Mangia Roma: Michael Lacey on Cindy McCain’s Roman Holiday

Image by FPC: original photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr.
Veteran newspaperman Michael Lacey delves into Cindy McCain's CV on hunger issues and her possible appointment to be U.S. ambassador to the UN World Food Programme.

The Eternal City. Roman legions. Caesar. the Colosseum.

The birthplace of Sophia Loren.

And now President Biden is sending Cindy Lou Hensley McCain to Rome to solve world hunger.

Cindy endorsed Biden, an old family friend, over Orange Julius in the 2020 election. The endorsement then became the urban legend as to why Trump lost Arizona, an explanation that was never subject to examination.

Josette Sheeran
The McCain Institute’s new hire: Former WTF honcho and ex-devotee of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Josette Sheeran. (World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr)

Such flimsy tendons have reportedly secured her an appointment as Ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian effort on earth. Seriously.

To be fair, I could understand if the president was appointing Cindy’s daughter, Meghan McCain, to this post. She is the swizzle stick that stirs The View and often appears authoritative on most things, suggesting a level of competence she might have inherited from her father.

But Cindy?

Cindy has jetted around the world as a roving busy-body dropping in to witness suffering from a Cambodian garbage dump scavenged by young innocents to the Congo food distribution centers. The privileged few who do this change nothing but explain their dilettante adventures as raising awareness.

According to its website, “The U.S. Mission in Rome serves as a link between the U.S. government and the Rome-based . . . the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).”

Cindy McCain’s closest link to these agricultural programs might be her basil, oregano live spice garden in the cute adobe trough above her kitchen sink.

Cindy’s Weak CV

Surely there must be more.

The McCain Institute’s website does not mention world hunger as one of its priorities. (Screenshot from McCain Institute)

Particularly since The Guardian recently reported that former career foreign service officers are pressuring the Biden administration to end the practice of “rewarding political supporters with plum ambassadorial jobs.”

You know, like sending a clueless Senator’s widow to Rome to solve world hunger. The story’s lead illustration was a large photo of Cindy McCain.

Published news articles have noted Cindy’s self-declared focus upon world hunger issues. But, if you google her biography, you see that she served on a medical donations charity C.U.R.E., Too Small to Fail (early childhood brain development) as well as Warriors & Quiet Waters (teaching vets to fly fish — yeah, that is too a thing).

There is nothing pointing out her work with the skinnies.

Nor is world hunger singled out on the McCain Institute web site . . . though to be sure, they might have discussed it over pizza.

That is not to say that her resume is kind of a food desert on this particular front. But her volunteerism is hardly . . . professional.

When you research Charity Navigator, you can locate the organizations combatting hunger internationally. In certain countries, there are as many as 12 charities trying to feed the desperate.

These nations include:

South Sudan

The McCain Institute is not listed in a single country.

Of course this . . . gap . . . was noticed.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon speaking in Las Vegas, Nev., April 2010; Moon died in 2012. (David Roberts via WikimediaCommons)

Three weeks ago Josette Sheeran joined the McCain Institute as its Executive Chairman. (Three weeks? . . . How convenient.) She is the former Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP). As such, she is ideally situated to hold Cindy’s hand on all issues involving starvation.

Sheeran is on the record with how impressed she was by Cindy Lou’s fierce efforts in the Congo when WFP was distributing food inside that devastated nation.

“Cindy is just fearless,” Sheeran told The Washington Post in 2019 regarding their relief work in the Congo.

In a Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren in 2009 McCain explained her field trips to the Congo: “. . . the only thing I can say is that, honestly, it’s just in my heart. I would not be comfortable with myself just staying at home.”

McCain confided to Susteren that, “I did twitter from the Congo. I did.”

As one tracks down public articles about McCain and Sheeran, there is the pungent musk of privileged white girls noblesse oblige . . . two Mary Poppins, opening their umbrellas and floating down into Leopoldville.

A Devotee of Rev. Moon

If you’re curious about the impact of white people upon the Congo I invite you to read the horrifying King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild. You will never get the images out of your imagination.

Then consider the words of Takondwa Priscilla Semphere , a young woman from Malawi who in 2020 wrote a pointed essay about the church ladies bent upon good works in Africa.

“I’ve often wondered about those do-gooders who visited. I wonder what they thought of their visits. I wonder what they went on to do, after telling us, through teary eyes, how inspiring we were to them . . . I have become vehemently critical of programs and individuals that purport to be ‘making a difference in countries like mine . . . good intentions, it turns out, pale in comparison to the systemic stagnancy that volunteerism contributes to . . . Do we want to continue on the receiving end of ineffective benevolence, or do we actually want to address the deeply rooted systemic issues that leave us needing it in the first place?”

The McCain Institute’s information package on Ms. Sheeran declined to include that for two decades she was a prominent employee of none other than Sun Myung Moon.

Yes, that’s right.

Josette Sheeran was a “Moonie.” For decades.

She was a serious devotee of Sun Myung Moon.

The Unification Church is bat-shit hooperocity, like all churches.

Now, I was impregnated as a 6-year-old child with the notion of the Virgin Mary and a back-from-the-dead appearance by Jesus over a long holiday weekend. This whopper was reinforced with a dry crispy wafer that is literally the Body of Christ. Can I get a woo-woo?

So, who am I to point?

Tell ya one thing: Moon’s followers don’t knock on your screen door and ask if you’ve heard the good news.

