.
February 21st, 2008
06:30 PM ET

Mess for McCain?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Someone is lying. The New York Times dropped a bombshell on John McCain this morning with a front page story that could cost him the White House.

It's great reading… an improper relationship with a lobbyist, a woman named Vicki Iseman. His inner circle convinced they were having an affair. All happening while he was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and she was representing clients who had business before McCain's committee. The two of them together at fundraisers, in his office, aboard private corporate jets. It got so bad his closest friends and advisers finally stepped in to save McCain from himself. This is all according to the New York Times.

Problem with the story is it's a little "skinny." Most of it is based on unnamed sources, which detracts from its credibility. On the other hand, the Times byline contains the names of four reporters who were not likely to go to their editors and say, "Look what we've got," if they didn't have it.

And reportedly as far back as last December, McCain was pleading with the editors of the Times not to run the story.

McCain's explanation for all of this comes up short. "It's not true," ain't going to cut it. For one thing, McCain has been here before. Remember the Keating 5 and the savings and loan scandal?

And it's highly unlikely the Times information from McCain's inner circle is all false. You don't publish a story of this magnitude unless you're on pretty solid ground. Stay tuned… cause there's a lot more to come.

Here’s my question to you: How much will newspaper stories raising questions about John McCain’s ethics and his alleged relationship with a woman lobbyist hurt his presidential chances?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Greg writes:
This could be taps for McCain. The Times may be ambushing him. What if they have the equivalent of Monica's blue dress just waiting for McCain to lie about it?

Randy from Missouri writes:
Before all of this is over, dirt will come up on all the candidates, and the amount of damage depends on how much attention you guys give it. I hope you are fair about it all the way around.

Steve from Fort Worth, Texas writes:
I'm sorry but I don't believe the New York Times has any balance in their credibility account. These reporters may be thought of as fair, within the Times, but "a story of this magnitude" deserves at least one source that can be named. I don’t buy it.

Chantal from Canada writes:
All I gotta say is read about the Keating 5. Who's so pure and full of integrity now?

W. writes:
Jack, It won't matter at all; he wasn't going to win anyway.

Trevor from Stamford, Connecticut writes:
McCain, in my opinion, shouldn't lose sleep over this one. Scandals, unfortunately, seem to be standard practice in Washington.

Jazz writes:
Wow! Mugging the old man before the start of the race. Somebody reaaaaally wants the young guy to win. There will be payback and we know it. Hold on to your hats, folks. It's going to be a rough ride!

F.H. from South Carolina writes:
McCain's actions definitely cast doubt, and that's the poison.


Filed under: 2008 Election • Ethics • John McCain
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. BETTY

    IT SHOULD HURT HIM..HE ACTS LIKE HE IS SO PURE.
    WHY DOESNT PEOPLE REALIZE THEY ARE GETTING 4 MORE YEARS OF BUSH BY ELECTING HIM

    February 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  2. James in Cape Coral,FL

    Jack,
    It won't hurt as much as his partnership with George W. Bush will. But it can't help.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Vickie

    Jack,IT'S GETTING DIRTY OUT THERE. YOU GOT THE GOODS ON McCHAIN NOW. WHAT ABOUT OBAMA.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  4. marie Mtl Can.

    Know what, no smoke without fire!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  5. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It won't hurt him at all. Didn't you notice "Barbie" standing by her man this morning in his press conference. Besides, when President Obama is sworn in next January, McCain will still have his job of fighting earmarks and against bridges to nowhere.
    Besides all of that, I don't believe the Times at all.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  6. Bonita - North Dakota

    Hmmm.....it appears the Republicans have gotten a swift(boat) kick in the pants! GOOD!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  7. Brian M. From Fort Mill, S.C.

    Mike Dukakis was Willy Horten'ed, Bill Clinton was Jennifer-Flower'ed, John Kerry was swift-boated, and now it's happening to McCain.

    I don't support McCain because of his views on Iraq, but it's not fair what happened to him. Notice that all of the above were done in by the Republicans. Unfortunately, so is McCain. That must really suck when someone from your own campaign tries to destroy you.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  8. joanna

    American aren't as much interested in thoughtful political debates as they are about scandals specially those of a sexual nature.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  9. Don MacNeill

    McCain hasn't done it, and I think that all of the voting people of the US would believe him. He's too sincere.
    I suspect a smear tactic by the democrats, and I've seen smears set up AGAINST the democrats. I'd be surprised if anyone really cares any more. Nobody can top Bill Clinton.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  10. Patricia

    Actually Jack, I don't think it's going to hurt Sen. McCain at all. Americans love tabloid news. We love gossip & that's all this is, gossip. It gives Sen. McCain, a boring personality, some spice. So unless & until the New York Times can prove that Sen. McCain did something really illegal, this isn't gonna hurt Sen. McCain at all.

    Patricia,
    Palmdale, Ca.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  11. Coady - Winter Springs, FL

    Let's see... he favors staying in Iraq, tax cuts for those making over $250 K and chases skirts... that's a combination of the past two Presidents that we can do without. My Friends, he's cooked!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Bonita-North Dakota

    HMMMM....it appears that the Republican candidate has gotten a
    swift(boat) kick in the pants.....GOOD! I think it's kinda funny....what goes around, comes around. As far as it hurting his campaign....well, it seems that the media is having a field day with this and it does not appear to by dying! Let's get to the bottom of this!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  13. Susan Coral Springs, FL

    Personally, I could care less about the "possible relationship with the Lobbyist". But, this article by the NYT does get to the heart of the matter of how much influence LOBBIEST have on all of Congress. They continue to forget they respresent the people not the special interest.

    They will not be happy until the middle class are pushed into poverty.

    Ethics, haven't seen any in a long time.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Robert Elizondo

    Let us not forget who John McCain is. That said, did John McCain's anonymous accusers/aids report this true or false accusation to the New York Times on their own accord, or did John McCain and his advisers strategically plan this all out to gain more conservative votes along with sympathy votes and attention? This will only help John McCain in the long run, providing that the accusation is false. If the accusation is true, the anonymous accusers/aids would have gained more by reporting this to the New York Times in October 2008. John McCain knew about this accusation three months ago, and had plenty time for extreme damage control/dropping out of the race, but he did neither. A lot would have been done knowing the repercussions of this accusation, if it was true. Therefore, I believe that is false. Whether or not it is a false accusation or a planned strategy, the outcome will be a gain for John McCain.

    Robert

    February 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  15. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    If my memory serves me correctly, Bob Bennent ( and he is a Democrat if you want to split political hairs) investigated these allegations eariler in McCain's campaign and concluded that McCain did not act inappropriately in these allegations. You know, you recently published a question as to whether or not there would be negative campagining forthcoming. Well, Jack, the New York Post has answered your question. Another semar tatic by the left to discredit an "honorable" candidate. I have a feeling that this is going to backfire on all of those who initiated this.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Justin W.J.

    I don't believe this will hurt McCain in the short run. What this will do will make it harder for McCain to swiftboat his opponent in the future, after complaining that it had been done to him.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  17. Jeff, West Palm Beach

    I'm a registered democrat and have been pleasantly surprised at how respectful most of the candidates have been for the most part (insert laughter). But John McCain is first and foremost a hero to this country – he's sacrificed more than most and served his country with distinction. The media is crossing a dangerous line here that just doesn't need to be crossed. Let me know when you guys report the real issues that matter to America, and I'll gladly tune in.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  18. Kedrick from Mississippi

    Jack,

    Being a Barack Obama supporter and hopeful that he will get the Democratic nommination and beat Sen. McCain in Novemer, I must admit that I am very displeased with this story, reported in the New York Times.

    I felt that this election has, up to this point, been a good, spirited, competive, highly entertaining race for President. If this is the sole reason he looses the race, its sorta like a great game ending on a bad call. Although you want your team to win, a bad call just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  19. John McNeely

    The New York Times is no slouch newspaper. Do doubt they have checked and doubled checked their sources. Since the Republicans are the party of the "Moral Majority" this kind of thing hurts them the most. The country remembers the witch hunt they conducted against the Clintons and the Monica thing. This matter speaks to McCain's judgment if not his morals. Surely a US Senator knows he lives in a fishbowl. It is arrogant to do things that even hint at impropriety. If the allegations prove true, it will be devastating to his candidacy. If Mrs. McCain can't trust her husband, why should I to run the country?

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  20. Zander in Colorado Springs, Co

    I don’t believe the relationship part, but what does this say for McCain being close to lobbiest? The only person left in this race NOT taking lobbiest money is Obama, this is the type of change we are talking about!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  21. Sam in San Juan

    I am confused. Is the New York Times trying to help Obama, Clinton ... or John McCain??

    February 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  22. Eugene Womack Northern California

    Jack, the N.Y.Times and the far left wing, of our nation's news media, have resorted, to the first real cheap shot, to discredit Sen. McCain. The charges, from decades past, were proven to be unfounded innuendos. McCain's ethics were beyond reproach then and now and I hope the folks, at the, "Situation Room" agree.
    Eugene Womack
    Northern California

    February 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  23. Julie VanDusky

    Jack, why is it that in every election Obama has run in, a major problem always arises with the opposition candidate(s)? In his first run for state legislature in Illinois, he challenged the legality of all 3 of his opponents (including the incumbent) to run for the office since they didn't get the appropriate amount of signatures to be on the ballot. Result- he was the only candidate on the ballot in the November election and therefore won. In his run for US Senate, the opposition candidate, who was ahead in the polls, had to drop out because of a domestic abuse scandal. And now, suddenly, after Obama becomes frontrunner, we find out about allegations of affairs and issues with FEC rules, undermining McCain's ability to win in November. Beginning to see a pattern here?

    February 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  24. Scott

    It would hurt worse if Hillary was the Democratic choice as she would use it to her advantage – Obama wants to have a positive campaign and not get into those things – So with his platform it will be more difficult to muddy the waters – Either way it does raise a red flag and all of a sudden you just might see a Huckabee SURGE that will work

    February 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  25. MIKE ADKINS,CHARLOTTE,NC

    it shows that the republican scandals are improving. at least this time it was with a person of the opposite sex. consenting adults and not in a public restroom. however, it makes one wonder. john mccains wife is a beautiful lady, why unless he's partly insane would he cheat? maybe he's not the right guy.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  26. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Even if that was considered baggage, I would rather have him over Clinton or Obama. Neither of them cares what the American people want, and that is NO amnesty.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  27. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Since when did Carl Rove become editor of the New York Times? Oh, wait a minute – wrong side!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  28. Ron Richmond, VA

    This is just the icing on the cake, but the Media's love affair is blind and will ignore it like everything else.
    Let's see, McCain has bowed to the party's lunatic fringe on tax cuts, immigration, the intolerance of religious bigots, and torture... so exactly how is he reinventing what it means to be a Republican? By shortening the amount of time it takes before a candidate is hijacked by the Right, perhaps?
    Mr. McCain truly has principles that he bends or breaks out of desperation and with distaste. It's apparently a higher order of pandering if you start with deeply held core convictions that you trash in the name of political expediency while feeling really bad about it.
    Despite the disastrous failures of the Right on everything from Iraq to the economy to health care to the environment to global warming to civil liberties to national security, the lunatics running the Republican asylum are stronger than ever. And McCain has accepted all of it!

    An affair would be refreshing and the only thing that would truly be his!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  29. Keith

    It depends on whether or not they have or get proof of his hand in the cookie jar... I.E Gary Hart.

    I don't trust him or his wife anyway – You know, Jack: The 'holier than thou' crowd.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  30. wizoz

    The only question is what, if anything, McCain did for the lobbist's employer. The "relationship" is media fantasy. If McCain has done lobbyist's bidding his credibility as a reformer will be tarnished.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  31. David A. Morse, Stoneham, MA

    Jack:

    I am outraged by the attacks on The New York Times by McCain and the GOP. Senator McCain is a big Boy. He knew about this story at the Times. Its childish to blame the newspaper for reporting a story that he refused to respond to and tried to stop. He should have put out the news himself, and refuted it, not wait for the report then cry foul.

    The GOP should also stop attacking the New York Times for printing a factual news story. This event calls into question the judgement and character of John McCain. Everybody knows that its NOT the scandal that brings you down, but the attempt to coverup the facts surrounding the events. Senator McCain is unfit to be President.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  32. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,
    Only time will tell, this Bill Clinton like story could hurt McCain's chances to win the G.O.P.'S nomination if the party's hard line right wingers, his fellow Republican canidaties in the race and the Democratic Party make it a story with tentacles for you guys in the media...

    Vinnie
    C.I., New York

    February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  33. Ed in MA

    Jack,
    It will help him raise a few bucks from the FAR right who'll blame the NY Times. Doesn't matter that McCain's been outed by his own campaign aids, who know the man is just as arrogant and unfatihful as Bush was.

    All it does it diminish the fantastic landslide victory that's instore for Obama in November with or with out McCain's Stepford wife defending him.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  34. Rob Hirst-Hermans

    It's probably impossible to find the truth re McCain – Damage though is done!! Whoever-whatever did this followed the Karl Rove philosophy – don't attack a person's weakness – attack their strength – recall SWIFT BOATS and John Kerry ... Live by the sword – die by the sword
    Rob
    Sad Repbulican

    February 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  35. Sheila from NC

    I'm an Obama supporter but I do feel for McCain. There simply is not enough meat in that article for me to sink my teeth into. The timing of the release is what bothers me and especially since they had endorsed McCain.

    Maybe someone decided McCain had not been vetted enough. I for one am very tired of the tactic of throwing mud and seeing if something sticks. Our country is on a downward spiral and once again here we are in the preschool sand box. The media will dwell on this for days on end as they have on stealing words.

    Can we just all grow up? Innocent until proven guilty.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  36. MICHAEL BURNETT L.I.N.Y.

    'FIRST' if it is true, then all I can say is welcome to the white house PRESIDENT OBAMA!! As far as this mess with McCain all I can say is that we as a nation should not be so quick to Judge!! I am a Obama supporter and we do not want to win the white house like this! Let's just wait and see if the post can prove this or not. And if not then I feel that something needs to be done whereas this BS, does not happen again! The post is to me suonds alot like hillary, desperate!!! The question is why?

    February 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  37. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    This is Deja Vue all over again! So McCain was involved with a lobbyist 8 years ago. McCain was also heavily involved in the savings and loan scandal 20 years ago. This is old news! What I would like to know is who leaked the story to the New York Times? McCain's people are going to blame democrats,but I don't think they are behind it. The extreme right-wing nut republicans led by Limbaugh,Savage and Hannity hate McCain with a passion and will do anything to get rid of him. All anyone had to do was listen to Limbaugh on the radio this morning and hear the the pure scorn and hatred coming from this bozo calling McCain a liberal traitor and liberals as America's sworn enemies. I believe that the right conspiracy is behind this story so that they can insert their own chosen puppet again.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  38. Carly Grayson

    ...ad naseum...and we'll stilllll not know for sure!

