Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumed GOP nominee, has repeatedly declared himself a disciple of Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican president who first brought an environmental ethic to the nation and, as part of his conservation effort, set aside the Grand Canyon as a national monument 100 years ago.
McCain has regularly prodded his fellow Republicans to embrace Roosevelt's belief that the nation must leave to posterity a land in better condition than it was found. McCain reiterated his Roosevelt stripes in a recent interview with The New York Times, just as he had loudly declared it during his first bid for the presidency in 2000. "Theodore Roosevelt was my hero and is to this day," McCain said during a 2000 GOP presidential debate. "He was responsible for the National Parks system, the crown jewels of America. They are $6-billion under-funded, they're under enormous strain."
Nowhere is the "enormous strain" on the national parks greater than here at the nation's most famous park. Ironically, at a time of the Grand Canyon National Park's greatest need for a latter-day Roosevelt to ride to the rescue, McCain is nowhere to be found.