John McCain's mistress was a trending topic during the 2008 presidential campaign. Vicki Iseman was given the mistress/girlfriend label and the alleged affair is back in the light as new information has come to light in 2023.
In the tumultuous realm of political campaigns, scandals often emerge, threatening to overshadow the accomplishments and principles of public figures. One such controversy that stirred up considerable attention during the 2008 Republican Party presidential primaries was the alleged affair involving Senator John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman, earning the tagline of "John McCain mistress." Let's delve into the details surrounding this affair and the subsequent fallout.
John McCain Mistress: The New York Times Revelation
John McCain's mistress was alleged to be Vicki Iseman, Vicki and John were said to have had a quid pro quo relationship.
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In February 2008, both The New York Times and the Washington Post ignited a media storm by publishing articles that hinted at an improper relationship between McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. The New York Times, in particular, highlighted rumors of a close personal connection between the Senator, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Iseman, who was actively lobbying the committee at the time. The timing of the article, amid McCain's presidential campaign, added fuel to the fire.
The Allegations and Denials
The Times story suggested that McCain's aides were concerned about the frequency of Iseman's visits, raising suspicions of a romantic involvement. The article prompted McCain and his wife, Cindy, to vehemently deny the allegations during a news conference. McCain's denial, later revealed by former campaign adviser Steve Schmidt, included lies to the American people and Schmidt himself.
In the aftermath of the article, the word "mistress" became synonymous with the controversy, as McCain and Iseman faced scrutiny over their relationship. The affair, or the denial of it, lingered as a shadow over McCain's presidential aspirations.
Schmidt's Revelation and Admission
Years later, Steve Schmidt disclosed that not only did McCain lie about the affair, but Schmidt himself had also perpetuated those lies on McCain's behalf. Schmidt, in a Substack post, claimed that McCain initially lied to him about the affair, only revealing the truth later. The revelation added a layer of complexity to the already controversial narrative surrounding McCain and Iseman.
The Fallout and Legal Battles
Vicki Iseman responded by filing a $27 million defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, asserting that the paper falsely portrayed her in an illicit romantic relationship with McCain. The lawsuit was eventually settled in February 2009, with no monetary exchange but an unusual "Note to Readers" from The Times emphasizing that they did not intend to allege an affair.
The term "mistress" echoed through legal battles, reflecting the intensity of the scandal and the attempt to clarify the nature of the relationship between McCain and Iseman.
Schmidt's Struggles and Lobbyist's Reaction
Schmidt, who found himself caught in the crossfire, detailed the aftermath of the scandal. He revealed being the target of Iseman's anger, facing relentless calls and verbal attacks. The lobbyist allegedly expressed a desire for Schmidt's children to suffer, adding a personal dimension to the controversy.
McCain's Alleged Blind Eye to Corruption
Schmidt accused McCain of turning a blind eye to corruption within his campaign, indirectly linking it to the alleged relationship with Iseman. This accusation underscored the broader implications of the scandal beyond mere personal relationships.
Vicki Iseman maintain she never had an affair with John McCain but Steve Schmidt recently claimed that he lied.
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In conclusion, the "John McCain mistress" controversy, fueled by The New York Times' revelations and subsequent legal battles, left an indelible mark on McCain's political legacy. The affair, or the denial of it, became a focal point during a crucial period of his presidential campaign, demonstrating the impact scandals can have on political narratives.