New York Times takes an outdated shot at McCain

The New York Times is set to release a story dredging up some parts of McCain’s less flattering past.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

WASHINGTON — 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 — 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.

When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.

The bottom line on this is that the story on McCain and this lobbyist is actually quite old.

It’s a lengthy story, I’ll have more on it tomorrow. Here’s a short clip from earlier tonight on Hannity & Colmes:

Also, here’s Bob Bennett on the same broadcast discussing the story:

Finally, a video from MSNBC discussing the story:

McCain did issue a response earlier this evening:

Mr. McCain’s presidential campaign issued the following statement Wednesday night:

“It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.

“Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career.”

The bottom line here is that it’s mostly old news but perhaps this is a taste of how McCain will be painted during the campaign. I’ll have some more on this tomorrow as it pans out.