confirmation.

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Biden to nominate Cindy McCain as UN food and agriculture ambassador