Strong innuendo and unflattering history have risen to bite Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his presidential campaign, thanks to a breaking New York Times story.
It is painful to read about McCain’s not-so-distant past and his allegedly poor judgment in dealings with lobbyists, finance, and women, particularly a lobbyist named Vicki Iseman. And certainly the name Charles Keating rings a bell, even for the most politically oblivious.
In recent years John McCain has shown himself to be something of a vulgar hothead in the Senate, and I’ve thought less of him because of it. Yet I’ve continued to see him as a man of principal and integrity, honest to the core. Now it is being hinted that somewhere along the way his judgment, personal ethics, and sense of honor may have let him down.
I know, I know, he’s only human. He’s not perfect. He makes mistakes like anyone else. Some mistakes are bigger than others, though, and these, if true, will give me second thoughts. Until now I’d not paid much attention to the general election in November, beyond hoping Hillary didn’t get the Democratic nomination and thinking McCain might be an acceptable alternative if she did.
Now I don’t know. It takes good judgment to be a good president. It takes an acute 24/7 awareness of the situation and how it might appear to others. Vote for a hotheaded hawk with questionable judgment? Doesn’t look like a good bet from here.
Why is the NYT releasing this story now, after reportedly sitting on it for several months? It’s mostly old allegations and old news, much of it from anonymous sources. Why bring it all up now? A liberal paper starting its general campaign against the Republicans? Probably, and yet the NYT endorsed McCain for the Republican nomination. McCain’s right-wing Republican opposition somehow trying to hamstring his nomination? Could be. Anything’s possible. If the wheels come off McCain’s Straighttalk Express, Mike Huckabee is still back there in its dust, and Mitt Romney’s campaign was only “suspended,” not abandoned.
Update: The McCain campaign reacted immediately and predictably, as reported by Politico.com and the Associated Press, among others.
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