John McCain did his part for the GOP slime machine in talking to Barak Obama like he was an errant child and fabricating a "character issue" for the rising Democratic star. As Matt Stoller notes, it should be on Joe Lieberman to jump into this one and come to Obama's defense:
There were two other people at the meeting - Susan Collins, moderate Republican from Maine and Democrat Joe Lieberman, the moderate Democrat from Connecticut. Lieberman can and will weigh in on this conflict, and were he a reasonable man I would imagine he would take one look at the series of letters and realize that John McCain was way out of line. Now, this is the critical point to keep in mind - Lieberman is the only Democratic Senator who was in the room at the time, so the press will pay special attention to what he says. Lieberman can call out McCain on his partisan slash-and-burn strategy, and buttress Obama's claim to bipartisanship. Or he can participate in the smear and ask both sides to calm down, even though this attack is entirely one-sided and it is very clear that Obama is seeking a bipartisan good ethics bill.On the good news side today, Ned Lamont is officially a candidate in the Connecticut race now -- he's created a candidate committee, named a campaign manager and has begun searching for a headquarters. It would be nice if, after this November, we didn't have to just assume Lieberman was going to stick the knife in -- the only question always seems to be how hard he will twist it.
That's what I'm watching. Will Lieberman support his fellow Democratic Senate colleague in pursuit of a well-structured bipartisan approach to ethics reform? Or will he support John McCain's (who he quasi-endorsed for President) attempt to derail the whole process?