Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lou Dobbs: Goodwin: NYT McCain Story Conspiracy Theories Starting

Let's be first.

Last evening, Lou Dobbs in the middle of his program, just before he began his interview with an award-winning, tops-in-journalism, panel, must have received a memo to go with the John McCain story. Obviously, the panel members had been aware of the story previously as well. Dobbs found it worth pointing out during the segment the Internet had the story before it was in print - it was already on the New York Times site that evening.

What's odd about the entire "breaking" story? It's not so "breaking" among insiders.

According to one of Dobbs' panel members: Matt Drudge had indication of a story about to break at the New York Times, months ago.

Why didn't the New York Times run For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk with its anonymous sources retained (contrary to policy) back then, a mere couple of months ago?

Rush Limbaugh comments the New York times endorsed McCain while it had this story, says an MSNBC commentator on Morning Joe.

The comment from Limbaugh the NYT endorsed him while they sat on this story, was made in an e-mail to Politico, according to Salon Warroom.

Title of the Politco piece: Right rallies to McCain's side By: Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin Feb 21, 2008 10:23 AM EST

That remains to be seen. At least, how far the right rallies behind McCain is left to be determined.

Scarborough and company have been discussing the Times story all morning long with Pat Buchanan and a few others.

Mike Barnicle says the story was mentioned to him and others in December, before New Hampshire. (MSNBC, Morning Joe Fer. 21, 2008)

Wizbangblog kept the catch up online.

McCain, Drudge, and the NYT Posted by Jim Addison · Published: December 20, 2007

The Drudge Report is headlining a leaked New York Times story alleging Senator John McCain gave "special treatment" to a lobbyist for the telecommunications industry at some unspecified point in the past (presumably while he was Chairman of the committee overseeing that legislation).
[Full Story]

Why the timing gap?

According to an AP article

McCain: Reports on Lobbyist a 'Smear'
Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:01 AM EST
The Associated Press
By LIBBY QUAID Associated Press Writer

...In its own follow-up story, The Washington Post quoted longtime aide John Weaver, who split with McCain last year, as saying he met with lobbyist Iseman and urged her to stay away from McCain.

Weaver told the Times he arranged the meeting after "a discussion among the campaign leadership" about Iseman...

...The published reports said McCain and Iseman each denied having a romantic relationship. Neither story asserted that there was a romantic relationship and offered no evidence that there was, reporting only that aides worried about the appearance of McCain having close ties to a lobbyist with business before the Senate Commerce Committee on which McCain served.

The stories allege that McCain wrote letters and pushed legislation involving television station ownership that would have benefited Iseman's clients

We'll expose the real motivation to suppress the story until this exact point in time. The suppression has everything to do with Rush Limbaugh. Recall:

Rush Limbaugh: One Candidate Now Stands for All Three Legs of Conservatism February 4, 2008

I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that's Romney. The three stools or the three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people. The fiscal conservatives are the economic crowd: low taxes, smaller government, get out of the way. ..

Now we all know one day in this presidential campaign has potentially more impact than an entire drawn-out year. Rush Limbaugh as recently as Feb. 4, 2008, picks out his favored choice for the Republican nomination for President.

Meanwhile, how did the media treat Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney and his gimongous finances? Romney's personal finances were daily fare in newspapers across the country since he began his presidential campaign.

Pundit after pundit and newscaster after newscaster on every cable network program would preface a discussion or news or polling stats about Mitt Romney with his personal financial status. Just search the net and you'll find it.

On the other hand, the mainstream media and the same prefaced any news or commentary about John McCain with straight-talker, maverick, etc. He along with Hillary Clinton, were clearly the early "Establishment" choices.

Rush Limbaugh, far distancing other conservative talk radio hosts in audience-listeners, wasn't about to throw his considerable favorable opinion toward John McCain. As recently as February 15, 2008 The New York Times gives an overview of the particulars there.

Warring on McCain, Limbaugh Sees No Reconciliation By JACQUES STEINBERG Published: February 15, 2008

One week later, and counting, if the implications of the New York times story remain unproven, but still unsettling, will Rush Limbaugh come out fighting, for John McCain?

Rush Limbaugh Endorses Mitt Romney Hot Air February 5, 2008

What if more comes out? This afternoon, in an MSNBC segment, guest, KAREN FINLEY, reveals the SEC is investigating the circumstances of a loan John McCain took out for his campaign, with some proviso he would take public funds in the General Election.

Search of the net produces.

Andrew Sullivan McCain Sells Birthright For Mess Of Pottage
Feb. 18, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
John McCain Games The Campaign Finance Laws
By Rob on February 19, 2008 at 08:23 am 19 Comments
McCain managed to leverage his public campaign funding as collateral for a loan from a bank.

McCain Campaign Banked on Taxpayer-Funded Bailout
By Paul Kiel - February 18, 2008, 5:15PM

McCain Got Loan by Pledging to Seek Federal Funds
By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 16, 2008; A10

John McCain's cash-strapped campaign borrowed $1 million from a Bethesda bank two weeks before the New Hampshire primary by pledging to enter the public financing system if his bid for the presidency faltered, newly disclosed records show.

McCain had already taken a $3 million bank loan in November to keep his campaign afloat, and he sought from the same bank $1 million more shortly before this month's Super Tuesday contests, this time pledging incoming but unprocessed contributions as collateral. He never used the funds of the most recent loan, because his win in the South Carolina primary helped him raise enough money to compete in Florida, his campaign aides said last night.

The loans, revealed yesterday in documents a McCain attorney filed with the Federal Election Commission, offer fresh details about how the Republican senator from Arizona scrambled to secure money as his shoestring campaign navigated a rapid-fire succession of primary contests.

The unorthodox lending terms also raised fresh questions from McCain's critics about his ability to repeatedly draw money from the Maryland-based Fidelity & Trust Bank. Campaign finance lawyers speculated whether McCain may have inadvertently committed himself to entering the public financing system for the remainder of the primary season by holding out the prospect of taking public matching funds in exchange for the $1 million loan in December.

"This whole area is uncharted," said Lawrence H. Norton, a former general counsel of the FEC.

McCain Needed Life Insurance To Get Loan
Washington Post: Bank Required Special Step To Provide Money That Helped McCain Put His Campaign On Track Feb. 1, 2008

As recently as February 14, 2008...

Limbaugh sees no reconciliation with McCain Conservative radio host ratchets up attacks, but to what end?
By Jacques Steinberg New York Times updated 11:23 p.m. ET, Thurs., Feb. 14, 2008

Limbaugh, even in his February 21, 2008 e-mail to Politico, doesn't appear to indicate at all a conversion to John McCain. He recommends the New York Times should be under scrutiny, but he doesn't "rush" to McCain's side, or even much to his defense, when he has the opportunity to do so, now.

Limbaugh was one of several influential conservatives who, to the delight and relief of the McCain campaign, immediately decided that the behavior of the Times — not the senator — should be the issue.

Limbaugh still, with that, hasn't endorsed McCain. Nor has Limbaugh endorsed Mike Huckabee and he long ago dismissed Dr. Ron Paul.

It turns out, even more puzzling, and importantly, John McCain was aware of the New York Times investigation long before now, too. McCain not only knew of the Drudge Report's publication on the potential article, McCain was prompted to issue a statement on the allegations, or part of the allegations back then which were published in McCain Lawyers Up Over Drudge-Lobbyist Flap Washington Post Howard Kurtz December 21, 2007 10:28 AM posted on the Huffington Post.

Sen. John McCain said yesterday that he has "never done any favors for anybody -- lobbyist or special interest group," as his presidential campaign issued a statement denouncing allegations of legislative favoritism as "gutter politics."...

...The Arizona Republican has hired a prominent Washington criminal attorney, Robert Bennett, to deal with the matter.

Meanwhile, according to the Politico, McCain responds to Drudge.

See also Jonathan Martin The POLITICO Thursday, December 20 McCain responds to Drudge

None of these outfits are small time operations. They all knew of some allegations before now, two months ago.

McCain hired a lawyer back in December. That lawyer is none other than Robert Bennett. Just conduct a search for Bennett to determine who he defended before.

Robert S. Bennett He was President Clinton’s personal attorney in the Paula Jones case...

Speaking on CNN Robert Bennett reveals he was the counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee during the Keating 5 investigation.

In The Ring The Trials of a Washington Lawyer

So all of these insiders were well aware of a story about John McCain, concerning lobbyists, back in December 2007.

Why did any of them hold off until now?

When Mitt Romney was in the candidate mix, conservative voters were faced with the subliminal message - candidate Romney - another wealthy white conservative Republican - not a good match against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the General Election. No matter how youthful looking in comparison to McCain.

Is there more underpinning the timing as insider circles, including John McCain, including the Politico, including the Washington Post, including anyone who read of the Drudge Report back in December, and more were well aware a New York Times story was in the works.

The media and all others held back on this story for just the right timing - until a most opportune time for one candidate - after Mitt Romney suspended his campaign. And after Mitt Romney endorses John McCain.

Mike Huckabee is an in-place Republican challenger against McCain, and his far-right conservative base is voting, in small, not large, numbers.

Republican voters tentative about John McCain are going to remain tentative, and have long pointed out McCain's trips paid for by lobbyists. That's not news.

If Republicans from Wisconsin on out to Super Tuesday 2 and beyond need a reason to vote for McCain, it isn't the New York Times choosing this moment in time to come out with an implication that McCain improperly dealt with a female lobbyist.

The media's power can make and break candidates, all of the media, and it's all done right smack in front of our faces. There are other power brokers around.

Among them, Rush Limbaugh. His could become just the "firing up" a revived Mitt Romney campaign would need.

Romney didn't actually drop out of the race. He suspended his campaign. While Romney publicly endorsed John McCain, he could now step forward legitimately and in conjuntion with John McCain, announce he's back.

Romney could be positioned to return to the Republican Primary process before Super Tuesday 2.

We're going to Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Romney and Rush might even whisper a hushed yee-haw.

Rush Limbaugh - bypassing McCain all along, foregoing Huckabee all along, neglecting Ron Paul all along - is just the ace in the hole the Republican Party has had all along.

Wouldn't that be a "coup." John McCain may have been the Knight all along, ready to do all for his country, all, fall on his sword, give up the very Presidency of the United States he's sought a few times now with no success. It happened before. He just doesn't have the conservative base he really does need in the General Election.

When you think about it, McCain makes the perfect little engine that could, but didn't.

Mitt Romney makes the perfect little engine that could, and does.

The Wisconsin Republican Primary shows a lackluster race at the same time the Democrat Primary there drew more than the combined turnout of the Republicans.

Romney would be more of a match against Obama or Clinton, with his wealth, with the power of a Rush Limbaugh - the kiss of life and death no less powerful than a powerful New York Times. Or Washington Post.

Another motivation for this potential of Mitt Romney reentering the presidential contention - it's clear Hillary Clinton according to Rasmussen Reports will need to take every Democratic race between now and the convention by an overwhelming 69% or more, not less, to even match Obama's "pledged" delegates. Those are the ones proportionally distributed based on wins in precincts and districts in states' primaries.

Barack Obama reportedly has raised more money in the history of campaign fundraising.

Who better to challenge Barack Obama - should he become the nominee - than Mitt Romney?

According to Rush Limbaugh, who has yet to endorse any other Republican than Mitt Romney, Romney embodies all three legs of the conservative stool.

We'll come right out and advise: watch for Mitt Romney to step back up to the plate within the week. Watch John McCain go out for the good of the Party with sympathathetic condolences from Rush Limbaugh. Watch Rush Limbaugh reassert his support for Mitt Romney. Watch John McCain lay his delegates in Romney's outstretched arms.

