I think Will Bunch is right that the NY Times story will rally right-wingers to McCain’s defense:
f Karl Rove were brought out of retirement to help elect John McCain president, even he in all his evil genius could not have a schemed up a better way to breathe new life into his fellow Republican’s campaign than the New York Times’ inept effort to tie the Arizona senator to a comely young lobbyist.
Simply put, as it’s playing out right now, the story was — probably unintentionally, although who knows — timed perfectly to help out McCain. Its insinuations of an improper relationship between the powerful senator and Vicki Iseman came too late to hurt McCain with the “values voters” in the GOP primaries, but at exactly the right time to rally right-wing talk radio against the Times, and thus for a candidate they can now support in November while holding their collective nose.
I think that is still a net win for the Democratic party. There is nothing that will hurt McCain more with the independent voters he and Obama both will be attempting to woo than for McCain to have the stench and odor of the right-wing oozing all over the place. Let them rush to his aid, let them scream “ONE OF US, ONE OF US” from the highest mountaintops. This will only help to remind people what they are going to get should the pull the lever for the Straight Talk Express- four more years of a Limbaugh/NRO/Red State approved President.
McCain’s saving grace with independents and disaffected Republicans was that he stood up to Bush and the nuts occasionally (but never when it really mattered). Let the loonies make him one of them. That is a GOOD thing for the Democrats, and should make a great bumpersticker:
“John McCain, Limbaugh Certified and Approved”
Mind you, this is without any real evidence of wrong-doing on McCain’s part. He may be innocent, and now he gets to carry the baggage of the far right, anyway. Sleazy, but good for the Democrats.
And one more thing- McCain is going to be forced to appoint a wingnut approved VP, probably someone from the south, to “round out” his ticket. The more the maverick takes on the taint of the crazy right, the worse his chances get in the general election.
*** Update ***
As a side note, I do think the “affair” aspects of this story are sleazy, and I think many on the right are correct in noting the hypocrisy taking place. The Times should have focused on this, as Will Bunch writes:
That despite portraying himself as a campaign reformer and a “straight talker” battling the political culture of Washington, McCain has maintained close ties with lobbyists with billion-dollar business stakes in legislation before his committee, flew with them to fundraisers on their clients’ plush corporate jets, and even hit them up to fund a non-profit that was meant to push reform.
I really, really detest this kind of stuff. I hated the thinly sourced rumors about Edwards, and it isn’t right now with McCain.