Up close, getting personal: The New York Times endorsed him in January, but the paper’s relations with Team McCain have become decidedly less diplomatic with the publication of its latest story on the campaigning senator.
Did unwanted attention from a New Republic scribe prod The New York Times into printing its long-awaited story about certain alleged snags in Sen. John McCain’s moral fabric? McCain’s camp apparently thinks so, but regardless, the Arizona senator’s team is switching into battle mode to counter the paper’s “smear campaign.”
The New York Times:
Mr. McCain’s confidence in his ability to distinguish personal friendships from compromising connections was at the center of questions advisers raised about Ms. Iseman.
The lobbyist, a partner at the firm Alcalde & Fay, represented telecommunications companies for whom Mr. McCain’s commerce committee was pivotal. Her clients contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns.
Mr. Black said Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman were friends and nothing more. But in 1999 she began showing up so frequently in his offices and at campaign events that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, “Why is she always around?”
That February, Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications. By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene.