Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman offered this testimony to John McCain's marital fidelity today.
"I've been with him on a lot of occasions, traveled all around the world, been at meetings with a lot of women there," Lieberman told reporters outside a diner in Middletown. "And I've never seen him do anything that even approached inappropriate behavior."
About mid-way through that quote, Lieberman chuckled, perhaps aware that saying you've never seen your friend screw around is not, as his Yale law professors used to say, dispositive of anything. Hell, after his denunciation of Bill Clinton's infidelity, who would dare act out in front of Joe Lieberman?
Lieberman, of course, was responding to a New York Times story posted on line last night and published in today's editions about McCain's relationship with a lobbyist, Vicki Iseman.
Most of the Times' piece explored the question of whether McCain, whether or not he had a romantic relationship with Iseman, was too close to a lobbyist, a dangerous story line for a candidate burned years ago by the Keating Five scandal:
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.
The New Republic published its own long take on the story's tortuous path into print.
Lieberman echoed the McCain's campaign's talking points, stressing that McCain is a man of honor, the story is old and key sourcing is anonymous.
"Here’s a man who has devoted his whole life to service to his country. His honor matters a lot to him. His reputation matters a lot to him," Lieberman said. "And this a story that basically pukes up 8-year-old rumors, uncorroborated."
-- Mark Pazniokas