Watch one of the greatest conspiracies of all time unfold right before your wide-open eyes.

(Net the Truth Online)

We're inspired to think again due to Goodwin's comment on Lou Dobbs Tonight "Conspiracy theories are starting."

And Lou Dobbs' response.

And Carl Bernstein's recent observations about psychological warfare (used in by the Clintons) which we covered in Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Carl Bernstein: Psychological Warfare Observed

And Bernstein's accusations made about the media and the CIA in Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977 How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up

The New Republic 2008
The Long Run-Up by Gabriel Sherman
Behind the Bombshell in 'The New York Times.'
Post Date Thursday, February 21, 2008


Clinton and McCain Intensify Attacks on Obama; Impact of Illegal Immigration on Wages; Controversy in Texas over NAFTA Superhighway
Aired February 20, 2008 - 19:00 ET

DOBBS: Well, Senator Barack Obama picked up a huge endorsement today from the Teamster's Union, the latest evidence that Obama is cutting in to Senator Clinton's base, and a development just now breaking.

Joining me now, Michael Goodwin. He's a contributor to this broadcast and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist "New York Daily News" and Hank Sheinkopf, also contributor of this broadcast and Democratic strategist, and Mark Halperin, senior political analyst, "Time" magazine, coauthor of "The Way To Win, Taking The White House In 2008."

I'm going to defer the discussion on Obama and Clinton and focus on what we've, as you all know, but let me share with our audience we just received from the web of the "New York Times," the headline is for McCain, self-confidence and ethics poses its own risk in the story written by David Reutenberg, Jim Reutenberg, rather.

The top take is earlier in Senator John McCain's first run for the White House, eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers. 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 himself from himself, instructing staff members to block the woman's access, privately warned the woman away and confronted several people on condition of anonymity. Wow.

Mark, give us your assessment of the impact of this story.

MARK HALPERIN, TIME MAGAZINE: "The New York Times" even in our fractured media world still has a huge influence on what gets covered and why. We know that the McCain campaign has been trying to kill this story for several months. The lead reporter Jim Reutenbreg has been working on it for a long time. As the story says McCain called Bill Keller who runs the "New York Times."

They put it in the context of the overall questions about how McCain has run his office and his relationship to ethics. I think they're, there are going to be a lot of questions raised from the story and it's going to be the first of many twists and turns in the presidential race going forward.

DOBBS: Michael?

MICHAEL GOODWIN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: As you said, Lou, we just got this, so a quick read of it left me thinking that "The Times" kind of didn't have everything it wanted to get, and so there's a lot of innuendo which I didn't see the specifics that to me would justify, you know, saying this is going to blow up.

DOBBS: Great room for inference but no claim that the relationship was --

GOODWIN: In fact, they both deny it, McCain and the woman, so that's a tough story.

DOBBS: A tough story, a tough timing, and coming out on the web before the paper, highly unusual as well, don't you think, Hank?

HANK SHEINKOPF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. Independent expenditure groups will have a great time with this one come the fall if McCain is the nominee, you'll see commercials with corporate jets, McCain, spots pressing down on his character trying to prove his decision-making is bad.

DOBBS: The basis for a swift boat effort, as you're suggesting?

SHEINKOPF: I'm suggesting more than swift boat. I'm suggesting depth charges to submarine. This is serious and will wreak havoc on his campaign.

DOBBS: Do you concur?

HALPERIN: I think we all need to read the story carefully and see what happens but again, as I said before, "The Times" took their time with the story. The McCain campaign was not pleased it was going to run so they at least believe this is a potential threat.

DOBBS: A potential threat, again the timing is, to me, well, the time something what it is. We'll see, you know, as we go forward, but --

HALPERIN: Some people argue the timing that it came late that if "The Times" had this, which they had the basis for the story for several months why did they wait until John McCain sewed up the nomination?

GOODWIN: Conspiracy theories are starting already.

DOBBS: Usually not without some basis.

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