And I will say this for Sun Myung Moon: he is the only person I know of, dead or alive, imprisoned both in North Korea (spying for South Korea) and the United States (filing false tax returns).

In that phase of her life, Sheeran was the managing editor of Rev. Moon’s newspaper, The Washington Times. She had her way, journalistically speaking, with Hillary Clinton and other democratic totems.

Cindy McCain’s closest link to these agricultural programs might be her basil, oregano live spice garden in the cute adobe trough above her kitchen sink.

And now the Democratic establishment’s sergeant-at-arms, Joe Biden, is lowering the velvet ropes and ushering Cindy McCain and, perhaps, her facilitator, into the world’s largest do-gooder operation.

What can we expect?

We do not know yet if Sheeran is packing for Rome. Maybe she prefers Phoenix in the summer. I just find the circumstances peculiar.

From London to Rome

One must concede without question that Josette Sheeran is a serious player.

Funding at WFP increased from $7 million in 2007 to $150 million in 2010 under her sure hand. Can you say Davos? please say Davos.

In 2011, Forbes named Sheeran one of the 30 most powerful women in the world. And that was before she was named president of the quite swank Asia Society in 2013.

At the same time, Sheeran was criticized for excessively lavish parties and globe-trotting.

And then there is this:

When the G-8 ministers met in Italy in 2009, Sheeran’s  WFP arranged a presentation for the wives. It set up a fake food distribution theater, always so educational.

This touch of genius sprinkled a little glitter on the event.

Under Sheeran’s leadership, the WFP flew in school children from Ghana for just the right dash of muy autentico.

I’m going to call your attention to this by repeating it:

Under Sheeran’s leadership,  the WFP flew in school children from Ghana to Italy, to impress the wives of politicians at a starvation novena according to one gadfly critic, the Inner City Press.

As the Italians might say of Ms. Sheeran’s exhibit: Stonata ( tone deaf )

Early reports had Cindy Lou becoming ambassador to England. Imagine.

We could have then written about the gaggle of geese that plagued London: Princess Diana Spencer, Princess Meghan Markle, Princess Cindy Lou.

Such a weave of Royal Britannia.

But no, London lost out to Rome.

Pity the Italians.

The mafia, Mussolini, McCain . . . Mamma mia!

Mother’s Little Helpers

McCain’s appointment to la dolce vita is a puzzling thing.

President Biden cannot point to Cindy McCain’s decency or judgment to explain this posting.

In 2019, Cindy McCain sicced the airport police upon a woman and child at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor. She told the cops that she suspected the child was being trafficked for sex because the kid was a different race than the mother. (Never mind that Cindy herself has a daughter of a different ethnicity.)

The police confronted the poor woman who was forced to prove that her child was, in fact, her daughter.

Not content with traumatizing these two travelers, Cindy then rushed to a radio station and falsely claimed that she had intervened in a rescue.

“It was a woman of a different ethnicity than the child— this little toddler she had,” McCain told listeners. “Something didn’t click with me. I tell people to trust your gut. I went over to the police and I told them what I thought and they went over and questioned her and by god she was trafficking that kid.”

The police were forced to contradict these self-aggrandizing lies. In writing.

“On January 30, 2019 at approximately 1:26 pm, Phoenix Police Officers assigned to Sky Harbor International Airport conducted a welfare check on a child at the request of Mrs. Cindy McCain. During the welfare check, officers determined there was no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment.”

Mere words do not capture the bull-goose loony behavior of President Biden’s appointee.

Mere words do not capture the humiliation visited upon the woman confronted by McCain’s badges.

It must come as no surprise to readers that the woman who instigated this incident annually trolls the Super Bowl as “the largest human trafficking event on the planet.”

McCain’s trafficking mantra has been investigated and disproven more often than the flat earth narrative. It is gibberish.

With a record this mortifying why would the elderly McCain be thrusting herself upon the world without the slightest hint of background that would render her service relevant?

Maybe she just feels guilty.

Her husband, after all, was notorious for wicked strong support of every expansion of military budgets.

And you don’t have to search far and wide to connect those dots.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed…,” said Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Sure . . . that’s it. Ms. McCain feels guilty.

Nah, I’m just screwing with you.

Cindy McCain isn’t beating swords into plowshares. There is no evidence that she even knows what a plowshare is.

When Cindy Lou moves to Rome to dip her cutlery into the chunky cioppino of craving, the locals might better lock up the Pecorino Romano.

Cindy has a history of looting the cupboards.

When she was ram-rodding a South Seas medical charity, she stole the drugs and became an addict. And when New Times broke that story, she checked herself into a clinic and later claimed she’d become a junkie from the fallout of childbirth. This alibi was debunked by The Washington Post.

I don’t know. I’m just one vote. And most of you readers know that in four decades of journalism I’ve never gotten along with either McCain. And Cindy has made a jihad of attacking a former property of ours, Backpage, because of escort content.

So don’t rely upon me; let’s hear what one of her new neighbors thinks.

“You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them,” said the current pope, Francis. “This is how prayer works.”

God can hear Cindy Lou’s prayer. And Josette’s.

But when I think of these two, and I think of kids from Ghana, I think of my own prayer.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, a pint of vodka at my feet. If I shall die before I wake, tell my friends I drank it straight.”

Please also see:
Ambassador Cindy? Only If You Can Forget the McCains’ Scandal-Plagued Existence
How John and Cindy McCain Came to Hate Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin

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About Michael Lacey

Michael Lacey is the co-founder of Front Page Confidential. You can read more about him and his business partner Jim Larkin here.

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