David Gregory speculates that the Edwards' affair may be bad news for Obama. I have a very hard time seeing how Edwards' affair reflects on Obama. What I do know is that this is another of those cases where there is a tacit but uniform agreement among pretty much all reporters and close campaign watchers not to publicly state the obvious: that this is a perilous development for John McCain. Just as Bill Clinton's public undressing in the Lewinsky scandal led indirectly to the exposure of several high-profile Republican affairs, Edwards' revelation will inevitably put pressure on the press in general to scrutinize John McCain under something more searching than the JFK rules they've applied to date. I assure you that this dimension of the story occurred to every reporter even tangentially involved in reporting this race soon after the Edwards story hit yesterday afternoon.
In the Digby post I linked before, she also mentioned Vicki Iserman, and noted:
I personally don't care who and of these people are sleeping with (especially McCain). Marriage is a very complicated institution and I don't pass judgment on how others conduct theirs. I think this is all bullshit. But if the media has decided that even a failed politician who has no chance at the presidency can be subject to this kind of scrutiny, then they need to be a little bit more vigilant about pursuing someone who is the nominee of his party and has been very publicly linked to a specific woman by the paper of record, not the National Enquirer. If these are the rules, then this guy is a far more likely subject of scrutiny than Edwards.
Update: I just heard Barnicle say on Hardball that it was only "a matter of time before they ask Barack Obama and McCain --- well McCain's talked about his past --- Barack Obama, if he's ever had an affair." IOKIYAJM.
"IOKIYAJM" (It's okay if you are John McCain) alone is a keeper. I'd much prefer substantial coverage of real issues and legitimate scandals, but to be really cynical for a moment, perhaps equal coverage of shallow affairs is the highest standard our press corps can achieve.
(Much more on John McCain and his coverage in later posts, since those were already on the docket...)
(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)