McCain’s War Against the Gray Lady: A TimelineYesterday’s outburst from the McCain camp against the paper of record, in which strategist Steve Schmidt called the ‘Times’ ‘150 percent in the can for Obama,’ is far from the first skirmish between the two. Here’s a guide to everything that’s gone sour between the paper and the campaign in 2008.
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McCain Fallout: Pundits Are Abuzz!
The Times’ story on John McCain’s alleged affair with a lobbyist during his last presidential run crashed into the political discussion today like a flaming satellite tank filled with toxic innuendo and accusations. People are wondering a few things: What will be the effect on the Republican race and general election? (See our incisive post on what this says about Mike Huckabee having stuck in the race.) Is the Times really sure about their story, considering that the main sources are two unnamed former staffers? And, finally, is there anything they left out — maybe something specific, preferably salacious? As it stands now, the story amounts to a cruel tease — cruel to us, who want the whole truth and nothing but (and have gathered much of it in the 2008 Electopedia, newly updated with entries on the presumptive Republican nominee!), and cruel to McCain, who is no doubt praying for some fireworks in the Democratic debate tonight to push this down in the news cycle.
early and often
The ‘Times’ McCain Debacle: Just What Huckabee Has Been Waiting For?Hooo boy! The Times really opened up a box of bees when they published their insinuating John McCain story late last night. If you haven’t seen it, it concerns McCain’s high-horse attitude toward ethics, which may have been compromised in part by a close, perhaps romantic relationship with attractive lobbyist Vicki Iseman during McCain’s first run for president eight years ago. The paper (using a half-dozen reporters and thousands of words) described confrontations that staffers had with both McCain and Iseman to stop what appeared to be an inappropriate intimacy. By late last evening, political blogs and news programs were exploding with reactions. McCain’s camp was outraged at what they called a “smear.” It quickly surfaced that there had been a long period of debate inside the Times as to when to publish the piece, and whether to do it at all. The McCain camp claimed that the paper ran with it after hearing that The New Republic was going to publish a story about the infighting at the paper over its inflammatory contents. Some critics even went so far as to speculate that the liberal Times wanted to wait until the Republicans had a presumptive nominee before blowing a hole in his candidacy. Woweee. Whether any of this affects McCain remains to be seen (we cannot wait for the smackdown that Cindy McCain is bound to lay down today). But the scandal addresses something that’s been itching us in the back of our heads for a long time: Why the heck is Mike Huckabee still in this race?