Do you think [McCain]'s a conservative?
Absolutely. Liberals attracted to him would like to believe that he's not, but that's a mistake, and that's why so many in the national media love him. But this idea that once he's president he'll become more liberal, it's wishful thinking. If you look at his record, he's a conservative. But that gets skewed by this obsession with character. In 2000 we were assured that Al Gore was the dishonest one, that George Bush might not be bright, but he's honest. Clearly, Bush has told some pretty heinous lies. So often the press gets it wrong.
I fact, McCain's not even very honest. His statement:
I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to.
Actually, McCain has received about $400,000 from special interests.
As to his judgement and his hanging around with Vicki Iseman? I hate to paraphrase conservatives from the late 90s, but it's not the sex, it's the inability to learn from past mistakes. The blogs don't see much evidence that McCain actually slept with Iseman, but McCain very clearly did many, many favors for lobbyists and that's a problem that the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair didn't have. Their affair was just that, a strictly sexual encounter. With McCain and Iseman, there was lots of lobbying and cash and senatorial favors for corporate clients involved.
Howard Dean's statement is perfect and should be the template for all Democratic comments on McCain/Iseman.