Republicans keep condemning The New York Times article about john McCain and Vicki Iseman but emerging details and supporting facts keep seeping out questioning the Senator's integrity. McCain insisted at his news conference he never met with Lowell Paxson before intervening in a deal involving a Pittsburgh television station. The broadcasting executive now says he and Iseman did meet with John McCain before he wrote two letters to the FCC on their behalf.
For a man running on the basis of his integrity this is bad news. For someone whose team of lobbyists is criticizing The Times for inaccuracy to then mislead the press isn't going to endear him to those he has carefully seduced with easy access.
Again, I ask why an Arizona Senator intervened in a deal involving a Pennsylvania company? Because he sat on the Commerce Committee and Paxson's lobbyist, Vickie Iseman, had enormous influence with McCain, that's why. How she attained such influence is, to me, irrelevant. McCain's entire campaign is run by lobbyists and this has, and should be, the focus of this scandal. The Washington Post summarizes it thusly:
"The Paxson deal, coming as McCain made his first run for the presidency, has posed a persistent problem for the senator. The deal raised embarrassing questions about his dealings with lobbyists at a time when he had assumed the role of an ethics champion and opponent of the influence of lobbyists."
Here's the bottom line: if you're going to campaign for president on the message that you're holier than thou you'd better be. This is a lesson for Obama and Clinton also.
Did John McCain simply forget this meeting or did he intentionally lie when answering the question Thursday? This scandal has been brewing for months and he and his campaign have been aware this story was being developed for months so they had adequate time to review the facts before the news conference. What's more this has the potential to sink his campaign so no statement should have have been made before being carefully vetted. McCain made a distinct decision to lie about this meeting with the press. I smell a cover up.