I don't know what to make of this pay-to-play on video tape story. On the one hand, it's entirely unsurprising, as this kind of thing happens all the time. Access is currency in Washington (and everywhere elese, actually.) On the other hand, it was striking to see it so bluntly on videotape, particularly as Payne was selling not just access, but literally selling foreign policy. The most surprising thing about this affair, however, is that the press actually went out and did the investigation in the first place.
Of course, it was a foreign paper, so I shouldn't be too surprised.
But man, there's not much in this world that you could give me to get me to donate $250,000 to the George W. Bush presidential library. I might send them a free copy of The Pet Goat, though.