Incoming Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) made history alongside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), as the two became the first female senators from Arizona — and McSally made sure to both represent her state and honor World War II veterans during the swearing-in ceremony by using a Bible found on the U.S.S. Arizona.
“This Bible was recovered from the U.S.S. Arizona,” she noted as Vice President Mike Pence swore her in, revealing she had found a special way to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Pearl Harbor attacks that destroyed the battleship while also giving a shoutout to her state.
"this Bible was recovered from the U.S.S. Arizona"
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) January 3, 2019
The incoming senator takes the vacant seat of late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after she was appointed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey following her loss to Sinema in a battle for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) seat in November.
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) January 3, 2019
She looked forward to the historic moment ahead of time:
It has been an honor to serve AZ’s 2nd District over the past 4 years. I was constantly inspired by the people of Southern Arizona.
Tomorrow at noon, I’ll take the Oath of Office as a United States Senator. I look forward to advocating for our great state and all Arizonans.
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) January 2, 2019
Watch the ceremony below:
McSally’s swearing-in comes as the family of McCain indicated that they weren’t too pleased with Ducey’s decision to tap her to fill the seat. In fact, the husband of Meghan McCain weighed in to say it was an “unwise choice.”
“McSally strikes me as an unwise choice for a number of reasons,” he said at the time. “She’s like an NFL team that plays down to its opponents’ level — and she’ll be tasked with running for re-election immediately.”
McSally strikes me as an unwise choice for a number of reasons. She's like an NFL team that plays down to its opponents' level – and she'll be tasked with running for re-election immediately. https://t.co/C01s2sL28e
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 14, 2018
President Donald Trump, however, has remained a big fan of McSally, endorsing her in the 2018 midterm elections:
Martha McSally is an extraordinary woman. She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress. She is Strong on Crime, the Border and our under siege 2nd Amendment. Loves our Military and our Vets. Has my total and complete Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
A veteran herself, Vice President Mike Pence also praised her on the campaign trail, calling her an “advocate for America’s veterans” and appearing alongside her at a rally:
PROUD to stand with the next Senator from Arizona – @MarthaMcSally! Martha is a leader in Congress, veteran of our armed forces, & advocate for America’s veterans. @RealDonaldTrump & I are with her all the way! pic.twitter.com/BGFuzZKHb5
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 27, 2018
While McSally ultimately lost to Sinema, even though her opponent came under fire for repeatedly trashing her own state, she still joins a freshman class of Republican senators ready to fight for Trump’s agenda — despite some outliers.