The four big problems with Obama's "cling" fling.

A mostly political Weblog.
April 14 2008 5:19 AM

What's the Matter With Obama?

The four sins of "cling."

(Continued from Page 42)

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

My reaction to the NYT's McCain-hot lobbyist story? As McCain's supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, in a similar context:

"A lot of [what] you see in the stories is not true, but at the same time, I have to tell you that I always say, that wherever there is smoke, there is fire. That is true.

a) When the Times reports that two McCain "associates** ... said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman," the vagueness of "inappropriately" might mean the NYT doesn't have the goods on any possible romance. But it suggests to me that the paper's sources might not want to give it the salacious details or the paper itself is too decorous. If by "inappropriately" doesn't mean anything sexual, then the NYT has indeed been surprisingly sleazy. Someone should ask Mr. Rutenberg.  

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b) The Scandal-is-What-isn't-Scandalous Dept. Part I: From the NYT story:

The McCain aides said the senator sided with Ms. Iseman's clients only when their positions hewed to his principles.

A champion of deregulation, Mr. McCain ... introduced a bill to create tax incentives for minority ownership of stations; Ms. Iseman represented several businesses seeking such a program. [E.A.]

How is introducing this bill in keeping with McCain's deregulatory or deficit cutting instincts? There is no more fetid swamp of corrupting government favoritism than the FCC's minority ownership programs. And tax incentives aren't really all that different in their budget-gutting effect from earmarks, are they? If those are McCain's principles ...

c) Part II: This paragraph from WaPo's follow up  seems like a small fire in itself:

At the time he sent the first letter, McCain had flown on Paxson's corporate jet four times to appear at campaign events and had received $20,000 in campaign donations from Paxson and its law firm. The second letter came on Dec. 10, a day after the company's jet ferried him to a Florida fundraiser that was held aboard a yacht in West Palm Beach.

That was normal practice? Isn't it less damning if he did it for love?

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