Thursday, August 21, 2008

COUNTING DOWN: 5, 4, 3, 2, ...

... to the first right-wing flack or mainstream-media pundit who tells us that John McCain's inability to remember how many homes he owns ("I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you") is a sign that, in fact, he's really an ordinary guy after all, because he clearly doesn't take his wealth and privilege seriously and hasn't let it all go to his head.

Right? Somebody will say that any minute now, no? (UPDATE: Not quite, but almost.)

No, wait, it'll be this: John McCain spent his childhood traveling around as a military brat, and then spent all those years in prison in Hanoi, so now he just -- understandably -- relishes the stability that comes from owning real estate.

... Er, no, that's not right, either -- stability would mean he'd want one home. No, it'll be this: McCain spent his childhood traveling around as a military brat, and then spent all those years in prison in Hanoi, so he gets restless. Yeah, that's it! That's the ticket!

Or maybe he'll just use the same "who the hell are you to question my living arrangements, maggot?" line he used in 1982 when he was running for Congress as a relatively recent arrival to Arizona and was charged with being a carpetbagger:

"Listen, pal," he replied to a challenge to his status as an Arizonan. "I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi."

The press would swoon -- again.

(UPDATE: McCain's people just responded that way. Press swoon still to come.)

In any case, this is a huge development, and the instant Democratic ad is just terrific:


Oh, but as grateful as I am for the Politico story, this detail is not correct:

McCain's comments came four days after he initially told Pastor Rick Warren during a faith forum on Sunday his threshold for considering someone rich is $5 million -- a careless comment he quickly corrected.

No, he didn't correct it. Here's what he said:

So I think if you're just talking about income, how about five million. So -- but seriously, I don't think you can -- I don't think, seriously that -- the point is that I'm trying to make here seriously -- and I'm sure that comment will be distorted, but the point is -- the point is -- the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues.

That's not a correction -- it's an acknowledgment of a gaffe, yes, but it's not a correction.

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