Monday, August 11, 2008


Adam Nagourney of The New York Times reports that David Axelrod of the Obama campaign has criticized McCain's attack campaign this way:

"Obviously, his strategists met on the portico of the McCain estate in Sedona -- or maybe in one of his six other houses -- and decided what line of attack they were going to use."

I like it. But Politico's Jonathan Martin says today that this line of attack just isn't fair:

To go after McCain on the ranch would be akin to dinging Reagan for Santa Barbara or Bush for Crawford -- places that are more bucolic than glamorous.

Martin explains:

While new-agey and cosmopolitan Sedona is just down the road, McCain's cabin is at the base of a dusty valley in a fairly remote part of Arizona.

Funny -- Martin put that in a somewhat different way a couple of months ago:

Should McCain's cabin become the next Western White House, it will have similarities to, but also key differences from, George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Both are remote. The closest city to Crawford is Waco -- a half-hour drive. Sedona is even more far afield. There is one airstrip locally. To come on a commercial flight, though, one must drive up from Phoenix -- two hours to the south.

The key difference is that McCain's place lies in a resort-heavy area with all the requisite trimmings. One can be in the town of Sedona in a matter of minutes, where there are a variety of restaurants, shops and, yes, places to buy The New York Times. So while it's at the bottom of a long, rocky dirt road -- 4x4 highly recommended -- a latte is never far away.

There's no actual contradiction there, but notice the pronounced shift in emphasis -- and the way Martin has made those lattes vanish.

Also in today's post, Martin says, in defense of the ranch,

Many Americans have weekend cabins.

Yeah, but many Americans don't have weekend cabins on property valued at $1.7 million.

And yes -- Martin does say today that it would be fair to "ding" McCain for the ritziness of his other houses. But watch him defend McCain, by downplaying the poshness of the other properties, if the Obama campaign tries to do that in the future.

(And if you missed it, here's my post from last night about the very New Agey Sedona.)

No comments: