Thursday, February 21, 2008

Times Timing

Surprise, surprise, another politician has a girlfriend issue (Well the NYTimes is not exactly saying that about McCain's relationship with a young woman lobbyist in 1999, but thats clearly on everyone's mind along with the influence peddling) I always approach these kind of stories with a jaundiced eye as I have never understood why some hank-panky tales get airplay and others don't -there are a lot of political "dalliance" stories out there that are not being reported (Thank God) - but thats the topic for another post. I'm interested in why this is being talked about now.

While I'm sure the McCain folks would rather this issue not be talked about at all in the news cycle, if it had to be discussed, this is not bad timing. He basically has the nomination wrapped up in numbers so any risk from a values-based backlash from his own party is minimized (but not eliminated) and despite a few fitful references, the general election has not started and is 9 long months away. Best for him to go through the shitstorm now, shake the trees and get it out there and let the media attention span run its course. I'm sure the Republican challengers (and maybe the party leadership) would have rather this come out in December or January in the heat of the campaign and the Democrats would have preferred something closer to next November.


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I very much agree.

Furthermore, the GOP machine folks who are asking Huckabee to drop out have it all wrong. Huckabee is massively helping McCain. By posing a very slight challenge, he causes McCain's repeated victories to appear to have significance, keeping McCain in the headlines. If the GOP race became truly uncontested, only Obama and Hillary would be in the papers.

And yet, although Huckabee seemed to really dislike and attack Romney back in January, he has never said anything nasty about McCain -- even now that it's a two-person race.

If Huckabee continues to run this way, even with this "affair" news, it would help McCain incredibly. It would mean that (1) the most prominent GOP religious conservative, who is also McCain's only remaining challenger, doesn't seem to consider this affair to be germaine to the race; and (2) that even after this affair is known, McCain continues to win contested Republican primaries.

So you are very right -- the timing is utterly perfect.

8:35 AM, February 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a reason for the timing. The Times sat on this story for three months because they knew they had nothing. However, they were also aware that The New Republic was about to put out an article about the Times coverage, including what they had on McCain. It was either now or be scooped.

12:33 PM, February 21, 2008  
Blogger Irene Done said...

I literally just caught a minute of Rush Limbaugh yesterday and he seemed to be saying that McCain wouldn't attack the Times, couldn't fight back strongly enough, because McCain LIKES the NYTimes (worst thing you can say about a Republican). Maybe that's true but maybe all that paid off. Maybe the paper thought they were doing McCain a favor by running the story this early and getting their version out there before other publications.

Huckabee's reaction is not a surprise. Isn't he angling for running mate? I half-way think he's still running as a way to keep social conservatives engaged, solidify their support, then deliver all those votes to McCain. The people voting for Huckabee now might otherwise just tune out for the rest of the primaries. Possibly the election too.

4:06 AM, February 22, 2008  

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