    Monterey, TN

    February 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  39. Richard Texas

    If there had been any truth to those allegations it would have caused him an election. Instead, he got free front page coverage and constant attention from every Major News outlets in the country and abroad. Now McCain needs to sue the New York times for defamation of character and for slander.
    There is much more important news then idle gossip. The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade being set on fire for starters. If you will remember Bill Clinton is the one that got us into a civil war in Kosovo some years back which came complete with an embassy in Belgrade. It would be an excellent talking point for Obama at tonight's debate in Texas

    February 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  40. Cee

    It depends. Is there is any real "fire" not yet disclosed? Right now the Times alleges an 8 year old appearance of impropriety. That's hardly a spark.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  41. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    I think it's a non-issue Jack. Except for recent events in which John McCain's advisors have had him compromise his beleifs & values in order to woo the electorate, he has been the only honest and totally transparent Republican Senator for many years.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  42. Jed from Chico, CA

    At this point, little to none. It would be different if Mitt "if I don't drop out the terrorists win" Romney was still competetive in the GOP race - He'd take it at face value and run with it at every opportunity. It's too early to have any effect on the general election, not that Obama (or Clinton for that matter) would latch onto such an obviously shallow and baseless accusation from a handful of disgruntled former campaign workers.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  43. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    Not at all. The Republicans seem to have had this uncanny Teflon coating since Reagomics. They will simply Swift Boat their opponent to the exclusion of any merit on either side. And the sensation-seeking electorate, with its attention span of a flash bulb will suck it all in, refusing to use what few brains they might have.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  44. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    Of course it will have a big impact Jack. The sordid details of president Clintons Dalliances eventually overshadowed any and all genuine accomplishments by his administration. Personally I have to tip my hat to senator McCain. If somebody accused me of this kind of stuff when I'm as old as he is, Id just smile and say, yeah baby!!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  45. Terry North Carolina

    Jack
    This story came from the New York Times, they also endorsed John McCain, is this how its going to go till November ? I would be more concerned with McCains comments on spending the next 100 years in Iraq.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  46. Jim Galvin

    The affair, if it's true, doesn't matter at all.

    Influence peddling etc., that's another matter.

    If you have been reading your blog, Jack, you might notice that I have been predicting that Mr. McCain will be dropping out of the race before September citing "health" reasons.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  47. Karen, Texas

    I believe this may just be Mike Huckabee's MIRACLE!!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  48. Renewed Democrat

    Oops!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  49. Janel - Fredonia, NY

    I truly hope we are not heading for another "blue dress" demonstration of a candidate's personal life. I think it is time people in this country get over their Peeping Tom mentality about
    the personal lives of public officials and concern themselves with finding out about their views and solutions on issues such as the economy, the war in Iraq, the environment, the cost of gasoline, etc., etc.

    However, as this is an election year, let the games begin. Let's start a pool as to which of the candidates or their family members will be next week's gossip fodder (although I think Michele Obama should get a pass).

    February 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  50. bnthdntht

    This is like the thousand legger bug it just keeps growing. Straight talking express will have a few flats.

    L.M.,Arizona

    February 21, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  51. roberto

    The moral of the story is that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I think McCain's chances to be president are as good or bad as they ever were. He has been around so long that people know him for exactly who he is. Instead of the usual mudslinging and subservient posturing, McCain now he has a real issue to talk about. Politicians have been in bed, so to speak, with lobbyists for too long.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  52. Louis

    I agree that the New York Times would not have brought this story out if it wasnt on solid ground but I'm still waiting for identified sources or evidence. If in fact this is all true this story can paralyze McCain's chances of winning the Republican nomination and waiting in the wings will be the birth of Huckabee's miracle.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  53. Michael Roy

    I think it hurts McCain in two ways. It first makes you think of McCain as a person of low morals. He has been divorced and has had problems with extramarital affairs, whether he had an affair or not.
    I don’t think the sexual angle hurts him as much as the lobbying angle of the story. He will be in serious trouble when the yellow journalists discover what McCain did for that special attention.
    McCain tries to imply that he is a champion of deregulation. There is nothing further from the truth. The Mccain-Feingold mess did nothing to stop lobbying. This situation will only escalate when the truth comes out that McCain pulled strings for this individual lobbyist.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  54. Joe

    Michelle Obama made an innocent statement about America and John Mccain and his wife put a negative spin on that statement. It just proves what Justin Timberlake sings "what goes around comes back around".

    February 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  55. Ro

    It smells like a reheated, 8 year old rumor, stoked by innuendo, and evidenced only by possible opinion, absent foundational facts. That renders it moot.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  56. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, the old adage "where there is smoke there is fire" applies to John McCain. He just doesn't come across as genuine in his denial! He is a hero but heroes can have flaws also as we all do!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  57. Jennifer WA

    I don't think it will affect his chances. He will lose either way.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  58. Jayne

    It probably won't hurt him unless the other shoe drops. Remember the photo of Gary Hart and Donna Rice aboard the Monkey Business? That said, the rest of us have been severely damaged – I can't get an image of John McCain doing what W's offensive pachyderms did out of my head.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  59. Linda (Maryland)

    Jack, I think the only way it's going to hurt him is in the strategy... it's going to be a bit more difficult for him to attack Obama on issues of campaign finance, lobbyists, making deals, etc.. with this story out there. I agree.. it's a little thin, but the reporters do have a good reputation. The main line of the story seems to be more about his relationships with lobbyists and not paying attention to how it looks, rather than him actually doing something wrong. Certainly, this is an old story too. 10 years is quite a long time to have this come out now. This can hurt him if the American people aren't interested in a president who doesn't pay attention to his reputation and how things could look to us, to our allies, to the world. All in all, I think it'll blow over quickly. We're more interested in the substance of the message and a change in Washington politics than we are in innuendos. Of course, I'm voting for Obama ;)

    February 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  60. Ben from D.C.

    This was just the beginning of what has been a long day for McCain. The New York Times didn't need to prove that McCain did this, but put a seed of doubt in America's mind. As long as there is that doubt, McCain will be hurt.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  61. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain's ethics have just came back to haunt him after the S&L Keating 5 scandal. Keating and his son were imprisoned and John McCain walked away a free man and don't forget the Bush family was named as part of that scandal. McCain is deep and republicans shouldn't look the other way and ignore ethics. We all can respect him as a war hero, but integrity and truth goes along with that. We've had enough corruption in the White House.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  62. David

    The story here is not whether Mccain had an affair, but that his senior staff didn't trust him to be on his own around female lobbyists.

    If they can't trust him, why should we?

    David F
    Brooklyn

    February 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  63. Rob G.

    Allegations of a politician having an extra-marital affair? Say it ain't so Jack. Say it ain't so!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  64. Jerry Onofre from CA

    This is definitely going to haunt McCain for the rest of this campaign. What may or may not be true is certainly something interesting to see unfold. Either way, this is going to come back at him like Monica Lewinsky on Bill Clinton. Good luck cleaning that mess up McCain.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  65. Eileen S. from Portland

    If anything, this story should have brought out McCain's famous temper. He seemed a little too calm while denying this story. But I do have to say while I'm by no means a McCain supporter, I still hope this story hasn't been printed on false allegations. That shouldn't happen to anyone.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  66. Robyn

    The Right-Wing Pundits would like us to believe that this happened 8 years ago and that we should forget about it. Well, where there is smoke, there is usually fire. McCain, who claims to have been just friends with this gal (a lobbyist for the telecommunications) just voted for retro-immunity for the Ttelecommunication who broke the law in supplying information on their users . He has missed a lot of votes in the Senate while campaigning for president; yet, he made time for this vote. Sounds to me like the smoke is getting thicker....

