The Morning Read: Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New York Times runs a lengthy story that’s ostensibly about John McCain’s difficulties in living up to the public ethics standards he has set, but which addresses — prominently — the idea that he may have had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist for whom he later did favors.

Hillary Clinton advisers are split on how to take on Barack Obama, with Clinton strategist Mark Penn advocating the go-for-broke side of the equation: “It is really up to the press to dig deeper and vet him now,” he said.

Peter Nicholas has more on the inner-campaign split here.

“Let’s get real about this election,” Clinton told a crowd in New York.

“It’s Hail Mary time,” for Clinton, according to this story.

The McCain campaign accused the Times of “lowering their standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear job."

On the fallout to McCain, political analyst Larry Sabato said there probably won’t be much because “The Republicans are pretty much stuck with him.”

Control of the New York State Senate could hinge on the issue of fishing rights.

Fred Dicker writes about Eliot Spitzer’s declining poll numbers.

A “hush hush” education study may lead to the end of the school district dedicated to severely handicapped students.

Right before the start of the Sean Bell trial, his widow signed up to appear in ads for Rocawear clothing.

A Staten Island Ferry crash victim who lost part of his right leg will get $6.5 million from the city.

A columnist sues to get a press pass.

Doug Thompson writes “Mark [Penn] doesn’t admit failure or defeat. Hillary Clinton’s enormous ego will not allow her to admit a mistake either.”

Lawrence Kudlow says it’s over for the Clintons.

Michael Goodwin criticized the Times for publishing that McCain story, writing, “The bar of proof gets raised when we’re in the late innings of a presidential primary and your subject is closing in on his party’s nomination.”

Nicole Gelinas doesn’t like how Spitzer and Eric Dinallo are working with the troubled bond markets right now.

Gail Collins is suspicious about why the government wants to shoot falling satellites out of the sky.

And Richard Winger says Republicans are disappearing.

The Morning Read: Thursday, February 21, 2008