John McCain’s odd relationship with a lobbyist

Even John McCain’s friends damn him with faint praise. One, William P. Cheshire, told the New York Times that “he is essentially an honorable person. But he can be imprudent.”

The Arizona senator’s closest friends seem to think they need to save him from himself. Consider his relationship with the lobbyist Vicki Iseman. Both deny their relationship was inappropriate or that they did each other favors.

From the Times:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s clients, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.

A former campaign adviser described being instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator at public events, while a Senate aide recalled plans to limit Ms. Iseman’s access to his offices.

In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.

Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.

Do we need a president who needs to be protected from himself? This story could do serious damage to McCain, making a Goldwater-like thumping at the hands of the Democrats more likely.

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3 Comments

Filed under Presidential Election, Republicans

3 responses to “John McCain’s odd relationship with a lobbyist

  1. Todd

    These charges against McCain are very serious, considering his stances on ethics.

  2. I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    – Randy Nichols.

  3. What? What kind of journalist are you? Two anonymous aides say they “suspected’ something untoward… that’s a “damaging story”? Gee, when I studied journalism, we called that a “rumor.” What various people “suspect” is going on isn’t evidence, it isn’t news, and it isn’t substantial. I know former associates of Hillary Clinton who “think” she’s a lesbian, and say lots of other people think so too. Is that proof? Evidence? R-U-M-O-R. Why the Times hasn’t done THAT story, I have no idea. Well, maybe I have, and it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s crap.

    When someone puts hsi or her name behind something he or she saw that involved both McCain and the lobbyist, that might support a story. This is disgraceful…CBS and Dan Rather all over again.

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