    February 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  67. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    People are so tired of these dredged-up stories that it probably will help McCain,because we all know these stories are planted to help the other side.The New York Times could save themselves a lot of money by not using ink in its production.People will still only use it to line the bottoms of birdcages and dog-houses.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  68. Sky - Idaho Falls, ID

    Jack,

    I knew a lot of members of Congress were bedfellows with lobbyist – I just didn't know that it was so literal.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  69. Joe from Virginia

    It won't hurt him a bit Jack. Like I said on Monday, a year from now he'll be doing commercials for the Clapper. After this story, someone will give him a guitar and he will be singing the Viva-Viagra commercials as well.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  70. Byron, Lake Worth, Fl

    When Mitt Romney "Suspended" his campaign for President it seemed odd about his wording. Now with all this accusation against McCain it makes me wonder if this is not an inside Republican strategy by the right wingers to oust McCain and allow Romney to ride in on his white horse to save the party and at the same time blame it all on the "liberals". Makes a lot more sense than Rush Limbaugh.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  71. mit mar

    Jack ,

    We live in a cruel world , this story about Mccain
    is proof, your political life is fair game. He will
    survive this. Their will be a question marks
    during his campaign.

    mit mar

    February 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  72. Robin , Henderson, NV

    Hi Jack,

    All I got to say is do not throw stones at glass houses John– You were involved in a loan scandal 20 years ago and got rescued by Regan, well buddy where there is smoke there is fire. History have a weird way of repeating itself.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  73. Miranda

    I am an Obama supporter, however the allegations of McCain's relationship with a female lobbyist is sure to have some effect on his campagin. People today are looking for change and intergrity;. this country has faced this kind of story before, remember these words " I never had relations with that woman". It's time we get "true" leaders in the White House and not men or woman with other agendas.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  74. collins

    Depends only sllightly....if the Dems give the nod to Obama, it won't matter. The Republicans are in the doghouse for a couple of election cycles after the current retard leaves office. However if Clinton gets the nod, then the only chance for McCain has to win might be jeopardized, and the same wing nuts that are galvanized by Clinton opposition might reject McCain. However it goes, all this proves Lyndon Johnson's point... it doesn't matter if an allegation is true...it's just interesting to watch the accused try to deny it. Bottom line is that McCain stands very little chance of ever being President.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  75. Bob from Rome NY

    It will tend to drive the conservatives to his corner. It is on the order of I can fight with my syblings but you better lay off or else. This should help John McCain unless of course the story is true, however, I don't believe on word of it. Go John!!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  76. Joe

    The truth hardly matters it seems. Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams attacked each other's character all throughout their campaigns – Jackson's allegations were untrue, Adams' was factual. Guess who won?

    Joe
    New York

    February 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  77. Phil

    Republicans=Hypocrites=Pharisees=McCain, tell others how much they believe in church and morals, persecute others while secretly doing the same and more. Its a big story too because he gave favors to this woman. Using government access for own personal benefits. He was just pointing the finger at Obama, and look how fast it has come full circle.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  78. Barbara Eickhoff

    Jack,

    What American has not been waiting for this type of smear on any of the canidates, unfortunately there's more to come. It seems this kind of so called journalism is what some editors live for. We expect it, but
    it will not define the canidate or play a part in our voting decision.

    Barbara
    St. Louis

    February 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  79. Ronald Holst

    I am no expert But to me It depends on how long it is in the news and if there are any suprizes revalations .

    February 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  80. LC MN

    Looks like the RNC Swift Boat Express swamped the Mac boat. Yes..they would eat there own...........

    February 21, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  81. Richard in Denver

    HOPEFULLY IT WILL AFFECT HIS CHANCES. A romantic interlude probably wouldn`t do too much damage, but the fact that the suspected lady is a lobbyist representing a client before his committee definitely raised a bit of odor. At the very least, it shows he used very poor judgement. That doesn`t give one much confidence in the decisions he would make as president. We have had too much poor judgement for the last seven years, we don`t need more of the same.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  82. Roger

    Jack, I don't know whether McCain had an affair with Ms. Izeman but he did lie about never taking money from lobbyists. He has taken 1.2 million from the telephone utilities and telecom service, more than any other Senator. McCain also received 85,000 from Paxson communications which is the company Vicki Izeman represents. Of course that did not have any affect on a vote he cast that favored Paxson Communications. Does that sound like straight-talk? Roger

    February 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  83. Tom S.

    NY Times!!! Lets see the PROOF or shut up! You have the freedom of the press to be able to say anything. You cite "unnamed sources" and degrade a political candidates reputation, but that alone certainly does not make it true. People in the United States are certainly not as stupid as you think we are. Show me actual people that are willing to stand up and swear under oath that what they are saying is true, that McCain did what you are saying he did, then we will talk. Until then, shut the hell up NY Times, and all the others like you. This type of gutter reporting is what is wrong with the media in the United States today. By the way, I am NOT a McCain supporter, but unfair is unfair.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  84. Larry from MO.

    Jack," ITS GETTING UGLY".
    My friends, I think John McCain cannot afford the Branson Daily News to bring up scandels about him much less the New York Times, the father of newspapers. People realize that the New York Times would not touch this if there wasn't some truth to it. One has to wonder if John McCain outraged the New York TImes enough to attack him in this manner, how many more people will be outraged by his tactics if he wins the election.

    Larry

    February 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  85. Michael M Phx AZ

    Just one more politician doing what he is NOT supposed to be doing. Maybe the NY Times should bring out that BOTH McCain and Kerry "covered up" the facts about more MIAs in Viet Nam and Laos when they ran one of Senate committees working to find the MIAs. If that coverup is true, then that is much much worse than this "thing" with a lobbyist. For a "war hero" as the media paints him, he STINKS!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  86. Bruce St Paul MN

    This could get very complicated. First, Mr. Straighttalk has to provide answers that add up. Otherwise this story will linger like the U.S. Attorney firings story. (Still no answers on that one). The troublesome aspect is the conflict of interest, or preferential treatment given. That goes to his credibility. If he loses that, he is left with only his stay-the-course refrain. Not much of a platform to run on. Those Times reporters better beware, though. Look what happened to Dan Rather. Evidence disappeared, witnesses were discredited, and he was hung out to dry. If any of this sticks to him, voters will wonder what else he might be hiding. The Keating Five will almost certainly be revisited. The best hope for him is to put this to bed (pun intended) quickly.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  87. DAK

    Jack
    The strong conservatives will support John McCain against the liberal NYT, but I'm not sure Independents will. I can't believe that there is not some truth in the story. What concerns me far more, is WHY it didn't break sooner before the rest of the Republican field retreated? Mr. McCain may have not been the presumed nominee!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  88. Heidi from Iona, ID

    Come on, Jack. You are giving the NY Times more credit than they deserve. If you think reporters are not likely to go to their editors and say, “Look what we’ve got,” if they didn’t have it, then you need to go reread some of Judith Miller's or Jayson Blair's pieces.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  89. Paul

    McCain has always seemed like an honest guy who has fessed up to mistakes in the past. Given that four – count 'em four – ace newshounds from the Times could come up with little more than the skinniest of stories, supported by paper thin sourcing – perhaps we should, for now, give the Senator the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there's more to this yarn, and if there is, it'll certainly come out. But for now, how about sticking to the real campaign issues? And to be fair, I'm also sick of all the BS about Obama smoking pot in school – who cares?

