Friday, February 22, 2008

There's not much "there" there

Well, I'm starting to get the feeling that God is letting me down.


The "Vicki-gate" story seems to be running out of steam. Republicans are rallying behind John McCain, including such anti-McCain pundits as Rush Limbaugh. We're now into it's third 24-hour news cycle, and the story is currently residing in the 20-minutes after the hour slot, right in front of entertainment news. Another day or so without additional evidence (other people willing to go on the record; incriminating photos; hotel security camera footage; etc.) and this story will fade away completely.

Thanks for nothing, God.

I think there's a good chance there IS something to this story, but like during the Watergate era, the story needs more evidence to be taken seriously. When Woodward and Bernstein went ahead with their article about Haldeman controlling the secret slush fund without enough proof, they were widely derided by Mitchell and the Nixon administration; and as quoted by "Deep Throat" in the movie, "You've even got people feeling sorry for Haldeman. I didn't think that was possible!"

The fact that Woodward and Bernstein were right didn't really matter; their eagerness to get the story out actually set the investigation back and helped sway public opinion in Haldeman's favor.

For a while, anyway. Back then, we had a Congress that wasn't scared pissless of the President, and they actually did their jobs and actively pursued justice.

But, don't despair.

There IS this, from The Politico:
After The New York Times published a story Thursday suggesting that John McCain had an improper relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, his campaign took to the airwaves to trash the story.

"All these things are implications, two unnamed sources and no facts in the article," campaign manager Rick Davis told CBS’s "Early Show."

But in fact, there was a named source who confirmed facts to both the Times and The Washington Post — and, unexpectedly, he came right out of the McCain camp.

John Weaver (pictured above, with McCain), the Arizona Republican’s former chief strategist and a longtime confidant, confirmed to the two papers that he had met with Iseman in 1999 and told her to stop bragging about her influence with McCain and the Senate Commerce Committee. He also said he had done so after "a discussion among campaign leadership" about her. Weaver’s information formed the underpinnings of stories in both papers about McCain aides being worried that Iseman could become a political liability.

In other words, Weaver, an apparent McCain loyalist, had provided the critical, on-the-record foundation for stories denigrating the senator.
So in other words, there may be some there there after all.

It's just that getting there ain't gonna be a picnic!


sellitman said...

Someone should be following the money. Who did she work for? What did they have to gain by her affair. That's where there is.

CT Bob said...

It's well documented (link below) that McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the one of her clients.

That, in and of itself, is very incriminating. Why it's not bigger news, I don't really know.

NY Times article

Don Pesci said...

According to the story you cited, Weaver also said this: "I’m not in the business of lying to reporters," he said. "Here were the choices I had: Deny it or confirm it. It was a fact. And it was a fact that had nothing to do with John McCain’s integrity."

He was warning the lobbyist not to brag about things that were untrue.

That the New York Times was able in its initial story to spin this slender thread into a tapestry of wife cheating and infidelity ought to arouse you anger, not your disappointment. Both McCain and the lobbyist have denied an intimate relationship. The best commentary on the whole sorry business comes from the New Republic’s analysis of the Times’ story, which you do not cite.

CT Bob said...

Don, I thought you were talking about the link I put in the comments above, but I realized that you meant the link via the Politico.

The McCain campaign can't seem to get a handle on this story either. Weaver is quoted as saying that he's the source, yet senior McCain adviser Steve Schmidt said "Nobody on the McCain campaign believes Weaver is the source of this."

I think they're frankly stunned that Weaver wouldn't lie for the campaign. It's a habit those guys have.

If you have a link to the TNR article, I'd read it. I just don't want to go over there and have to search for it. Too much New Republic makes my head hurt.

Don Pesci said...

Here is the link to the New Republic Story. Ir was written at the same timne as the Times' story and indicates how weak it was:

sellitman said...

The Lobbying Firm: Alcalde & Fay

Their Client list:




Capstar Broadcasting Partners

Carnival Corp

Computer Sciences Corp

Future Leaders of America

Hillsborough County

Hispanic Broadcasting Inc

Paxson Communications

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Telemundo Network Group

Total Living Network

The link: