You can tell the time is late summer and the debating is getting silly. Now, we have the back and forth on real estate. Is this the best we can do, to paraphrase Senator Obama, for substantial debate fodder?
Yesterday, a reporter with Politico, asked Senator McCain how many homes he owned. Odd question, on the face of it appearing to be some sort of strange 'gotcha' exercise. Rather than answer incorrectly, McCain said his staff would get back to him. Obama, falling in the polls, decided this was too yummy to pass. Hey, what happened to the change candidate that didn't stoop to 'gotcha' politics?
Today on the campaign trail with his new best friend, Tim Kaine, governor of VA,(someone with even less substance than Obama in the experience department) Mr. Change mocked Senator McCain and claimed he's out of touch with 'regular' Americans. Taking the answer about wealth out of context from the forum last Saturday at Saddleback Church, the forum where Obama did not give a very good performance, Obama claimed McCain thinks a good marker for personal wealth is $5 million. "I define rich in other ways besides income," he said. "Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if they're billionaires." That quote referenced in the Politico.com article.
The answer to the question seems to be seven in total. However, McCain's name is on none of the properties; they are in Cindy's name or the business name as investment property. The house in which the McCain family live in Arizona is the former home of Cindy's parents, the home in which she was raised. One property is a condo that was purchased for daughter Meghan. One is a condo McCain lives in when working in Washington. There is a family retreat 'ranch' type of property in Sedona. The other condos are listed as investment property.
What is unusual about that for a woman worth many millions of dollars? It is newsworthy simply because John McCain is married to her. I thought wives were off limits. At least that is what we are told if anyone critiques Michelle Obama, "the Closer" for the Obama campaign.
Remember John Kerry? He, too, has a very wealthy wife with many homes. How about the Kennedys or any number of wealthy politicians who have two or three homes in their names? One in Washington and others back home or in vacation locales? The point is, it is not unusual.
Yes, seven is a high number. They also seem to be good investments. I think it shows good business sense. You know, for all those who think McCain doesn't know business or the economy, that must be hard to take. Especially since it's a ridiculous claim anyway. The man is chair of the Senate Commerce Committee.
So, Chuckie Schumer can ridicule John McCain's shoes, of all things, for what he calls "$500 shoes, has six houses and comes from one of the richest families in his state." Wrong on two of the counts for sure, Chuckie. McCain's family isn't wealthy like Cindy's. He's from a military background. Can Schumer get to be any more of a low level political hack in conduct?
And, David Axelrod piping in to The New York Times Adam Nagourney about the "McCain estate in Sedona". Wonder how many homes the political consultant and lobbyist has himself? He's even put out an ad on this issue in record time for the campaign. Classy guy that he is - and agent of Obama's "change" strategy.
So, the McCain campaign responded: "Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?"
"The reality is that Barack Obama's plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he's completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans."
"At a campaign appearance in Chester, Va., on Thursday morning, Obama siad: "Somebody asked John McCain, 'How many houses do you have?' And he said, I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff. True quote: I'm not sure, I'll have to check with my state. So they asked his staff and he said, at least four. At least four!..." That from the Politico. Again, Obama passing off "a true quote" after he edits it for his benefit.
From Richard Miniter's piece at Pajamas Media :"For better or for worse, the senate is a rich man's club. This is largely due to campaign finance laws, which limits how much other people can give you but doesn't limit how much you (or your wife) can give to you, and partly due to a kind of "House of Lords" tradition. (Of course, McCain is to blame for last two iterations of "campaign-finance reform.) Finally, McCain had one good answer open to him when asked how many houses he owns: None. My wife owns them all. A lot of guys can identify with that."
Democrats wish to ridicule or berate Americans for success and sound family economic decisions. In today's world, many 'regular' Americans have a second home. The second home may be a cabin for hunting and fishing. The second home may be a home on a lake for summer vacations or in the mountains for winter skiing. Or, it could be a condo for a college student in another city.
All wise investments. Shame on the Obama campaign. Class warfare won't work this time around. Obama's falling numbers are a clear indication of that. And, in the case of Obama, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. He's not exactly living small himself.