Wednesday, February 20, 2008



Well do I recall receiving a telephone call from a senior producer at NBC News almost exactly 10 years ago this week asking me if I wished to appear on the network that evening to comment on a breaking story that the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, had reportedly been engaged in an extra-marital sexual affair with a young intern named Monica Lewinsky.

The rest is national (and personal) history.

You may, if you listen to my radio show, recall my sharing two weeks ago a report from a blog site named SunlitUplands which alleges more than one scandals about to be revealed involving John MCain and Hillary Clinton, both of a sexual nature.

Tonight, as I dined, MSDNC reported a page one New York Times story for tomorrow (Thursday) morning alleging the strong possibility of an illicit affair - and, far more significant, possible unethical actions - involving Republican presidential nominee presumptive, U.S. Senator John McCain.

Now, I must caution us all that this "story" is nascent, inchoate; it may well turn out to be absolutely nothing.

And, of course, there exists a possibility that this is the stroy that will destory the candidacy of the Republican presidential frontruner.

I direct you to the New York Times website to examine the story.
My initial impressions are as follows:

1. If this is sex alone, it will be harmful but not fatal to the McCain campaign.

2. If this is sex with favors for the paramour's client - as is being insinuated - it will likely be fatal to the McCain campaign.

3. Should this evolve into a full-blown scandal and if - IF - McCain should find himslef damaged beyond repair (which, if this becomes a matter of sex-for-favors, he will), the next question is: does this makes Huckabee the frotrunner?! (And for those who wonder why Huckabee has been hanging around in the face of impossible odds, did he know something we did not?)

4. Or might it render Mitt Romney a candidate once again, presenting himself to save the campaign, and the party?

5. Or might it mean the draft of an entirely new republican candidate to play savior?

6. Is there more to the New York Times story tan they are reporting in this initital story?
(My guess is almost certainly Yes.)

7. How will McCain handle this? Will he attempt to ignore and push past it? Or will Thursday morning's cumulative media coverage force him to address it head on? (My colleague Michelle McPhee reports Wednesday evening that McCain has made a telephone call to the editor of the New York Times, attempting to disuade him from printing this story. Not since JFK has this ever worked.)

8. This will likely be a huge story tomorrow and, unless McCain responds immediately and effectively, into the weekend, and beyond.

9. The biggest question is how much more the New York Times, et. al. know about this story than they have thus far reported.

10. As much for John McCain as the media's golden boy, huh? That didn't take very long.

See you in the morning here, on the radio @ 3:00p.



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