February 21, 2008

Just this week, John McCain was accused of another adulterous affair, this time with a lobbyist for whom he may have done special legislative favors. Naturally, the McCain campaign responded this afternoon with the next logical step in crisis management: exploiting the controversy for a quick buck.

John McCain’s presidential campaign wasted no time taking advantage of an article in the New York Times which portrayed a relationship with a female lobbyist that troubled his advisers nearly a decade ago.

The article “is particularly disgusting – an un-sourced hit-and-run smear campaign designed to distract from the issues at stake in this election,” McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, wrote in an e-mail to supporters Thursday afternoon.

The very silly fundraising letter, which should insult the intelligence of even the most sycophantic Republican donor, went on to argue “the liberal establishment and their [sic] allies at the New York Times” went on the “attack” because McCain is just now “locking up” the GOP nomination. (Wouldn’t it be great if the “liberal establishment” really could just order up critical exposes in the NYT?) That the NYT investigation began three months ago would only detract from the sales pitch.

The same letter went on to argue, “With John McCain leading a number of general-election polls against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the New York Times knew the time to attack was now, and they did.” Besides sounding paranoid, can the McCain campaign really identify “a number of general-election polls” in which McCain leads Obama? Because I’ve looked, and they don’t to appear to exist outside the Republican campaign’s fervent imagination.

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