One interesting question about the piece is just how it will be received by the considerable segment of the conservative movement that already views McCain with deep suspicion (the Ann Coulters, the Glenn Becks, and other assorted anti-McCainiacs). On the one hand, as Noam notes, being "attacked" by the New York Times is seen as a feather in the cap by many Republicans and, as printed, the story is hardly dispositive. On the other hand, the story does feed into the feeling on the part of some conservatives that McCain is a sanctimonious phony who's really no purer than the fellow politicians he occasionally castigates. I suspect the first sentiment will predominate in the initial response, but keep an eye out for signs of the latter as the story develops.

--Christopher Orr