Upon hearing this morning that several former McCain staffers anonymously told NYTimes reporters that they suspected the senator of marital infidelity, my first thought was "I didn't know Linda Tripp was working for Senator McCain."
Har har. You laugh. Hopefully. But Linda Tripp has a history of acting on her apparently strongly-felt disapproval of sexual shenanigans.
Yes, she was the one in the Clinton White House who became aware of Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, and consequently befriended Monica and instigated the disclosure of that affair.
BUT, not as many people are aware that Linda Tripp is also widely believed to have been one of the major sources behind the disclosure of George H. W. Bush's infidelity as well.
WHAT? you say, POPPY CHEATED ON BABS???
Oh, my poor sweet little readers, it's so cute that the behavior of politicians still shocks you.
What's not so cute is that this and other Bush the elder affairs were widely ignored by the same press that reported so breathlessly on every single awful fucking detail of Bill Clinton's.
Yes, it's widely acknowledged that 41 had, among others, a longtime affair with one Jennifer Fitzgerald, who, can I just say, bears a scary resemblance (is there any other kind?) to Brit royal boinker Camilla Parker Bowles.
Separated at birth? Onetime presidential and royal concubines Fitzgerald, left, and Bowles, right.
Wow. And people made fun of Monica for being fat. At least she looked like she might be a bit of fun in bed. These ladies look like their idea of pleasuring their man would be to poor a very dry martini on his nutsack, and ask the servant to clean it up very slowly.
But back to Ms. Tripp, shall we? Tripp painted herself as an everywoman, as an average American who was forced into action by an extraordinary series of events. In my opinion, what's extraordinary is her sense of self-righteousness, perhaps fed even further after the second Bush administration, mindful of her role in exposing Poppy, refused to reinstate her at a government position even after she also exposed Poppy's hated successor.
At any rate, I'm not so interested in whether McCain had an affair. What's more interesting is that he apparently hasn't, no matter how nobly he cloaks his intentions, quite rid himself of those same tendencies to offer inappropriate assistance to lobbyists that got him into hot water when he was one of the Keating Five.
And what's even more interesting is that the New York Times, which has been sitting on this story for two months, has chosen to break it now, now that McCain has locked up the nomination. This story, if it had been published in December, might have handed Romney or Rudy the nomination. Curiously, the NYT endorsed McCain in January, even while stalling on publishing a story that, if true, means that McCain, the sincere reformer, has more than a whiff of cynical phony about him. McCain staffers are speculating that by publishing the story at all, the NYT was trying to cut off at the knees an imminent story in The New Republic critical of NYT reporting.
And you thought it was going to be all Obama v. Clinton for the next 6 months.