Yeah, McCain has definitely “morphed”, but unfortunately he’s simply ‘choosing his battles’ and trying to remain elected, by responding to the perceived politics of his mostly RW Arizona constituency, which has been tending towards the “extreme” end for awhile now. And choosing Palin for VP was sorta the beginning of his “evolution”, when McCain first started noticing FOX, Breitbart, Limbaugh, etc. publicly complain that the then the Republican candidate for POTUS wasn’t “conservative enuff”?!! Which IMHO also marked the beginning ascendancy of the RW media ‘echochamber’ in directly shaping mainstream politics.
BTW, way back in 2010, Harper’s ran a great article on the state of AZ politics, and it’s only gotten worse since!
So it comes as little surprise that top Republican elected officials in Arizona eagerly seek the Tea Party’s support and make time to speak at the group’s rallies. Should the Republicans succeed in retaking power nationwide over the next four years, the country might start to resemble the right-wing desert that Arizona has become.