3:17 PM, Nov 20, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Politico reporters will give right-wingers the kind of fair treatment that they can get almost nowhere else, but in this piece on McCain's shift on cap and trade includes a line that just drips with bias. Reporter Lisa Lerer, wrongly in my opinion, attributes McCain's shift on cap and trade to a changeover in staff -- in particular the departure of Mark Salter, who was always pretty green for a Republican. Lerer writes,
Even if former aides said that -- and given the enormous number of former McCain aides, a reporter could find "a former McCain aide" to say almost anything -- what's with the nonsense about "productive solutions"?
If Lerer wants to assert that the current crop of McCain aides are eco-friendly incompetents who just can't manage to steer the senator toward a cap and trade compromise, fine -- though there doesn't seem much evidence for such an assertion. But "productive solutions"? I'd say the current staff is having more success at steering McCain to a "productive solution" on cap and trade than any that came before them.
As to the larger question of why McCain has dropped this issue, I'd offer a simpler answer: John McCain doesn't like Barack Obama and isn't about to spend his political capital on Obama's hugely unpopular domestic agenda. That's just a guess, but I'd bet dollars to donuts it's the truth.