Cindy McCain, the candidate's wife, generally satisfied to stand behind him silently, suddenly is in the headlines after slapping down Michelle Obama for her remark about pride in America. This caused Howard Fineman and Norah O'Donnell in MSNBC to rhapsodize last night about how this "formidable" (they agreed) woman will now be a tremendous asset to McCain. True? Well, for one thing, there is the matter of McCain cheating on his crippled first wife to fool around with wealthy Cindy, many years his junior. And he sure won't be able to go after Obama for his youthful drug use.
Here is an excerpt from a March 3, 2003, article in The New York Times by Melinda Henneberger: "[I]f the public had heard of her at all, it was probably as a result of the 1994 headlines about a federal investigation into her theft of painkillers from a medical charity she ran. Or because of the Keating Five savings and loan scandal a few years earlier, which she was drawn into as well. Today, drug-free since 1993, she looks back on that time in their lives as a moment that 'nearly destroyed both of us.'''....
"And she went through quite a bit. In 1991, her husband was mildly rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising poor judgment in meeting with federal regulators who were investigating Charles Keating Jr., the owner of a failing savings and loan who was also a friend and donor. Mrs. McCain was involved in the matter because she had helped keep her husband's books and could not find receipts showing that they had reimbursed Mr. Keating for flying on his corporate jet to his vacation home in the Bahamas.
"It was under pressure of that scandal, and after back surgery, that she became addicted. And though her drug problem went on for a couple of years, her husband never noticed.
"In the end, it was Mrs. McCain's parents who became worried by her behavior and confronted her. More than a year later, when federal authorities began investigating reports that she had stolen drugs from the charity, the senator finally learned of his wife's addiction -- just before her troubles, too, hit the front page."