Will the Coverup Catch McCain?
by Jonathan Singer, Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:20:53 AM EST
Michael Isikoff is on the case, catching John McCain in an apparent lie.
A sworn deposition that Sen. John McCain gave in a lawsuit more than five years ago appears to contradict one part of a sweeping denial that his campaign issued this week to rebut a New York Times story about his ties to a Washington lobbyist.
McCain can't help but keep digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole, now admitting that his campaign is teeming with lobbyists.
Sen. John McCain said Friday that while lobbyists serve as close advisers to his presidential campaign, they are honorable and he is not influenced by corruption in the system.
Chris Cillizza, writing about McCain's press conference yesterday, hits the nail on the head in taking down McCain's defense that his actions were okay because he's always around lobbyists.
While that argument may be technically correct, it's a political loser -- especially in a change-oriented election like this one. Obama's political rise has been fueled, at least in part, by his denunciation of the pay-to-play culture in Washington and his promise to clean up Washington if elected president.
McCain, too, has railed against special interests throughout his political life. But, by trying to defuse the Iseman questions, the Arizona senator may well have created a long-term problem for himself.
McCain is stuck in an awfully difficult position. In his mind and in the minds of his campaign staff, the best way to cool off the media from the Vicki Iseman story was to play it off like as just one of the many, many, many, many interactions McCain has with lobbyists -- including those who run his campaign. Obviously, though, this is not a political winner. Little surprise, then, that McCain started lying to the press in order to forward his cover up. Tough times for team McCain.
Update [2008-2-22 13:48:19 by Jonathan Singer]: You want the depositions? You got 'em!