More on the McCain Story…and Romney

I spent the better part of the morning talking to local media members and political strategists. The take-away? There are a lot of people out there thinking that the New York Times did Mitt Romney wrong.

“He would have gotten a lot more bang out of that $42 million if the piece had run before New Hampshire,” one of Boston Daily’s favorite political operatives opined.

After the jump, more reaction to the John McCain/lobbyist/possible sex scandal story in today’s NYT, and how it might have affected Romney.

The New Republic piece that may have forced the NYT into running its story is finally online. You can check it out here. And you should. It’s a pretty interesting read. Especially this part about how, right after the Drudge story came out in December, the Romney campaign began asking if the NYT would go with its piece or not:

Rumors of the unpublished Times piece swirled through the Romney campaign, then still locked in a tight dogfight for the Republican nomination. After the Drudge item flashed, Romney’s traveling press secretary Eric Fehrnstrom went to the back of the campaign plane to ask New York Times reporter Michael Luo, who was covering Romney, if he had heard when the piece was running.

Curiously, as our friend Adam Reilly notes, today’s Globe chose to run the WashPo version of the story, instead of the one in the NYT. As most of you know, the Globe is owned by the New York Times Co., which makes the decision particularly strange. (They did have the link to the Times piece on

Over at Media Nation, Dan Kennedy is making several good points about the coverage — namely that this is truly bad news for Hillary Clinton (because she just lost the media cycle she needs leading up to Texas and Ohio), and that Romney “clearly has plenty to howl about.”

The HuffPost has a fantastic piece by Sam Stein that finishes up with an irate Bay Buchanan (a former Romney strategist) unleashing on the Times.

Finally, in a strange twist, Politico says that conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham — two radio talkers who have extolled the virtues of Romney and Mike Huckabee while crucifying McCain — have actually rallied behind McCain on this one. The reason? Those no-good liberals at the NYT are out to get McCain (even though the paper endorsed him).

If there’s anything all the Republicans can get behind, it’s the idea that the NYT is staffed by Communists plotting a grand conspiracy to defeat the GOP.