Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Affair to Remember

John McCain is cheating on voters with George Bush, but he's not good at it, getting caught in a quickie at the Phoenix airport before going off for their fund-raising tryst at a Scottsdale hideaway.

Barack Obama, the public moralist, ratted out the couple during an appearance in Las Vegas: “John McCain is having a different kind of meeting...behind closed doors in Arizona. No cameras, no reporters. And we all know why."

History shows it's hard for candidates to run away from their past. In 2000, to take voters' minds off Monica Lewinsky, Al Gore ran a Clinton-free campaign and may have lost the election as a result.

McCain's problem is even stickier. He has to hide his love child with Bush, the war in Iraq, while persuading voters about his superior political morality and the advantage of his experience over Obama's naivete.

There has never been any love lost between McCain and Bush since their disastrous encounters in the 2000 primaries but, like many couples with a history, they find it hard to stay away from each other.

In common with employees of the Washington Madam, McCain can tell himself he's only doing it for the money, but we know how that turned out.

Bush has been a stealth president for some time, so it may be possible to keep their connection furtive for now. But the real test will come in September: Will they be seen together at the Republic convention?

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