Barack Obama: John McCain is out of touch because he has more houses than a sultan, rides around in golf carts and thinks that $500,000 a year is apparently enough to classify as working poor.
John McCain: Inky file footage says that Barack Obama will RAZE UR TAXES.
This is turning from a message war into a message massacre.
UPDATE: This John Dickerson piece does something really annoying:
The Obama campaign recognized this gaffe for what it was: The number of Americans who do not know how many houses they own is so small they could probably fit in a golf cart. It is not a problem that afflicts the average American family. The campaign rushed to make an ad showing McCain as out of touch, but it strays into even more radioactive territory by making a subtle dig at McCain's age. (Listen to the narrator's tone when he says of McCain: "He lost track, he couldn't remember.") Obama brought the house business up on the stump. His surrogates romped around on cable TV declaiming against McCain.
Did anyone else in the world view that as a dig at McCain's age? The announcer said he couldn't remember because McCain couldn't actually remember. This keeps happening, too: reporters looking for the "age card", which actually says more about their desperation for it to happen than anything Obama's actually doing. If every time McCain can't answer a question or answers a question incorrectly the "age card" is being played, every one of McCain's screwups makes Obama an exponentially larger bigot. The entire point of the attack is that McCain is so rich he has too many houses to keep track of - unlike 99.99% of Americans. What's the age-neutral language for that?