John McCain hugged George W. Bush at the '04 convention, says he would have signed the South Dakota abortion bill, and tried to rally conferees around the president at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference meeting this past weekend -- and guess what? The GOP Right still hates him.
If you can't tell, let New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove present the evidence:
Is John McCain a lesbian? Maybe we'll learn the answer from Edward Klein, who insinuated as much about Hillary Clinton in his 2005 biography -- largely a clip-job of hit pieces, reviewers said -- and is apparently hard at work on a poison-pen book about the Arizona senator. According to Crain's New York Business, Klein claims he'll chronicle the Republican presidential front-runner's "sexual infidelity, chronic gambling and anger management." I can hardly wait.
Klein may not have always been a soldier in the right-wing attack army, but he's one now. Go here and read about the extensive publicity campaign mounted by the Scaife-funded NewsMax operation for Klein's book on Hillary Clinton. He'll get a lot of help from the NewsMax crowd for this book as well.
Oh, and see this item at the Drudge Report -- Drudge insists that McCain's attempt to get voters in the SRLC straw poll to write in Bush as their '08 presidential choice was meant to cover over the fact that he expected to lose the poll; Drudge calls it an "embarrassment" and notes with a sneer that McCain finished fifth.
UPDATE: Atrios has a point -- Klein's Hillary book was so nasty it was disowned even by much of the right. But the timing of the McCain book will be very, very different -- it'll be coming out just as McCain is about to face a pool of voters that will include a lot of people who'll actually believe whatever nonsense Klein dredges up. Remember what happened with the Hillary book -- decent people across the political spectrum denounced it, but it hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. Somebody must have believed it. With McCain, again, Klein doesn't need the approval of the high-minded -- he just needs to sell books, and his pals need him to queer the pitch for McCain in South Carolina once again.