Thursday, February 21, 2008

McCain in the Middle

The scandal du jour involves John McCain and the headlines of the New York Times. Last night, for the online version of the newsrag, the story broke. The New York Times seems to be in some kind of battle with The New Republic and writer Gabe Sherman's just today released online on their website. On The New Republic's site Sherman writes of the NYT's reluctance to run with the alleged scandal. So far, the only reasoning for the publication of the story right now is to jump out in front of the story in The New Republic. Duck, John McCain. Incoming.

Problem is, there is no story here. Just move along. I read it for myself and the critics are correct. All hat, no cattle as is said in Texas. The headline is tempting enough, true, but both McCain and the pretty blonde lobbyist deny any personal relationship, other than professionally as she lobbys him within the realm of the world of telecommunication. Yes, she is a lobbyist. No, there doesn't seem to be any affair going on here.

Bob Bennett, Democratic hot shot lawyer in D.C. and brother of Bill Bennett, is McCain's lawyer. They have known of this story for several months. The NYT sent over questions to be answered several times and all were completely and fully answered, according to Bennett. It is interesting to me that it is Bob Bennett defending McCain now. He was the legal counsel involved in the Keating Five investigation, back in the 1980's and brought up in the newspaper article for good measure. Bennett recommended that McCain be absolved of any wrongdoing in that financial scandal. Bennett's report to the committee stated that McCain did no wrongdoing. Another American hero, former astronaut John Glenn, was not so clean. But, the Dems were in charge then and Glenn stayed.

McCain hired Bennett to fend off any baseless accusations coming his way, as happened to him in the first run for president, in 2000, which is when this behavior is alleged to have happened. Not today, eight years ago. There is only innuendo and anonymous sources in the article. Some accusers are described as 'disgruntled' former campaign workers from the 2000 campaign.

At the press conference this morning from Toledo, Ohio, McCain and Cindy McCain both voiced their disappointment with the New York Times for running the piece. McCain's campaign people and Bennett met with NYT editors six weeks ago and provided copies of letters written by McCain back then showing no favoritism to the lobbyist. There is no smoking gun showing any favoritism for her anywhere. McCain is known on Capitol Hill for being an elected official who is above and beyond others for personal integrity and ethics in making political decisions and votes. You may not agree with his votes or his legislative acts, but he is true to himself. And he is true to his wife and children.

"At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust." This is a man who has given 54 years of service to his country. The last 24 years have been in D.C. At the age of 17 he signed on for military service. We all know his POW story. He is a true hero.

While the Republicans were in charge of the Senate, McCain served as chair of the Commerce Committee. It is the largest committee in the Senate in terms of its overall jurisdiction. He is to be commended for staying true to himself and to ethical behavior when so many fall short.

Yes, the woman is a lobbyist. Lobbyists are a fact of life in politics, whether it is at the local, state or federal level. McCain speaks to everyone. Speaking to lobbyists does not guarantee corruption. Every single member of Congress, yes, even the sainted Obama, deal with lobbyists. McCain works will both sides of the aisle on issues, for which he is often criticized by this own party members. He knows how to legislate without selling himself out. I think that is a trait to be celebrated.

In today's cynical atmosphere in D.C., where everything is done along party lines for the benefit of the party in power, it seems to me that John McCain is sorely needed in a leadership role.

This is why qualified, good people won't run for office anymore. Who needs this?


Randolphus Maximus said...

I'm not that big of a fan of McCain, IMO, he has enough on his public record to make me wary of voting for him. However, I don't see this as a setback for him as far as the campaign is concerned. It looks like he already had a response for it...this story will probably be dead by the weekend.

Randolphus Maximus said...

On the other hand, THIS story could have staying power, especially if the FEC actually steps in:

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Really weird too since the NYT had endorsed him.

Maybe, this could be totally played for McCa - generate sympathy for him and Cyndi, show that scarred, fiesty warriors that frighten enemies is sexyful, draw in the 'the base' to circle the battlewagons as the wickibit NYT attacks and delivers a built in platform to denounce worrying about the wrong things.

It could also help HRC - since it sank all the "HRC is sinking" stories.

Hang on y'all - '08's gonna be one wild ride!

vicki said...

Somebody said, let's see...I can't remember who...this is the kind of 'silly season' stuff Americans are tired of and don't want to hear. I would agree with that.

Freadom said...

While I do not support him for president, I found myself writing a similar article as this in defense of Obama. I think we Americans are a bit exhausted of the smear campaigns, and would like an election determined by the issues, rather than who is hated the most.

Beverly over at Lacoochee kid recommended your blog to me. In the next few days I plan on checking out some of your other posts.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Really weird too since the NYT had endorsed him.

In some ways, yes, since they had glowing words for McCain's character, even as they sat on this story. But the act of endorsing a Republican candidate AND a Democratic candidate is nothing alarming. I don't think liberal newsrags like the NYT based their endorsement on anything other than their belief that McCain is the best candidate fielded by the GOP. I know some conservatives are suspicious of ulterior motives. But I don't see it.