"You’re surprised that Page Six-type gossip is on the front page of The New York Times?" Limbaugh asked as he began his radio show. "Where have you been? How in the world can anybody be surprised?"
Limbaugh said earlier in an e-mail to Politico that the Times article about McCain’s relationship with a female lobbyist was a clear case of "the drive-by media … trying to take him out."
Laura Ingraham, another influential conservative radio host, asserted that the Times waited until McCain was on the brink of the Republican presidential nomination and now is seeking to "contaminate" him with an article that she calls "absurd" and "ridiculous."
Obviously an article like this doesn’t help McCain among the conservatives he’s trying to win over, especially social conservatives. But let’s take a step back for a moment.
The NY Times has NO evidence in their story that there was actually a romantic relationship. No phone calls, e-mails, etc.
Will some people be put off by the alleged romantic relationship? Sure, but I’m not convinced it’s a killer when it comes to McCain’s courting of the evangelical vote.
It may be one more reason not to vote for McCain for some Evangelicals. But my hunch is that for the most part, this story does nothing to radically change McCain’s relationship with Evangelicals. I mean, what? All of a sudden Evangelicals won’t vote for him because of this, or now vote for Obama or Clinton? I don’t see it.