Now that the New York Times’ long-awaited story on John McCain’s relationship with a female lobbyist is finally out—matched by a similar Washington Post story—how will it affect the presidential race?
- The New Republic’s Christopher Orr says the article may cut both ways for conservatives, with some seeing a TImes “attack” as a feather in McCain’s cap and others seeing more evidence of Mac the “sanctimonious phony.” Noam Scheiber says the piece clearly “had its guts ripped out” before it ran—and wonders whether those guts will re-appear.
- Righties at the National Review are more interested in the article’s thinness. Rich Lowry asserts the Times “doesn’t have the goods…and shouldn’t have run it.” He says the story’s “all about the alleged affair”—and the rest “is window dressing.” Adds Jim Geraghty, “if you’re going to make the accusation, then make the accusation.”
- Huffington Post's Sam Stein called up a former Mitt Romney aide, who says if the Times had gone to press earlier, it would have sunk McCain’s candidacy. The Romneyite says the paper “hurt the Republican Party by not allowing this to be aired properly” while other GOP hopefuls still stood.
- Wonkette can't resist noting that for the Mike Huckabee faithful, this could be the miracle their man has been praying for—or at least the explanation for why the former preacher has been so dogged about staying in the race.