How many voters know that Sen. John McCain was caught up in the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s? That his help for one of those later convicted, financier Charles Keating, was so embarrassing to him that the senator from Arizona sent an apology on a tape to many reporters in the capital? McCain was one of the senators known as the Keating Five.
How many voters are aware that McCain's temper has been so volcanic that a few fellow GOP senators have openly questioned his potential demeanor to sit in the Oval Office? Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, a loyal GOPer, was one of the senators who received a verbal blast from McCain.
How many Republicans or voters generally care that McCain was so unruly at the Naval Academy that he earned many demerits or finished fifth from the bottom of his class? Unimportant, yes, but true even by the senator's own admission.
All of the above are about as fair as the newly published book about Sen. Barack Obama by some unknown writer named Jerome Corsi, Ph.D. That doctorate must have been for exaggeration or plain gutter politics. Corsi admitted to the Washington Post that keeping Obama out of the White House was his motivation for writing the book.
The Corsi narrative reminds one of the Swift Boat attack on Sen. John Kerry in 2004. Kerry may been a flawed presidential candidate but questioning his Purple Heart Medals service in Vietnam was an outrage when compared with George W. Bush's Air National Guard record in defending Texas from Oklahoma. Does it come as a surprise that Corsi was behind those attacks as well?
All anyone needs to know about the background of this Corsi rant is that Mary Matalin, the GOP operative and former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, is the publisher. It will naturally sell books among the Republican faithful who are willing to believe anything about Democrats, lies or not.
Ms. Matalin learned her method of negative politics at the feet of the late Lee Atwater of South Carolina. Atwater was so apologetic for his slash-and-burn brand of attacks that he got in touch with political opponents to ask forgiveness while he was dying from cancer.
Matalin's judgment of politicians is truly remarkable. After counseling Cheney, she signed on early with then Sen. George Allen of Virginia as a presidential hopeful. Allen ended his career with a racist remark that cost him a near certain re-election to the Senate in 2006. Allen didn't know open microphones are everywhere these days.
Matalin moved on to former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, whose late entry into the race was surprising to those who knew his reputation as one of the laziest members of the Senate. Thompson hardly got out of his starting blocks before ending his campaign.
McCain must have been unwilling to take on Matalin in his own campaign. So, she is back in the game as publisher—if you want to call this book publishing.
Obama is far from perfect. We Americans have known that our presidential heroes of the past, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt and Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, have some black marks in their past with women who were not their wives.
No such accusations have been made against Obama, but just about every other kind of insinuation and slur has surfaced. His personal life, fair game in today's open political warfare, should not be subjected to wild or untrue accusations. The same is true for John McCain if any Democratic hustler chooses to write a quickie book assailing him on only rumors or innuendo.