Controversy: The McCain Irony: Reform's Champion Rakes In the Bucks

The price of admission was $1,000 for the high-tech executives gathered last June at the Washington mansion of America Online honcho George Vradenburg. Guest of honor Senator John McCain took the balcony. "The difference between me and the Democrats," McCain joked, "is that the Democrats want everyone to have a house. I want everyone to have a house like this."

Why were all these smiling tech gurus, including AOL chairman Steve Case, clumped around McCain? Did they think the G.O.P. long shot would be the next President? Maybe, but they were more certain he will continue as chairman of the...

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