Optics, Again, A Problem For McCain

Optics is again posing a problem for Sen. John McCain on lobbying. Though there's no evidence that McCain did anything improper in investigating Boeing (which did seem to have the more wanker of a tanker) or in celebrating the awarding of a multibillion dollar tanker contract to EADS (Airbus), the public data raises questions about who is minding McCain's public image and why he would subject himself to associations that undermine his reformer's crest.

It's clear that he he's very friendly with ex-EADS lobbyists, including Tom Loeffler and John Green, who is now his chief liaison to Congress. He's taken $15,000 from EDADS -- the most EADS has ever given to a politician. In effect, the letters he sent demanding a "full, fair and open" competition in 2006 had one effect in practice: persuading the Air Force to change its bidding requirements to a process that benefited EADS.