Add to My Yahoo!

Newsweek's Fineman: McCain campaign using POW status as 'crutch'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday August 22, 2008

Print This  Email This

A spokesman for Senator John McCain recently attempted to deal with the flap over McCain not knowing how many houses he owns by asserting, "McCain is not an arugula-eating, pointy headed professor-type" ... [but] a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison."

However, as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann pointed out on Thursday's Countdown, "He did not explain what any of that ... has to do with whether or not you know how many houses you own.

"This is the third time McCain's campaign has used 'POW' as a reflexive non-sequitur," Olbermann continued, "a trend now risking self-parody -- 'a noun, a verb, and POW.'"

After running through a list of McCain's luxury homes and other million-dollar properties, Olbermann turned to Newsweek editor and political analyst Howard Fineman for comment.

"The thing that I think got McCain tripped up," Fineman suggested, "is that I think legally he probably doesn't really own them. ... When he married Cindy, he married into a family empire of at least ... $100 million. Those houses are probably mostly in her name. So he doesn't pay attention to the details -- which in its own way is almost more damning."

"Did the McCain response strike you as a little panicky?" Olbermann asked. "To insert the POW stuff for everything, as if it is immunity -- do you not rather quickly trivialize the meaning of what he went through?"

"It's the original story that defined John McCain," Fineman agreed. "I think he wisely for many years stayed away from it as a political tool. But now it not only defines him, it's become a crutch in the campaign. And I think he is in danger of trivializing it."

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast August 21, 2008.

Download video