This is Amy Lumet, the California socialite daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet (and granddaughter of chanteuse Lena Horne!) As you might have noted, she is voluptuous! Three years ago she told the Village Voice she wanted to be in Playboy; she apparently used to model. We bring her up today because of some highly unsubstantiated internet rumors that she had an affair with John McCain during the Gulf War while she was married to cancer-stricken conservative pundit P.J. O'Rourke and O'Rourke was on assignment in the Middle East, where John McCain's wife was coincidentally consuming some of the aircraft carriers worth of Percocet she took to cope with the pain of her loveless marriage. We might wait for more evidence as to the veracity of such a rumor if the mere existence of Amy Lumet were not so fascinating in itself.For instance, did you know…

  • Amy Lumet was briefly of a fixture in Republican Washington social life in the late eighties.
  • When she started dating O'Rourke, possibly while still in college at some unspecified school in New Hampshire.
  • They married in late 1990 after living in sin for two and a half years, when O'Rourke was 43 and Lumet was 26.
  • Because O'Rourke thought that if he died covering the Gulf War, it "would make everything simpler if we had been married. It seemed much simpler to be a widow than a girl with a dead boyfriend."
  • In 1991 Lumet began working for John McCain in some unspecified capacity.
  • At which point this would have presumably happened.
  • By 1992 she was a budding public intellectual herself! (Other dreams would bud later.) She wrote about uniting her generation of "Baby Cons" in the National Review. In an essay that did not appear to make much sense.
  • In 1992 John McCain's marriage "of convenience" to Cindy was known to be somewhat less than blissful.
  • By 1993 the couple had moved to New York and Lumet was a columnist for Seventeen.
  • So Julia Allison of the Right with the career trajectory, yes?
  • Okay, by the end of the year they'd split up, in part supposedly because O'Rourke hated New York.
  • Fifteen years later she is married to the son of Gregory Peck.
  • Sharon Osborne, for what it's worth, has gone on record as liking the boob job.
  • And O'Rourke can lavish praise on the Republican presidential candidate in a Weekly Standard essay wherein:
  • Supposedly the "women's vote" is . . . well, let's not go too far with this. I can speak to John's honor, duty, valor, patriotism, etc., but I'm not sure how well his self-discipline would have fared if he'd been on an aircraft carrier with more than 500 beautiful women sailors the way I was. At least John likes women, which is more than we can say about Hillary's attitude toward, for instance, the women in Bill's life, who at this point may constitute nearly the majority of the "women's vote."

  • Whoa.

So if indeed McCain came between O'Rourke and the jailbait first wife he later admitted he married because it seemed like the "honorable" thing to do, he seems to have graciously forgiven the old guy. That, too, shows a kind of honor; if of a starkly different stripe from the sort we commonly associate with the presidential candidate who so famously endured years of torture only to sign up for a few more out of loyalty and honor but can't let go of a two-year-old ethics bill brush-off for long enough to freaking shake his opponent's hand for more than half a second? Sure, John McCain would sooner lose an election than win a war, suspend his campaign than ignore an economic crisis, bomb Iran preemptively than look Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the eye, but it also increasingly seems like he'd sooner hand the reins to Stalin himself than Barack Obama. You know, just out of principle. It it hard, I am saying, to imagine that were the roles reversed, John McCain would prove capable of summoning such sentiments for the man who wrecked his marriage as:

Some say John McCain's character was formed in a North Vietnamese prison. I say those people should take a gander at what John chose to do—voluntarily. Being a carrier pilot requires aptitude, intelligence, skill, knowledge, discernment, and courage of a kind rarely found anywhere but in a poem of Homer's or a half gallon of Dewar's… Some people say John McCain isn't conservative enough. But there's more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo. Conservatism is also a matter of honor, duty, valor, patriotism, self-discipline, responsibility, good order, respect for our national institutions, reverence for the traditions of civilization, and adherence to the political honesty upon which all principles of democracy are based. Given what screw-ups we humans are in these respects, conservatism is also a matter of sense of humor. Heard any good quips lately from Hillary or Barack?

Ha ha, in fact yes! Whereas the charitable, self-deprecating and straight-talking funny guy the media romantics fell for is just not there anymore. He's angry and distant and standing next to Sarah Palin. And if this scurrilous rumor has no basis in fact, aren't you glad you learned Amy Lumet existed?