It just hit me what an amazing 4 week period we are in! Well, amazing at least, if you are an Olympic and political junkie like 🙂 Two weeks of Olympics leading into two weeks of conventions. I know I am going to check out the convention coverage this weekend and set my DVR for a lot of it. It figures I have a board meeting following a scrimmage on Tuesday night. Plus with the Wii and SportsBoy in the house, it will be hard to watch very much live. IOW – I wont be sleeping until sometime in the second week of September!
You know the phrase “Like shooting fish in a barrell”? Well, sorry folks, but I just cannot pass up on House-gate. It is just TOO easy!! Twitter yesterday was buzzing with commentary. Sarcastic statements like mine about just how gosh darn hard it is to keep track of all those houses. Queries of “how many do YOU have?” and “More cars or houses?” and “Can you get your staff to get back to me with that?” Hilarious stuff.And as bad as McCain looked yesterday asking his ‘staff’ to respond to the house question, his wife has appeared even *more* detached. They want to paint Obama as an elitist? I think he can tell you how many houses he has (1). I don’t think it was his wife who talked about buying a private jet because “that’s the only way to get around Arizona.” Or said that she bought a second multi million dollar condo in Coronado because they just “couldn’t get into the first one” due to all the family using it. Oh yes, a rough rough life there. And I wonder why you need two condos in Coronado AND one in downtown LaJolla? For those unfamiliar with my city, those two are locations are about 20 miles away from each other along the same coast. You need three? Yes yes, I know that this is all her money. She’s an enormously wealthy heiress and this is what you do when you have that kind of money. I’m just not so sure you should appear to be bragging about that during a Presidential campaign during what is very economically tenous times for those of us NOT quite so wealthy, you know?
Kagro X on DailyKos described McCain as “phumpering” his through a question and answer session. PERFECT description. He’s done that quite a bit already and it often ends with him snapping in irritation to end the discussion. It saddens me really to see it, because I’ve always liked and respected McCain. Unfortunately the politician I liked is the McCain of 2000. And I didn’t quite pay attention to him after that other than to thoroughly enjoy his many appearances on The Daily Show. Considering the path the GOP has been going down in the last decade, I always thought of him as one of the Good Ones. And I was honestly not unhappy that he won the nomination because he was less scary to me as a liberal than any of the other choices from that side. However, he seems to have completely embraced the Dark Side of the GOP now. He is a maverick no more. Jack Cafferty put it so well in his essay this week. So so true. Please, no more embarassment!
Meanwhile…where is my VP??? I want my VP??? It’s lunch time on the west coast and still no magical text message??? Just tell us!!!!!!!! I gotta say I am thoroughly impressed with how well this has been kept under wraps. Just goes to show you that when they want to, they CAN shut out the press. If there is a leak..it’s because they wanted it leaked.
Update #1 (I say #1 since I will probably comment WHENEVER they finally fricking announce this thing!): Ramblingmom said in a comment that it’s all marketing. It’s much more than that. Announcing the VP name via a text message to those who sign up via his web site is utter brilliance! He’s totally neutered the media. They will not be the first to know. We will! Along with them of course as I assume every last one of them signed up for the Magic Text Message 🙂 But I just love the way he has eliminated the middle man.
Update #2 – Apparently it all started unfolding about 30 mins *after* I went to bed last night! I received my text message at around 2:00am pacific but some people seem to have received theirs up to two hours eariler according to the comments on Dkos. It seems that after the process of elimination (confirmation that other front runners did not get picked) and other activities at the Biden house, the networks finally went out on a limb at night and stated it was Joe Biden. Anyway, pretty funny overall how this was pulled off. And I am happy with Biden. When the ‘gang of three’ final contenders was put out there, he was my favorite. When we still had about 9 people running early in the campaign, he was the winner of a coulpe of those debates. He coined the phrase “a noun a verb and 9/11” to summarize Rudy Guliani’s campaign strategy which was a hoot. He’s tough, he has experience in Washington and he will NOT let the other side smear without response. It becomes kind of a Good Cop/Bad Cop team.
Now, I’ve heard a few talking heads already say that Biden’s foreign policy experience *exposes* Obama’s lack thereof. Oh my gawd! What? Showing some bias are you? Isn’t a VP pick SUPPOSED to balance out perceived weaknesses? And did even ONE of you make the same statement when Bush picked Cheney? Just wondering.
I was thinking the same thing. I’ll come down off the Olympics with Convention coverage. Just in time for back to school.
Honey it’s all marketing — how many people are talking and chatting and twittering about Obama’s Veep pick??
While I completely agree with your opinion on McCain, I have to admit that this flap about the houses disappoints me. It doesn’t play to the campaign of ideas that Obama promised and smacks of an effort to distract voters from real issues.
Yes, McCain did a bad job answering the question. But I also understand that in the modern campaign environment, he couldn’t afford to get the answer wrong. Does he count “family” homes owned by his wife or just those he personally owns/they own together. He could get criticized either way he goes.
But, I’ll admit, I’m not sorry to see how poorly McCain has been performing lately and it doesn’t hurt that it’s coming out just how “elite” his life is.
LSM – If you read my last TWIP you’ll see how I feel overall about negative campaigning. BUT…as I concluded, it works as evidenced by Gore and Kerry and the damage done to them. However much we dislike it, the media wont cover a campaign of ‘ideas’. They want muck. Because the general public apparently wants muck. And a smart Obama would be to keep talking ideas at his rally’s, and with most of his ads, but every now and then he has to throw some muck at McCain.
Obama had to jump on this. And again – the media was running with it a few hours before he did so his campaign knew it was a hot issue to run with. It resonates.
A better “on your toes” answer would have been “We have one main house and several investment properties” and that would have been fine.
The house issue is ridiculous at best. Wealthy people often own real estate in different holding entities and trusts. The question “how many houses do you own” is a trick question. The answer depends upon how you interpret “you” and “own”. I suspect that few, if any, of the homes in which they have an ownership interest are in either his or his wife’s personal name and some may be hers and not his or only part his and/or hers. I have wealthy clients that own property in my name so that their private information is not public.
I don’t think the house issue for McCain is ridiculous. It gives focus to the fact that he *is* wealthy… that he *is* out-of-touch with average folks. He doesn’t know how many houses he owns, he has a quarter of a million per year allocated to his household employees, he doesn’t know what kind of car he drives (though I doubt he drives much if at all). The general idea that he doesn’t have to concern himself personally with the price of milk, bread, gasoline… I think it’s a persuasive narrative.
Owning a home is often a source of pride, self-worth, accomplishment. Not knowing how many houses one owns comes across as arrogant, if not elitist ;). With the economy the way it is, I do think it’s an issue that can be used to point out such things and drive that point home.
Just because someone is wealthy does not mean they are elitist.
Take Princess Di for example. Was she out of touch with the people?
That said, I’m not for McCain.