Obama Paints McCain as Wealthy and Clueless
By Howard Kurtz in The Trail:
The Ad: Maybe you're struggling just to pay the mortgage on your home. But recently John McCain said, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." Hmm. Then again, that same day, when asked how many houses he owns, McCain lost track -- he couldn't remember. Well, it's seven. Seven houses. And here's one house America can't afford to let John McCain move into. [Shot of the White House]
Analysis: This Barack Obama ad attempts to paint the senator from Arizona as a wealthy, out-of-touch elitist -- precisely the tactic that Republicans once used against John Kerry and John Edwards.
McCain did make the comment about the economy and, in an interview with Politico yesterday, could not enumerate how many houses he owns (valued at $13 million, an on-screen graphic says). The McCain camp says he owns four houses and the others are investments of his wife Cindy, heir to a beer distributorship.
The underlying assumption -- that McCain's personal fortune makes him insensitive to the struggling economy -- is highly debatable. McCain has repeatedly talked about the need to address economic problems, and both he and the senator from Illinois voiced support for -- but did not vote on -- a housing bailout bill passed by Congress. But the tactic could be an effective counterpunch to McCain's ads dismissing Obama as a mere celebrity.
The Obama spot implicitly makes one other charge. By showing McCain speaking in slow motion, with melancholy music in the background, while the narrator says he can't remember the number of homes, the ad suggests the 71-year-old Republican is confused.
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