Whoever broke this story certainly threw a real problem at Senator John McCain.
For Republicans, close association with lobbyists is normal business. In fact, that’s how Republicans do business. Just so long as the relationship isn’t too close with an individual (close association with a specific lobbying company is OK), isn’t too often, or too personal. In this case, the relationship (platonic or not) has been with a particular lobbyist, and even worse than that, with a pretty blonde lobbyist he seems to have spent rather a lot of time with.
I’m sure a lot of GOP members are relieved that at least it’s a change from the many homosexual scandals various Republicans have been involved with in the recent past. At least, they may be saying, if there is anything going on here, it isn’t what they charmingly refer to as “deviancy”.
The crux of this problem is it’s double edged nature. It’s negative for McCain if anyone thinks there was some funny business with this lady, and it’s negative because it brings into perspective just how much time politicians and lobbyists spend together. It’s even negative for people who believe it’s OK for politicians to be wined and dined, and to go on flights and trips with lobbyists – because they normally disguise such behaviour by not spending so much time with any one individual lobbyist, and this smacks of favouritism. Personally I think McCain is too honourable, but what influence do I have?
So, which camp is most likely to have got this story going? That’s the sixty four thousand dollar question. Obama is most against the close ties Washington politicians have with lobbyists – or so he says. Huckabee probably thinks some hanky panky went on and wants to air such rumours before McCain reaches an unassailable lead, which he shortly will. Clinton probably wouldn’t mind McCain attacking Obama, but is unlikely to want to draw attention to relationships with lobbyists or bring back memories of how her husband ended his Presidency.
So, my money’s on this story originating in the Obama camp. It hits all of his opponents at once, gets in the first shot against his probable main opponent, and does him no harm at all. In fact, it even releases, by transferring attention, some of the pressure on him for his wife’s gaffe when she said she was proud of her country “for the first time” just recently – something Americans seem to take rather badly.
If I were McCain, I’d be counter-punching Obama, but he’d better do it quick or the mud will stick. He’s spent so much time lately trying to prove how much of a conservative he really is, he seems to have taken his eye off the ball.
As for Hillary, she’d better get her website reorganised, the two main words that crop up on the first two pages are “Submit” followed by “Contribute” whereas Obama’s site cries out “Change,” “Believe” and “One Million People” which makes it a lot more powerful. McCain’s is more like Hillary’s, proclaiming “Ready to Lead” which is perhaps too subtle for most folks, sounds like he wants to be given something, rather than to give something.
No wonder Obama is hoovering up the youth vote. And by that, I mean all those under 50… the internet generation. His opponents are both looking rather out of touch, if you ask me. I still don’t think he will make the best President, but I do believe he is running the best campaign right now.
Only time will tell what happens next.