Friday, February 22, 2008
The McCain camp declares "Mission Accomplished" on the Iseman story. I mean, what could happen now to give it legs? ... Oh wait. Isikoff already has BS McCain Denial #1, which is where his campaign says that
"[n]o representative of [Iseman client] Paxson [Communications] ...discussed with Senator McCain the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding regarding the transfer of Pittsburgh public television station (WQED) ..."
It turns out McCain himself said in a deposition that he'd discussed it with Mr. Paxson himself. McCain's subsequent staff's defense doesn't help the Senator:
"I]t appears that Senator McCain, when speaking of being contacted by Paxson, was speaking in shorthand of his staff being contacted by representatives of Paxson."
Err ... McCain was fairly explicit on the issue in a sworn deposition, saying "I'm sure I spoke to [Paxson]". ****
Oh well, so he maybe got it wrong under oath. Another sign of his gruff authenticity!**
What's striking about the story so far is the extent to which core McCain supporters concede that if it's confirmed McCain is through. I don't see why that would have to be true--I'd think he could confess, cry, and weather the storm. (If the GOPs had someone to beat McCain they'd have beaten him already.) But here's McCainiac David Brooks:
At his press conference Thursday, McCain went all-in. He didn't just say he didn't remember a meeting about Iseman. He said there was no meeting. If it turns out that there is evidence of an affair and a meeting, then his presidential hopes will be over.
That means, of course, that even if the story is true, loyal McCain supporters would be under tremendous pressure--even self-imposed pressure--to deny it. Is McCain point man Charlie Black saying anything he wouldn't say if McCain did have the affair, and the meeting? A question to keep in mind.