Shorter McCain On Keating

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Never mind what I said before, it was a smear job, I did nothing wrong. Maverick!

Nearly 20 years of John McCain's contrition over his role in a 1980s banking scandal vanished this week in 17 minutes and 30 seconds.

It took that long for John Dowd, McCain's lawyer in the Keating Five investigation, to make the mea culpas disappear in a telephone conference call with reporters.

Dowd said Monday the Arizona senator, now the Republican presidential nominee, was the victim of "a classic political smear job" and a "cheap shot" by Democrats who investigated him. The lawyer said the Democratic chairman of the Senate ethics committee during the investigation was a "stooge" of his leadership.