    February 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  90. Gary H.

    The main story in last weeks Newsweek magazine was about how the far right hates John McCain. "There will be Blood" was the title on the cover. The article was full of hatefull negatives about McCain comming from Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and others from that ilk. So is this just another right wing double standard for these ultra conservitive freaks to debase Mr. McCain, (a conservative)? But if the New York Times brings an issue about McCain into question, then "its just another attack from a liberal newspaper". Funny why Huckabee is still hanging in this rase

    February 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  91. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    A romantic relationship with a woman might make him seem more youthful and virile, but the fact that she was a lobbyist is what bothers me. Alot of the voting public are fairly naive about the goings on in Washington until it gets splashed in the headlines. I wonder how the republicans will retaliate. At least the alleged hanky panky was with one of the opposite sex.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  92. Carol Quinley

    I have taken the bait ,but I haven't swallowed yet, need to hear the rest of the story, which I'm sure will be forthcoming. If he lied, its all over for him.
    Carol Q
    ann arbor Michigan

    February 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  93. Amber

    Mess for Mc Cain....
    More like its a Miracle for huckabee......
    maybe Miracles do happen ??
    The M factor
    Mess McCain Miracle Mike

    February 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  94. bukky

    This part is the problem ...

    "All happening while he was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and she was representing clients who had business before McCain's committee. The two of them together at fundraisers, in his office, aboard private corporate jets."

    I dont care if he slept with the woman (im not his wife) I do care if she got special treatment. and it sure looks like she did.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  95. James ( independent )

    He is done before he gets started. The people are sick of this sort of thing , thats why Clinton is not gaining traction.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  96. jimmy

    The New York Times Story on John McCain would not have been published unless they have all the facts on the veracity of the story.
    their investigative reporters , their Editor would not risk their JOBS and
    The New York Times reputation. I believe the NEW York Times story
    and it stands out and SPEAKS for itself.

    The Firm's Lobbyist is indeed a professional......

    February 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  97. Anthony Galveston Texas

    Forget that, John McCain, who coined the phrase: I must have had a momentary lapse in judgment has done it again. Remember Lincoln Savings and Loan and the Keating Five, the Missing Service Personnel Act where he acted like a dentist and removed its teeth. Now, more money, more lobyists and more Republican shenanigans with Ms Iseman. Also, some little reporting has been done on a letter to Sen. McCain, from Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason. Mason told McCain that he can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kick-start his once faltering presidential campaign. During his campaign for presidency, George W. Bush mentioned his rival, McCain's role in the Keating Five scandal in South Carolina. McCain commented that his involvement in the scandal "will probably be on my tombstone."

    February 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  98. Sharon

    This story will help John McCain. The right wing nuts are already rallying to his side.

    I believe the story won't have legs, but it does open the door on the events from the Keating 5, which can really, really, hurt him.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  99. Tom Davis

    It's going to have a huge effect on McCain's campaign, which is why the NYT needs to prove it's accusations are credible. They need to back up their allegations with some hard evidence or apologize for sloppy reporting. It's not fair to McCain or any other candidate to leave it hanging out there as unsubstantiated.

    Tom Davis
    Mojave, CA

    February 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  100. Jerry

    Jack
    This gossip will probably pass over in a day or so.
    But Mr. Clean has his chances hurt more by:
    Supporting Bush in Iraq
    Have Lieberman supporting him
    A National debt over a Trillion Dollars
    His famous "Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran".

    Great time to be a Republican.

    Jerry
    roselle, Illinois

    February 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  101. Mark

    After the Keating Five scandal, McCain knew better, especially after he was censured by the Senate. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool the American voters: shame on all of us!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  102. Mat (Cleveland, OH)

    Considering McCain has little shot of carrying the Electoral College against Hilary, let along Barack, I'd say his chances are twice as good now. Zero times two is still zero.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  103. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    This will HELP him because not only does he get to berate the NY Times, but the RW radio hosts are rallying around him.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  104. Karl in CA

    Perhaps we should have Ken Starr look into this.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  105. Carol

    Jack,

    Well, it was bound to happen one way or another – McCain's demise. The only one who will get my vote this November will be Huckabee. He's the only one whose views conform the most with my views.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  106. Jones

    Business as usual in Washington, the colors of JOHN CANNOT WIN...

    February 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  107. paul W.Dc

    Jack,

    Unfortunately it will affect him negatively in a big way.

    The power of the press in these kind of circumstances will be to bring him down. The real character of John McCain will be lost in the hubbub and the satisfaction that a lot of people have in seeing someone exposed. The facts dont even have to be true, the power of suggestion is enough.

    That part of the Republican Party that rips people apart when they dont agree with them will out in force. John McCain can expect to be "Swift Boated" by that crowd, because they only respect service and sacrifice for country if you agree with their conservative values.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  108. Patricia

    I think we need to focus on the real issues facing our country. We have our young men and women dying in Iraq, our economy is down the tubes, drug problems, violence in our cities and towns. Let's focus on the issues and forget all this nonsence.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  109. Steve

    I think McCain is many things....but down right stupid? where is the smoking gun? Why would a then 60 something partially crippled Senetor with visions of capturing the White House throw his mojo off the back porch? He ain't no Gary Hart.

    I smell a far right wing conspiracy...where is Karl Rove anyway?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  110. Paul in CA

    Jack: Neither the Washington Post or the Times would run a story if there wasn't a shred of truth in it. I am sure he did not have an "improper relationship" with the lady (& if he did that is something for Ms McCain to fix!) but it does cast a big question about his honesty when dealing with lobbyists. This is much more serious than anything the Republicans pulled on Pres Clinton or would attempt should either Hillary or Barack be the Democratic nominee. And I have serious reservations regarding Sen McClain's statement. My Dad alwasy said that if a person protested very loudly he (or she) must be guilty. Don't know if that is true ornot in this case but it does make any creditable educated & responsible voter wonder.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  111. Jamie Paducah, KY

    I agree with those who say that Republicans will rally behind McCain now. The easiest way to unify a group of people is to find a common enemy. Republicans hate the New York Times.
    Plus McCain has already done damage control by going to the press to deny the charges. Huckabee hasn't used this against McCain.
    This will blow over in a few cycles.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  112. Ali Bie

    It will have absolutely no effect. Why? Because the Republican controled media (80%) will deter any ill effect. Just like the Hillary/Obama story. I've come to the conclusion, the whole political stage is rigged by, not what you know, but how can the candidates be munipulated to a Republican win.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  113. George, Pottsville, Pa.

    Just another attempt by the left to smear a member of the GOP. Remember W's DUI report, W's AWOL report, what did it get them? Lip, nada, nothing another victory for the GOP.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  114. Grace

    Jack, am I the only one who thinks this is a ruse? Sen McCain, well, he just not that good-looking to warrant an affair (at least not as good looking as Prez Clinton) – and was his clout worth the trouble – I am sure a well verse strategist could have bucked up to a more attractive senator on the commerce committee -well maybe....

