Huckabee is begging Texans to keep him in the race for the Republican nomination, the Ciudad El Jefe Comical (a/k/a the Houston Chronicle) reports. The only Republicans who will vote to keep the increasingly tiresome Huckabee in the race are those wanting President Obama or President Clinton come November.
Speaking of wanting the Democrat, the New York Times, after trying to trip up McCain with conservatives by endorsing him before the Florida primary, is now doing what it can to make trouble for McCain -- it has run a smear story this morning rehashing the decades old Keating Five scandal and insinuating that McCain had an affair with an attractive lady lobbyist. Both Senator McCain and the lobbyist deny the allegations. The interesting part is the alleged affair -- the piece doesn't come right out and say that McCain was sleeping with the lady, but the writers do all they can to drive the reader to that conclusion.
The story is based on a bunch of unnamed sources and advisors and a banking regulator who still thinks McCain got off too lightly in the Keating matter. Possibly the best comment on the piece is in the Real Clear Politics blog:
. . .Whatever one thinks of this NYT story, the McCain camp has two good defense tactics to use against it: 1.) The story is thinly sourced; and 2.) the NYT has not exactly upheld an unbiased standard of journalism in recent...decades. At least with this bomb, we know that the general election has certainly begun.
The McCain camp has vowed "war" with the Old Grey Tart. Presumably the McCain organization was ready for something like this, McCain's life has not in any sense been what one would call uninteresting. But at the most, the New York Times piece shows an obliviousness to appearances and a certain degree of conceit on the part of McCain, which is of a piece with the bull-in-the-china-shop personality he has that has driven the conservative big wigs through the roof. But if this is all the Times has in terms of sources and information, the cupboard is rather bare.
Apparently the story has been sitting around for awhile, at least since December. Jim Geraghty at National Review Online has the last word: "As far as we can tell, back in December, the article looked like an unfair, thinly-sourced hit piece on a possible Republican nominee; now it looks like an unfair, thinly-sourced hit piece on the likely Republican nominee." Conservative media appears to be rising to McCain's defense, one outlet reportedly calling an attack by the New York Times a "conservative badge of honor."