Apparently, the controversy of the day revolves around John McCain’s ability to accurately state how many houses he and his wife own:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.
“I think â€” I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. “It’s condominiums where â€” I’ll have them get to you.”
The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.
Which prompted this snarky response from Virginia Governor Tim Kaine:
Obama V.P. prospect and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine mocked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday for not knowing exactly how many houses he owns.
“I understand that Sen. McCain was asked yesterday this question, ‘how many houses do you own?,’ and he couldn’t answer that question. He couldnâ€™t count high enough apparently to even know how many houses he owns,” said Kaine.
And, as The Politco reports, the Democrats apparently think they have something here:
In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up their effort to caricature McCain as living an outlandishly rich lifestyle â€” a bit of payback to the GOP for portraying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as an elitist, and for turning the spotlight in 2004 on the five homes owned by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Pro-Obama labor groups have sent out mailers highlighting McCainâ€™s wealth, and prominent Democrats have included references to it in comments to reporters.
Twice in the past two weeks, those Democrats have focused on McCainâ€™s houses.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Politicoâ€™s Ben Smith that it was McCain â€œwho wears $500 shoes, has six houses and comes from one of the richest families in his state.”
And David Axelrod, Obamaâ€™s chief strategist, referred in an interview with Adam Nagourney of The New York Times to an imagined meeting of McCain strategists â€œon the portico of the McCain estate in Sedona â€” or maybe in one of his six other houses.â€
And the Obama campaign has gotten into the game with this ad which is one of the more balatant hate-the-rich appeals I’ve seen in quite a long time:
Will it work ? Only time will tell, of course, but the truth of the matter is that there is a segment of the population out there for whom an appeal to envy and class warfare will work, and that’s obviously what the Obama campaign is banking on.
The truth of the matter, of course, is that it doesn’t matter how many homes McCain and his wife — who happens to be an heiress and businesswoman worth quite a lot of money — own or have an interest in. No more than it matters how big Barack Obama’s Chicago home is, or that he took a week long vacation in Hawaii, something that most Americans couldn’t afford.
If you’re attacking the men because of their ideas, that’s one thing. If you’re attacking them merely because they, or their spouses, are successful, that’s quite another and its a sign of the kind of envy that, in the end, can come of no good.