Voters are deluded, Arianna Huffington wrote, “The thing is, these voters clearly still think of McCain as the maverick of 2000, a straight shooter who would never seek the embrace of a man he couldn't bring himself to vote for, nor accept the regular counsel of Karl Rove, the man behind the vile, race-baiting attacks on him during the 2000 campaign.”
And the mainstream media, “the John McCain Protection Society,” is primarily responsible for the deception, according to Huffington.
The MSM, in the lingo of blogdom, has become the scapegoat of such as Huffington who, for awhile there when she was a cheerleader on the Right, was part of the putative conspiracy to portray McCain as a Republican maverick.
She has changed her mind since she changed her principles and leapt over the barricades to hitch up with progressives.
Huffington insists it was her principles that impelled her to disclose that McCain once told her in a private conversation that he did not vote for President George Bush, a charge McCain denies. At the time, he had very publicly and visibly campaigned for Bush, McCain said. The charge may be a marker that the campaign silly season has begun.
In the past, Huffington has taken flack from her critics. In his 1996 memoir, "Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms," Ed Rollins offered his assessment of Huffington, the Ann Coulter of progressivism, and her “empty suit” of a husband:
“Since early July, I'd been working for two of the most unprincipled political creatures I'd ever encountered. One was such a complete cipher he gave empty suits a bad name. But his wife was even worse - a domineering Greek Rasputin determined to ride her husband's wealth to political glory at any cost....
Arianna Huffington had charmed me out of my socks to get me to manage her husband's campaign. But in a few short months, I'd come to realize that she was the most ruthless, unscrupulous, and ambitious person I'd met in thirty years in national politics - not to mention that she sometimes seemed truly pathological”
Rollins worked on many campaigns and was known to stray from principles on occasion. For instance, he told Time magazine that he had secretly paid black ministers to suppress voter turn out during the Christine Whitman New Jersey campaign in 1993 . This produced a public outcry, and Rollins later told People Magazine that his comments had been exaggerated.
The silly season indeed; it brings out the brass knuckles in the most principled of partisan commentators.