    "Frankly, my dear (NYTimes)...I don't give a damn." Unless you can show me how this affair impacts my current wallet crunch and ability to buy gas and bread -this article is not worth the paper on which it was printed.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  115. meadowlands

    Seems to me that if this story were true it would have come to light a long time ago. With Kerry there were witnesses to Swiftboat. This seems to be based on a few dems trying to derail McCain's success or a fellow republican trying for the nomination

    February 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  116. Tony -Oshkosh

    I'm more concerned with Mccain doing favors for the Paxson telecomunications company and flying around in thier corporate jet.

    Also Mccain's former aide John Weaver told Vicki Iseman to "steer clear" of Mccain . Let's get to the truth of this. Remember 10 years ago. Republicans were damn eager to find out about Monica Lewinski.....

    February 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  117. julie in MN

    Lets see, I believe Mr. Obama won the Illinois senate seat,when his opponent had to drop out ,due to oh yes! a smear campaign about his sexual behavior.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  118. char

    Jack:

    John McCain stating today that he has never done anything unethical is an out right lie and not one reporter dared to question him on the Keating Five scandal. I know McCain isn't the great guy that everyone seems to portray. He and DeConcinni were my senators during this period of the KF and I actually had a confrontation with him about the Pope Scope being built on top of a mountain outside of Tucson. It was called the Pope Scope because the Vatican had poured a lot of money to help build it. We were trying to protect an endangered squirrel but was informed by McCain that I obviously was not his constituent. But I was and received a letter apologizing for his statement. The real question is why lobbyist should have exclusive access to politicians in contrast to the general public? And how often has this happened with McCain and others? Why should lobbyist and corporation control this country. Whatever happened to "we the people?"

    Char
    Montara, CA

    February 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  119. david

    Why would the New York Times risk loosing their creditability?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  120. Kevin

    I'm amused at the logic that goes like this:

    "It's a non-issue, it happened so long ago, let's focus on today."

    At the same time, the reverse logic is applied to an opponent:

    "What has he done in the last decade? Nothing! "
    "She failed at healthcare reform in 1993, don't vote for her!"

    This will be over in two days, unless there really is something there and it starts to come out. We all thought the NFL spygate was over after the curt couch said sorry and let's move on. It's still on the radar, most likely because there's more to the story.

    We'll see. Though this story seems awfully thin, I agree with you Jack and I'd be surprised if the NYTimes goofed so badly as to run something without more teeth (to come out later?)

    February 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  121. Chuck

    We now know why Huckabee is sticking around.

    Chuck
    White Bear Lake MN

    February 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  122. Woodgate

    Jack,
    It won't matter at all... he wasn't going to win anyway.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  123. chantal, canada

    All I gotta say is read about the Keating 5. Who's so pure, and full of integrity now!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  124. keshia

    It won't hurt him at all even though i don't like him but if his wife stand's by his side it says a whole lot what people say don't matter she trust her man and she will always stick by him

    edmonton. canada

    February 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  125. Nirali

    I don't think this will affect McCain at all. After all, Bill Clinton was a great leader and he had multiple indiscretions.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  126. FH in SC

    McCain's actions definitely cast DOUBT – and that's the poison.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  127. Mike Sloan

    If John McCain had an affair with a woman is not the business of anyone. This merely distracts from the real issues.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  128. Joel CT

    It is a shame that most of the aftermath to the story has focused on the supposed extramarital affair. The real focus should be on conflict of interest and influence peddling. There was far more to the story than a sex scandal. It should not be portrayed or perceived that way. McCain, with the aid of a lot of the media, are trying to deflect attention from the real issues uncovered in the article.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  129. Jazz

    WOW!!!! Mugging the old man before the start of the race. Somebody reaaaaally wants the young guy to win. There will be payback and we know it. Hold on to your hats folk, it's going to be a rough ride!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  130. Terry W. Brookman

    There is no fool like a old fool. Mc Cain should know this!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  131. Trevor from Stamford, CT

    McCain, in my opinion, shouldn't lose sleep over this one. Scandals, unfortunately, seem to be standard practice in Washington.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  132. Steve Fort Worth

    I'm sorry but I don't belive the New York Times has any balance in their credibility account. These reporters may be thought of as fair – within the NYTimes but "a story of this magnitude" deserves at least one source that can be named.

    I DON"T BY IT

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  133. Herb

    Jack, I don't think this will hurt McCain too much. After all, there wasn't a cigar involved was there?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  134. McKenzie

    This will not affect McCain's run for the White House. The public is not responsive to smeary journalism, even if it appears to have valid sources. This is a messy issue at least eight years old, and ultimately will only backfire at the New York Times.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  135. Tom-Indiana

    Jack.
    Being a republican myself I don't think that any newspaper article will hurt McCain, heck i was already going to vote for Obama.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  136. Stephen R.

    This will not hurt McCain one bit. In fact, the Republicans are already rallying around McCain MORE– since this story broke out. Thanks New York Times for finally uniting the Republican party!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  137. Kris Aaron

    Unless ladylove lobbyist comes up with a blue dress, I don't think this is going to be the downfall for McCain that people are speculating it might be.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  138. Kyle T., Storrs, CT

    If by "hurt his presidential chances" you mean "fire up the Republican party rank-and-file to donate millions to take down the liberal propaganda machine that is the Democrats and the Times," then this story hurts so good.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  139. Josh - Old Town

    If these allegations in the New York Times are even remotely true, McCain won't even get the nomination and the Republicans will be left scrambling to find another candidate they won't like.
    Then again, if the Times screwed up somehow, McCain finally found a way to get the conservative base to support him.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  140. Harrison

    Obviously it will hurt his chances. History teaches us that public accusations are the equivalent of a conviction of guilt when it comes to public opinion. If you need examples, just look at how John Kerry's credibility was degraded by the "Swift Boat Veterans," or how many people still believe that those Duke Lacrosse players assaulted that dancer.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  141. Paul

    (sorry - Washington, DC)

    McCain has always seemed like an honest guy who has fessed up to mistakes in the past. Given that four – count ‘em four – ace newshounds from the Times could come up with little more than the skinniest of stories, supported by paper thin sourcing – perhaps we should, for now, give the Senator the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there’s more to this yarn, and if there is, it’ll certainly come out. But for now, how about sticking to the real campaign issues? And to be fair, I’m also sick of all the BS about Obama smoking pot in school – who cares?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  142. Bernadette/Florida

    McCain will prevail. The media should try and find something on Obama. It is a shame that people are voting for someone they do not know about. The media is responsible.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  143. Anita

    I don't think this will effect his campaign at all. The Republicans are so desparate for a candidate who they believe can beat Obama in the general election, they would run a puppet if they thought could get away with it.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  144. Justin

    This is similar to Bonds and Clemens lying before congress. Mccain seemed a bit subdued and un-stressed while simply saying "it's untrue." Tht is a politician who is used to lying to people's faces easily dismissing claims by not clarifying exactly whats not true. Why couldn't he say "I have never had relations with that woman!" Oh wait one of our former presidents did that and we see how that turned out. I think this story has some relevance and I look forward to a follow-up and not a cover up for the sake of fairness in this Country changing election.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  145. Matt

    Do you think it's possible that because of the division in the republican party right now, McCain released this story himself, to unite them against a common enemy? (i.e. – The NYT)

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  146. Mark Robertson-Baker

    I don't think it'll hurt much if this is all there is. Hell, it might actually help get him elected. I seem to remember another Clinton running for the Presidency who was linked to an affair and got elected.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  147. Tony in Daegu, S. Korea

    Hurt? With this guy's moral superiority persona turning off so many liberals, this could be just what he needs to turn some heads. In his direction.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  148. James Arthur Strohm

    I hope that the unsubstantiated evidence of McCain's alleged embroglio with Vicki Iseman torpedoes his chances for the Presidency as thoroughly as Clinton's impeachment over his affair with Monica Lewinsky sank the Clinton Presidency.

