[Patrick Appel]

The much anticipated story on McCain and Lobbyist Vicki Iseman finally broke yesterday. Marc outlines McCain's response strategy and here is video of McCain's press conference this morning. Yglesias' take:

Basically, in exchange for money and freebies, McCain sought to intervene in a federal regulatory process in favor of a company that had provided him with tens of thousands of dollars in cash and services. He could try to plead naiveté, but in light of the hot water he got into with the Keating Five affair, which had the exactly same structure, he clearly knew what he was doing and knew that it was wrong.

James Kirchick explains what he sees as the gist of the piece:

John Weaver, whom McCain fired last summer (indentified in the Times piece as  "now an informal campaign adviser" to McCain, which sounds like a puffed-up euphemism for "unemployed") says that 8 years ago, he and two other former employees who have since "become disillusioned" (read: disgruntled), suspected that McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist.

The rest of the article, rehashing old news about the Keating Five, is, as Rich Lowry says, complete "window dressing." If you had been wondering whether the Times was in the tank for Obama, well, here's your answer.

Here's Matt Cooper on the  NYT's reporting:

...it's a weird piece--strangely unsatisfying and it hardly puts McCain's ethics in much of a context. At bottom, there's no sign that McCain actually did anything for the woman and her clients that he would have done anyway given his positions on a variety of telecom issues. He didn't bend principle for her, so far as I can tell.

This story coupled with FEC Chairman David Mason asking questions about McCain's loan (which Hilzoy wrote about here) makes this a bad day for McCain.

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