41 Days Out (Rick Davis Day): "He was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no."

Jesse Lee is the Online Rapid Response Manager for the DNC, this is a daily update on the day's messaging.

Maybe it's better that John McCain's top advisors are spending their time during this crisis in a losing war on the New York Times. The less people like Rick Davis have time to advise him on the economic situation, the better for America. Almost patriotic of him.

Washington Post: "The lobbying firm founded and co-owned by Rick Davis, the campaign manager for Sen. John McCain's White House bid, received payments from Freddie Mac in recent months, despite assertions by Davis earlier this week that the firm's work for the mortgage giant had ended three years ago. An industry source told The Washington Post that Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, continued to receive monthly payments in the $15,000 range from Freddie Mac until very recently, confirming an ongoing financial relationship reported last night in several other publications. The source said Davis Manafort was paid for being on retainer to Freddie Mac but did little actual work after early 2007."

Newsweek: "...Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month--long after the Homeownership Alliance had been terminated. The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told NEWSWEEK that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, because 'he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no,' said one of the sources. [McLoughlin did not return phone calls]."

New York Times: "They said they did not recall Mr. Davis's doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than to speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of his close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House."

One would think that might bother the McCain campaign, given that McCain's said that "At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." Sadly, no! It's all the boogeyman New York Times' fault! So out went yet another McCain campaign screed (this time with a special shout-out to HuffPo). Without spending too much time debunking, the Politico headline, "McCain camp attacks Times, doesn't deny report," and HuffPo take, "McCain Camp Whacks And Misses In Latest NYT Attack," probably tell you all you need to know.

So what's the next question, given that Rick Davis apparently was taking hundreds of thousands of dollars for basically nothing except for being John McCain's friend?

Obama-Biden communications director Dan Pfeiffer:

"It is now clear that both John McCain and Rick Davis did not tell the truth about Davis's continuing financial relationship with Freddie Mac, one of the actors at the center of this financial crisis. It's troubling not only that Davis's firm--with which he is still associated and which the McCain campaign paid directly last year--continued to be compensated by Freddie Mac until as recently as last month, but that the firm did little work and apparently was being paid simply to provide access to the McCain campaign.

"The question that now needs to be answered is this: did Freddie Mac or any other special interests buy access to John McCain by compensating top officials, including Rick Davis?"

Somebody would probably ask Mr. Davis that, but off to the cone of silence he goes!

Chicago Sun-Times: "John McCain campaign manager Rick Davis skips lunch with reporters... John McCain campaign manager Rick Davis--under the spotlight because of his work for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--is skipping a Wednesday lunch with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. On Tuesday, word came that McCain political director Mike DuHaime will substitute for Davis because he is 'heading out on the trail' today."

Still 41 days left, hope there's enough necessities stocked up in the cone to get everybody in there through...