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Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Manufactured Controversy Of The Day: John McCain's Houses

The Politico, via the massive play it is getting on memeorandum, reports that they asked John McCain how many houses he owned and he told them he would have to get his staff to get back to them.

Democrats are having a blast with this manufactured controversy, but as The Trail points out, McCain not only owns houses but the McCain's also own investment properties, which aren't homes they live in or reside in at any time of the year.

This started the Obama campaign to instantly start attacking on the subject before thinking the issue through and the questions surrounding the home he owns, which McCain spokesman, Brian Rogers, calls "a frickin' mansion", then he expands on that by saying, "He doesn't tell people that. You have a mansion you bought in a shady deal with a convicted felon."

The felon reference was to Tony Rezko, a former Obama friend and financial backer who was convicted on fraud and bribery charges this year. Rogers vowed to intensify efforts to link Obama to Rezko in the coming days.

"That's fair game now," he said. "You are going to see more of that now that this issue has been joined. You'll see more of the Rezko matter from us."

The Top of the Ticket shows both campaign's responses:

In baseball terms, that's known as hanging a curveball. And this morning you can't find a Democrat who's not holding a baseball bat, swinging away. Barack Obama's campaign may have set a record getting an ad up about it. Even Obama -- who usually leaves this stuff to the surrogates and staffers -- got into it, weaving a jab into a comment earlier today in Chester, Va. (Transcript is from the campaign; video is below):

I guess if you think that being rich means you’ve got to make $5 million and if you don’t know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong. But if you’re like me, and you’ve got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don’t lose their home, you might have a different perspective. ... So there’s just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCain’s world and what people are going through every single day here in America."

Of course, McCain's people couldn't leave Obama's reference to his own house dangling out there. That's the house, you'll recall, next to the lot Obama got a deal on through his friendship with now-convicted Chicago wheeler-dealer Antoin "Tony" Rezko. McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers:

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.

This will get a lot of play on the Democratic blogs but I am not sure it is wise to start bringing up homes and houses and elitism when Obama is already seen as elite and the Rezko situation is ripe for plucking this close to the November elections.

One would think the Democrats would have learned by now that when one lives in a glass house, those stones they throw can demolish their own house when they boomerang back at them, faster than those stones will demolish ANY of McCain's multiple houses.

You can see all the buzz going on about this over at memeorandum, to which I tip my hat for bringing the whole thing to my attention early this morning.

The Politico article can be found here.

If this is the best the Democrats and Obama have to use against McCain, then they are in even more trouble than recent polls say they are.