John McCain's Ethical Double Standards

04/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The U.S. senate is a lousy launching pad for sainthood, a place of compromise and backslaps, of hidden doors that lead to gilded rooms where the real work gets done. To succeed is to succumb, often to the courtship of big-ticket donors....

In the free-fire information war of a presidential campaign, such nuance can easily get lost in the sound bites. So for McCain, his ability to explain these complex relationships with lobbyists and monied interests is about to be tested. The appearance of impropriety may well be just that -- appearance instead of reality. Nonetheless, McCain is now in the awkward position of hoping voters will give him the benefit of the doubt that he has denied to others.

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