Disappointed by McCain
I was 18 when I and several other Navajo students visited Washington, D.C., 20 years ago. I remember meeting with Sen. John McCain with a fellow student from Shiprock who asked him the same questions he asked of Sen. Pete Domenici, which was whether McCain believed that the Navajos had rights to the Joint Use Area and if the senators would resolve the Navajo Hopi land dispute.
My friend tried to ask other questions about water rights and exposure to uranium, but he was cut off by Sen. Domenici, who was blunt and said, “I think the Navajos have enough, they don’t need any more.” My friend was surprised but then again, with Sen. Domenici that’s what you could expect in 1988.
But when we asked McCain, he tried to be the good guy and avoid confronting this question. He smiled and joked with us as if he didn’t take us teenagers seriously. It was only several years later after the Keating 5 scandal that I realized McCain really felt the same way as Domenici; and watching the now-retired Domenici embrace McCain at the Saturday rally on Oct. 25, I could not help but feel that it was time both of them left Washington.
With all the problems in Indian country, both of them could have done more to work with helpful representatives like Sen. Bingaman or Congressman Udall. They did not; and that is why I decided to back Sen. Barack Obama for president, and I hope that the rest of Indian country does the same.