Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers. A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself...
Now the implication, for those prone to rapid jumps off cliffs, can be quickly translated to read "JOHN MCCAIN CHEATS ON WIFE!!! OMG!!!" Of course, the story doesn't go nearly so far, but it does raise salacious questions about McCain's relationship with the pretty young lobbyist. Were they attracted to each other? Did she exert inappropriate influence on McCains legislative decisions?
Unfortunately, having set out a very attractive plate on the table, the Times fails to put any meat on it. Nobody is so much as hinting that there is evidence that the two of them were invoved. Even further, McCain's voting record clearly shows that the woman's clients got no traction with McCain and he cast no votes out of the ordinary which differed from his stated positions.
This was a horrible decision on the part of the Times and has the odor of a smear attack. And it could well backfire on them. An attack like this will likely rally some of McCains more doubting party members to come charging to his rescue. For the record, I don't hate the New York Times, though I think they have fallen down on the job on many occasions over the years. But this certainly brings into question the competence of their management. This is a story that should have never gotten out of the draft stage unless they can bring up some more credible, named witnesses and/or evidence.