Thursday, August 21, 2008

CNN talks with McCain about his role in the Keating Five scandal

The Jedreport posted an excerpt of CNN's profile of John McCain, and his role in the Keating Five scandal. From YouTube:

MyDD's Jonathan Singer sums up the McCain campaign's problem with the Keating Five scandal (Via Americablog):

The Keating Five is an old story, so many reporters have shied away from saying much about it because it isn't new -- there aren't a whole lot of new developments in the story. But with McCain talking about allegedly shady relationships, the opportunity is there to go back over McCain's ties to Keating -- whose nefarious activities, which were at least in part aided by his relationship with McCain, ended up costing the American taxpayer $3.4 billion (a whole lot more than the $14 million Rezko was alleged to have received).

Just how close was McCain to Keating? Take a look at this rundown I posted back in January:

Though McCain might try to downplay his involvement, his campaigns received $124,000 from Keating and his associates during the 1980s (AP, 3/2/91), and McCain was described as being personally closer to Keating than any of the other members of the Keating Five (Roll Call, 1/20/92). What's more, McCain accepted more than $15,000 in free trips from Keating, including vacations to Keating's resort in the Bahamas -- trips that McCain failed to disclose at the time (New York Times, 2/28/91; San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3/90).

In the end, the crash of Keating's savings and loan -- which had been shielded by some of his best friends in the United States Senate -- cost billions to the American taxpayer, as mentioned above, and all told the federal government ended up on the hook for close to $125 billion in the fallout of the crisis that befell the underregulated industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Does McCain really want to have to talk about all of this? About the Bahaman vacations he took paid for by Keating? Probably not. But he may soon have to as a result of the shortsightedness of his campaign advisors. Nice move team McCain!

If the McCain campaign decides to go after Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties with Tony Rezko, the Obama campaign will certainly hit back hard against McCain with the Keating Five scandal. Only now it appears that McCain's role in the Keating Five scandal is reappearing through both the CNN biography, and the Jedreport's YouTube excerpt. Keating is back. The question now is how far is the McCain campaign willing to go in pulling out this ugly skeleton from their closet?

Update: It appears that the McCain campaign has decided to pull the Keating Five skeleton out of the closet after all. From The Fix:

The McCain campaign also promised to put Obama's ties to Tony Rezko front and center in the race now, insisting that the Illinois senator's decision to attack on the home front (heyooo!) made a discussion of his ties to the convicted real estate developer fair game.

It is only a matter of time before the Obama campaign attacks McCain with Charles Keating.

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