Sure, he's racking up endorsements hither and yon (sweeping yon authoritatively, according to some polls), but the New York Times is holding something that could hurt (though, as David Weigel spelled out the other day, it's hard to hurt the essentially dead).
Drudge has the pre-skinny:
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz has been waging a ferocious behind the scenes battle with the NEW YORK TIMES, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, and has hired DC power lawyer Bob Bennett to mount a bold defense against charges of giving special treatment to a lobbyist!
McCain has personally pleaded with NY TIMES editor Bill Keller not to publish the high-impact report involving key telecom legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee….
The paper's Jim Rutenberg has been leading the investigation and is described as beyond frustrated with McCain's aggressive and angry efforts to stop any and all publication.
The drama involves a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation.
The woman in question has retained counsel and strongly denies receiving any special treatment from McCain.
Rutenberg, along with reporter David Kirkpatrick, has been developing the story for the last 6 weeks.
Rutenberg had hoped to break the story before the Christmas holiday, sources reveal, but editor Keller expressed serious reservations about journalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election.
If this is true, can anyone out there in journalism-ethics land explain to me how Keller deserves anything other than a kick out the door for this attitude?
For all the real story and analysis about McCain you can't find in the New York Times, read Matt Welch's new book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.