McCain and the Lobbyist – Is This Why Romney Only ‘Suspended’ His Campaign?

The New York Times has just published a story claiming that John McCain’s relationship with a lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, eight years ago so concerned his 2000 campaign staff that they blocked her access to him.
Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access.
MSNBC is wall to wall with the story tonight, because everyone inside the Beltway has known about it since December 20. It was then, two weeks exactly before the Iowa caucuses, that McCain operatives convinced the Times to delay the story in order to protect McCain’s candidacy. If there have been subsequent attempts to get the story spiked, they failed today:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

The alleged sin here is hypocrisy, since McCain presents himself as being pure of the taint of lobbyist influence. There is also a hint of the of sin of adultery, but both parties have denied that their relationship was personal.

These charges are very thin. Pending more to come, the Times may well have given McCain what he needs most: the opportunity to play the rightwing victim card, “See! The liberal media is out to get me.” Thus giving McCain’s conservative critics cause to rally around him.

On the other hand, if the story does have legs, it may explain why Romney suspended, not ended, his campaign a few weeks ago. It also could also explain why Mike Huckabee has not dropped out.

Conservatives are trying to blame the leaking of this story on Democrats, but the original timing of its release (in December when the Dems were focused on each other and McCain was not the frontrunner in any polls) and sourcing ( Republican operatives who worked on the 2000 McCain race) both suggest it came from within the Grand Old Party.

Update: Best guess on the source of the leak to the Times: Team Romney.

11 Comments

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  • Getting Older
    February 21, 2008 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    I think it would be great if you would increace the size of the type. Getting to the point I can’t read it. But otherwise, I love the blog

  • Madison
    February 21, 2008 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Hey Getting Older, you can change the font size on your browser. Just click the shift key and the plus “+” key to increase it. To reduce it back, click shift and the minus “-” key. Works on just about every website. (You can also change your monitor’s “resolution” so that everything is bigger. In Windows, this is done through “Display Properties.” I have no clue how this is done on Macs.)

  • February 21, 2008 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    The NYT spiked ANOTHER story?

    Another story that might have reflected badly on a Republican candidiate for president?

    Whatever the “Grey Old Mare” had at one time, say about 35 years ago, has long since faded and left.

    The NYT is now offically another state sanctioned outlet for the “Ministry of Truth.”

    NYT, better stick to stuff you can handle, like the FOXCNN GRUESOME MURDER/RAPE/KIDNAPPING of the week.

  • Joseph S. Spiezio
    February 23, 2008 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Yep! The torture McCain was subjected to did have an effect on his mental capacity. Consider his angry outbursts toward his peers in the senate. Couple that with what appears to be the onset of Alzheimer’s, like his not being able to recall things that place him in a bad light, and it’s plain to see that this pathetic little man is on the brink of complete mental breakdown! If it weren’t for the large amount of medications he probably consumes, he would have already snapped while under the pressure of criticism during the debates! How sad, that this lying, flip flopping, bought and paid for political hack, actually thinks he stands a chance of becoming president! The latest scandal concerning the female lobbyist further illustrates just how crooked his straight talk express really is! Say Goodbye John! Drop out now before you embarrass yourself even more!

    I forgot to mention McCain’s man crush on another pathetic political figure. Joe LIE berman! Now here is a real scary dude! Connecticut Dems vote this piece of shit out, and then he runs as an Independant, with huge support from the Repugs! No question where his priorities lie. McCain/Lieberman! If that ticket doesn’t scare you, nothing will! And, let’s not forget that kiss from Dumbya!
    This man crush thing seems to have a life of it’s own!

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