This whole "John McCain, screwed around with a lobbyist thing" bothers me for a few reasons...
First: It is sucking up all the oxygen, and I don't really care about it. But one can hardly find anything else to read today. (Bonus side effect: Nobody is talking about Michelle Obama...)
Second: The "affair" part of the story seems shaky. And old.
Third: Nobody cares about any part but the sexual affair—which is the least important part and the one most easily discredited.
As a result, if that portion of the story cannot be substantiated, the whole thing goes away: McCain walks on the ethical violations that likely occurred, the New York Times gets (rightfully) dinged—which plays up the whole liberal media conspiracy crap (undeservedly), and McCain raises a whole bunch of money off of it (he already is).
Plus, it galvanizes the right-wing behind him. They don't love McCain, but God knows they hate the NY Times...
John McCain having an affair is none of my damn business, nor anybody else's except those intimately involved or directly impacted. It's true for Bill Clinton, Mr. Jeri Ryan, and everybody else. If it isn't affecting their job, it doesn't matter to me.
If, on the other hand it leads to cover-ups, abuse of power, favors, and influence, that's a problem. And that is what should be the concern, and the angle of any investigation—journalistic or otherwise.
Also sure to be swept under the rug by all of this, is the story of John McCain's abuse of the public finance system, and the hypocrisy of his calling Obama out on the subject. (As long as this goes away for both of them, I'll consider it a wash, but I suspect it will stick to Obama yet McCain will be inoculated.)
It will probably turn out that the most likely scenario involving the relationship with the lobbyist, is something like this which makes her the closest thing to a victim here, and not a particularly sympathetic one.
In conclusion, nobody likes seeing sanctimonious assholes hoisted on their own petards more than me. And for the self-styled Champion of Ethics and Honesty to get exposed as the fraud that he is at a time that might help my side, well... that certainly won't keep me up at night with guilt. And please don't feel bad for his wife, Vanilla Ice, either—she was "the other woman" that ended McCain's first marriage...
So while McCain's perfect Straight Shooter reputation might be tarnished a bit, I think he gets away with it all, earns acceptance with the far right through this baptism by fire, and it successfully muddies the water on all the actual bad behavior and makes the press even more gun-shy to take him on.
The funniest thing I read on this whole thing? This comment (somewhere)...
"Well, if nothing else, this should solidify his role as a replacement for Bob Dole in Viagra commercials.