    In other words, straight to the bottom of the ocean.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  149. Michael in Savannah,Ga.

    While it may put him on the ropes for day, McCain is a survivor of alot worse than the battle of words. He should come out of this with deeper pockets and re-affirmation of his strong character. It will ultimately help him.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  150. Robert Scofield Columbus, Ohio

    Hurt is campaign Jack? As if he ever really had a chance to win in November in the first place. Have you seen the fire behind the dems this primary season? John, Mike, Ron, or any of the rest of the GOP would need a "miracle"

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  151. Jackie

    For those Republicans that were already holding their nose but voting for him anyway, I think this will pretty much make them stay at home and say, "fuggitaboutit." After all the hoopla with Bill Clinton, I would say the Republicans better lay low in their glass houses. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  152. Michelle in Indiana

    I think this is just the mess Huckabee was waiting for. It was only a matter of time until McCain's true colors came through.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  153. Jon Gill

    By the time the right wing nuts get done with this, it will look like another vast left wing, liberal conspiracy. Why is it, when a republican gets caught its the left's fault, but when a democrat is even accused wrongly or not, it is taken as Gospel. I need go no further than the lies from the swift-boaters in 2004.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  154. W. Parker

    The responses I heard this morning on CSPAN tell me that he's in BIG trouble!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  155. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    I don't care much for McCain but I would like to see all of the information before making a judgment. It is just not a good idea to leap to conclusions...ever!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  156. Adama, Leesburg, VA

    Everytime a story like this comes out, I am reminded about the hypocrisy of the Republicans – Newt, Dennis, Larry, and John. Always calling others necks to mask their own skeletons. Why McCain's former campaign chief, who admitted to meeting with Miss Iseman this morning, lied? Electing another Republican will coverup all those lies told since 9/11. Go Obama!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  157. David Holman

    Well! This supposedly happened so many years ago why didn't the times come out sooner, it would have been a great headline as a senate scandal during his reelection.
    Some thing fishy about that whole story, it took to long to tell. talk about saving for a rainy day or election day. I am an undicided independat but I will not use this story as a decision maker.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  158. abroo,MO

    I guess it will at least help the undecided and faltering republicans make up their minds.Noone wants another Bush or Bill Clinton in the White House.What else do you have hiding up your sleeve Mr Righteous!!!!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  159. NelsonR truckee

    His personal life means little compared with his association with lobbyist that include free air fair and other perks. The question is, did he assist this lobbyist for personal gain and the answer from his past record, as in the Keating five, YES. The man is a long time old crony of D.C. with hypocrisy a personal trait.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  160. Meg

    If he was a democratic candidate, the issue may not have been so huge other than to republicans he was trying to sway. As a republican candidate, however, this is MASSIVE. With all the values and such the republican party "represents", it seems his base will react in a very negative way. Then again, at this point, what choice do they really have. They're pretty much stuck with him as their candidate.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  161. Dave Arnholt

    Considering the past corruption of the Republican Party under Geo Bush many people are going to consider the rumor de ja vu all over again. It won't help.
    Moorhead, MN

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  162. J.LOPEZ

    This report will Not hurt Sen John McCain. America wants and is ready for a Democrat in the White House regardless of this story. This just proves that nobody is perfect including a fello "Reaganite"

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  163. Kawinthi F

    Well, I'm only 16 and I vividly remember how the Clinton scandal played out. I think media affects our country and the perspective of the American people greatly in today's age. Our country's political spectrum is full of people who commit scandals... Clinton, Foley, and so many others. Why can't politicians veer away from scandals?....everyday people do it all the time. As far as voters go, I sure dont trust a man who isn't loyal and honest to his own wife.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  164. Jared

    I think it's more important to consider it in comparison to Barack Obama (the presumptive Democratic nominee). The fact is, Obama may decline public financing, recently used parts of Governor Deval's speech without citing, and recently a surrogate could not claim any significant legislation from the Illinois senator. This is just the beginning of Obama's potential presidential campaign. Once he's more scrutinized, I think this mishap for McCain will look silly. He won't be hurt. He will hurt Obama's campaign though, be sure of it.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  165. Dan Hennigan

    This will not affect McCains chances at all. He is already doomed in a landslide. He doesn't have many votes to lose as a result of this story.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  166. Dan from Cincinnati

    It won't hurt him at all. It's February, and by November, Obama will have given hundreds of overf the top speeches, Lindsay will have gone in and out of rehab dozens of times, and Paris and Brittney will have done heaps of who knwos what. People will have forgotten that this even happened.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  167. Travis P.

    Its a good thing McCain has daddy Bush on his side. If he can help his son win an election in Floriday, I'm pretty sure that he can help his republican buddy out of these shenanigans.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  168. LeLe, los angeles

    Hi Jack,

    I have actually read the article in its entirety. Once you get to page 4 you can see that it is more truthful than most think.

    He has a history of this behavior and I do not think it can hurt him. Americans are too dependant on TV to get facts for themselves.

    As long as people keep coming out in his defense this is gonna
    DISAPPEAR!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  169. D. Williams

    It will hurt him and it should. Frankly, I could care less if he had an affair. That's between him and his wife. However, it flies in the face of those social conservative values he so devoutly espouses. His denigration of those principles speaks to his integrity and his character.

    Which brings me to what I think are the two most important facts about this scandal: 1) Why is Mr. McCain-Feingold flying around with a lobbyist in her client's corporate jet and 2) How the hell did I foget about the Keating 5?

    McCain says he has never "done anything that would betray the public trust." Oh really?

    Miami

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  170. Jerry

    Anyone could tell by looking at his face and his expressions that he was telling a big fat lie this morning, he is guilty as the day is long. Why it it that everytime one of these jerks get caught with their hand in the cookie jar they either ask the chruch to forgive them or they check into a rehab center. McCain could only say that he has served his country for twenty four years, big deal you would think he is the only person to have served in the military. His time in the congress has been like living on government sponsored walfare as is the rest of the members of congress

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  171. anita, Dallas TX

    "I never had sexual relations"!!!! haven't we all heard this one before? That's what they all say.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  172. Travis

    Seeing as the NYT is trying to smear McCain and has no clear evidence to support it I can only see this helping McCain as many people will rally behind him. It is no secret that the NYT is a liberal paper but this is unacceptable, how could their editors allow this story to run without substantial evidence?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  173. Eric of Bancroft, IA

    Right now all this story is "They said-he said." There needs to be more concrete facts given from the Times. Advisers for McCain supporting the accusations would back the Times even more. Right now, "It's not true." isn't cutting it at all. This could be another Clinton-like scandal with Monica Lewinski. If more evidence supporting this accusation is revealed, it could be devastating for McCain come the General Election. But, again, for now, all it is is "They said-he said"

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  174. LL Barra

    IMO it will have a large impact until it is either refuted by the Times...or Mac bows out of the race.
    We still don't know the whole story. Mitt Romney, I would bet, is getting ready to un- suspend his campaign.

