John McCain, presumed Republican presidential nominee, has presented his denials to a recent New York Times story that suggests he had an improper relationship with a lobbyist, Vicki Iseman. Slate has an interesting video, which superimposes the trust expressed by 901 voters in McCain’s words during the press conference, which shows that people have some difficulty believing his categorical assertion that he has at “no time [done] anything to betray the public trust.”
I don’t know whether the Times got the story right—though I think they did capture a factual level of concern among McCain’s aides about the relationship. The point of the story was that McCain is apparently unequivocal in his statements that he is morally upright, despite the fact that, like many politicians, who are people first and foremost, has a history of questionable activities on behalf of supporters, such as Charles Keating, who had McCain’s support in trying to skirt the consequences of the collapse of Lincoln Savings & Loan.
Let’s quit trying to elect saints and start electing people based on their qualifications for office, the policies they propose, and their record of keeping promises to the people, while keeping firmly in mind that, as people, politicians are flawed.
McCain is no saint. I won’t vote for him because of his approach to the War in Iraq and terrorism generally, his misguided tax and economic ideas (which, in the form he supported throughout the Bush years has landed the United States in a world of hurt), and my general feeling that he caters to the extreme right in the belief they are essential to electoral victory.