Here's John McCain's response ad to his not knowing how many homes he owns:


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/vjC2AlWy6CI&hl=en&fs=1 expand=1]

I say he just uses this Powerline defense:

The latest campaign kerfuffle is Obama's effort to make hay out of John McCain's inability to tell a reporter how many houses he owns. McCain mumbled something about condos and said the reporter should talk to his wife. Predictably, Obama is trying to spin this exchange as showing that McCain is "out of touch."

I can relate, though. For example, if a reporter asked me how many ties I own, there's no way I could answer. Just like McCain, I'd tell him he has to ask my wife. Likewise if someone wants to know how many Wii games my kids have.

See, some Americans have a lot of things, like DVDs they got 5 for $20 at Blockbuster, or stamps, or million-dollar houses. It's all the same! People pick up ties, they pick up condos. It happens, especially at these prices!

The truth is that McCain isn't out of touch with "ordinary people" because he's rich, he's out of touch with his own domestic arrangements because he cares little about material things, and for many years has devoted his extraordinary energies not to enjoying his wife's money, but to serving the American people. Given the number of nights he's spent in hotels or on military bases over the last few years, it's no wonder he hasn't seen much of his wife's condos.

Right. John McCain also doesn't remember his policies because he has the full confidence that he'll do the right thing no matter what he faces. And he didn't remember that hamburger he stuck in his winter jacket last April because he actually wanted pizza. What I really don't get about the McCain ad is that Obama, according to the ad, couldn't quite afford his house - he's doing well, and he has a nice house, but even that wasn't exactly easy for him. It's insinuating that Obama gave Rezko favors in order to get his house, but it doesn't say what Obama did or what Rezko got - just, you know, "favors" (it's the same problem that I have with Obama's "tax breaks for big corporations" line - it's too vague to truly hit). There's also no connection between Rezko's legal problems and Obama, because, well, there aren't any. It's the "bunch of bad words" theory of political ads, which is normally the sort of flailing you expect out of a Democratic campaign.

What this also brings to mind - I know the square footage of Edwards' home (28,200), the value of Obama's home and its adjacent lot ($1.65 million and $600,000, respectively), how many homes the Kerrys have/had (5)...but even after a full day of coverage of McCain's gaffe, we still have no idea about the basic answer to a simple question: how many homes does he own? I understand that, like Wii games, you might have to count them, but that shouldn't really take too long - you go and you count them. Then you have an answer. Counting is something that large puppets teach children on public television, my friends, not a skill you have to learn in your 70s.