McCain Mistress Bombshell! UPDATE
The New York Times is leading with a report suggesting John McCain had an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist:
WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.
A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.
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.
Both McCain and Iseman deny that they had an affair, but this is sure to give momentum to Huckabee, who suddenly looks smart for staying in till the bitter end.
By the way, this is McCain's "O" face:
UPDATE: And it's not the first time. The current Mrs. McCain started out as a mistress:
Skousen also notes that "McCain cheated on his first wife after she had a severe accident. He then divorced her and married his multi-millionaire mistress, whose daddy bought McCain a spot in the Congress."
More damning details about the first affair and the potential future first lady:
McCain was immediately dazzled and spent the event chatting her up.
"She was lovely, intelligent and charming, 17 years my junior but poised and confident," McCain wrote in his 2002 book, Worth the Fighting For. "I monopolized her attention the entire time, taking care to prevent anyone else from intruding on our conversation. When it came time to leave the party, I persuaded her to join me for drinks at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. By the evening's end, I was in love."
McCain recalls that both he and Cindy initially misled each other about their ages. McCain made himself a little younger, and Cindy made herself a little older. They found out their real ages when the local paper published them. McCain was 43, Cindy 25.
"So our marriage," McCain cracks, "is really based on a tissue of lies."
Emphasis added to point out the blinding irony. Back to the tape, here's where McCain dumps his old lady for a hot new model:
McCain needed a divorce from Carol, his wife of 14 years from whom he was separated. After McCain's dramatic homecoming from Vietnam, the couple grew apart. Their marriage began disintegrating while McCain was stationed in Jacksonville. McCain has admitted to having extramarital affairs.
"If there was one couple that deserved to make it, it was John and Carol McCain," author Robert Timberg wrote in John McCain: An American Odyssey. "They endured nearly six years of unspeakable trauma with courage and grace. In the end it was not enough. They won the war but lost the peace."
In February 1980, less than a year after he met Cindy, McCain petitioned a Florida court to dissolve his marriage to Carol, calling the union "irretrievably broken."
His wife's take? McCain was suffering a midlife crisis (which makes this latest possible affair his late late life crisis):
She did briefly address her divorce to Timberg: "The breakup of our marriage was not caused by my accident or Vietnam or any of those things. I don't know that it might not have happened if John had never been gone. I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again than I do to anything else."
So then McCain marries his mistress a mere month after divorcing his wife. Also, note that the groomsmen including Gary Hart(!):
In April 1980, the judge entered a default judgment and declared the marriage dissolved.
A month later, McCain married Cindy in Phoenix, where the couple would move. The wedding party included a couple of McCain's high-profile friends from Washington. Sen. William Cohen was the best man. Sen. Gary Hart was a groomsman.
Monkey business, indeed.