    Anyone get the feeling this is just the beginning...can you say Obama.....Dramah.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  175. Michael Curtis

    Jack, how's this for ethics? Bob Bennett was the committee Special Counsel investigating the Keating Five and recommended McCain be dropped from the investigation. No doubt he'll be giving Wolf an accurate account of McCain's ethical situation. What's that on my shoes?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  176. eve

    I think this is a true testament to how intelligent people are. Are they gonna believe a strongly liberal newspaper releasing an article attacking a republican presidential candidate with absolutely no proof, no pictures, no emails, letters, nothing but pure gossip. hmmmmm. hopefully, it will help him by angering republicans.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  177. Nereen

    Mr. Cafferty,
    The affair is his personal business, but the lobbyist favor is what the American people should be concerned with. This is why there is such a big gap between the rich and the poor in America. He certainly should give a more deeper response.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  178. Linda

    This will definately hurt his campaign and hurt any chance for a Republican President. Once this seed is planted in the minds of Americans, it will not go away. Reminds me of the Clinton years in the White House. McCain should step down now and allow Huckabee to lead the Republicans before all hope is lost for Republicans.
    Linda
    St.Augustine, Florida

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  179. Elinor

    When the nation's paper, the Wahington Post, follows up with corroborating detail, I am beginning to be convinced. Both both emphasize: they were concerned with the appearance of impropriety and wanted McCain to get this woman as far away as possible in order to keep his presidential hopes open. She was talking about her closeness to McCain, not the other way around.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  180. Rich M

    It will greatly affect his campaign if reporters ask the right questions.
    when you're trying to investigate a relationship you need to have physical contact. Ask him, "Did he ever kiss or hug Iseman whether out of kindness, happiness or sadness? Did he ever mention Iseman or did his wife ever meet Iseman prior to the inquiries? Has McCain ever had contact with Iseman outside of a work related setting? Has McCain ever been alone (without aids or staff) with Iseman? You get the answers to these questions and it will clear everything up.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  181. Haydn Hughes

    McCain and the conservatives are hypocritical because he is on the straight talk express yet, he wobbles on the tracks. This should call into question his ethics and noone is totally holy but he campaigns on his honesty and holiness. Candidates should be made to do a polygraph test and McCain should be made to testify under oath about his ties with lobbyist and all made public.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  182. Gary

    Considering Sen. McCain is running under his conservative views this may very well put the nail in the coffin. Conservative Voters and speculation of infedelity or misconduct with a thirid party go together like oil and water. The fact he has only said "It's not true" and he has promoted his conservative record and values will only make this a far bigger issue than we have seen to this point.

    Gary W

    Wheeling, il

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  183. Erik from Arizona

    It won't hurt his chances one bit.

    He doesn't have any.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  184. jim johnson

    This will not hurt Sen. Mccain at all wether it is true or false because the alternative candidates on the Democrat side are so unqualified, just about anyone running against them who knows a thimble full about economics and free markets will win. This country was built upon a meritocracy. Take that away and we are doomed like the USSR.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  185. John - Spokane, WA

    Of course this hurts him, and if it proves to be true the Republicans will have a HUGE mess on their hands. Now, How smart is Mike Huckabee for sticking it out – Dont know but it will be interesting to watch. Bottom line here, The Republicans cannot try to brush this off like no big deal, Not after going after President Clinton like they did for the Monica Lewinski scandall. I admit more evidence must be provided but it should definetly be investigated. Personally, I think peoples private life issues has no place in Government but guess what Republicans, What comes around goes around, stand up and take your medicine – For McCain's Family, I hope its all false.

    John

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  186. Mike McC.

    His poker face reads, "I'm bluffing." He's done for.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  187. Mike Vice

    How much will this hurt McCain's chances? Not at all, unless the Times can produce some kind of smoking gun. Even to this Democrat, the Times seems to have turned more partisan in recent years. Whatever happened to their famous masthead slogan, "All the news that's fit to print." Lately, it seems to have morphed into "All the 'news' that fits, we print."

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  188. Sandra - Illinois

    Jack, a lot of times I tend to agree with you, but you sound like you have already tried and convicted John McCain. This newspaper has shown in the past that they do not always stick with the facts. Then, they say, Oh sorry, just a mistake." I don't see any facts in this story and much "alleged" and many "no name" sources. Don't add to the smear campaign.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  189. Michael Lambright

    Jack,
    I doubt an NY Times article will significantly injure his candidacy, and let's not forget Rather and Memogate when we give overzealous journalists the benefit of the doubt. Few are as zealous as those that work for the times.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  190. Belinda California

    I really don't think this will have any negative affect on his chances to win the nomination at all. Al ready the conservatives are all line up like guard dogs to defend him; "talk about flip-flopping! Let it have been Obama, and he probably would be in jail by now.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  191. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    The can has now been opened. I am sure there will be more stories yet to come. Bill and Hillary all over again, with his wife coming to his defense. I am more concerned about the lobbyists she was representing and if he had his hand in granting whatever they want. That puts a big blemish on his character.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  192. Terry Fayetteville NC

    The NYT story is probably true, but it won't stop me from voting for McCain in November if the Democratic Superdelegates reverses the vote of the people.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  193. emcmullen007

    Let me say, I am anything but republican. However, it shouldn't matter what is going wrong or is not going wrong in McCain's personal life. Hey Jack, if Wolf hooked up with someone outside of the newsroom would you want him fired? No, you wouldn't. A President is just as much of a job as any. We should keep it that way. I only want to know about John McCain's policies, and hope for this country.

    -Eden
    Neenah, WI

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  194. Taylor Newbold

    Unless the article's authors want to be on the receiving end of a damaging libel suit, I sincerely doubt there is any "liberal" malfeasance here; however, the article doesn't directly state McCain had an inappropriate relationship leading to unethical conduct but rather the risk was there and advisors intervened.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  195. William Riley

    The NY Times has had to terminate reporters for fabricating articles.I now understand why. A decade later,they are muckraking old unproven accusations about a McCain tryst, with a female lobbyist, without any proof. During these same events in the Clinton Administration, Democrat Party members stood up and claimed"These are personal matters between consenting adults".
    Where are these defenders now and what has changed?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  196. Steve In Virginia

    Of course it will affect his campaign. He portrays himself as "Mr Clean" and a major newspaper with 4 reporters names listed prints this story and it is covered buy the entire media world. Then all he has to say is Not True. I'd like to believe him, but...

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  197. Ron

    I don;t what is going to develope from the newspaper ,but I smell a rat.I think Huckabee may have been privy to this info, why else would he stay in a race has no chance to win.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  198. Joe M

    Jack, I think it will hurt McCain down the road. As slick as those Republicans are, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if McCain's camp didn't plant that info with the NYT just to solidify his base. After all, it seems to be working..don't you think?

    Joe, Ky

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  199. Deb McMahon

    John McCain has denied all wrongdoing and hopes the story will go away. Not so fast! We remember all too well the right wing radio maniacs going after Bill Clinton unmercifully day after day. Turn about is fair play,

    John McCain will be dogged about this until the next big crisis. I do not believe it is a smear but a question about the ethics used by this man who would like to be our president. It must just make the candidates who dropped out a bit sick.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  200. Simone

    I think it was definitely hurt his chances of being the next president. People always say they hate when politicals gets ugly and rumors start milling but ironically these types of stories, especially ones dealing with infidelity stay afloat. Also, I think the democratic candidates, especially Clinton, will definitely try to use this to further discredit McCain. Although i dont know why, seeing as how she s hanging on by a thread herself!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |