So the linchpin of John McCain’s attacks on Barack Obama has been that Obama is an elitist celebrity out of touch with ordinary Americans.
But all of that changed when McCain, during an interview, couldn’t remember how many houses he and his wife owned.
Now the McCain campaign is seeing their key attack turned back against them, coupled with well-deserved charges of hypocrisy. Using the ‘elitist’ smear was incredibly risky for McCain considering his wealth and affluence, and now he’s watching it blow up in his face.
The McCain campaign’s response was desperate, dragging out nearly every smear and attack employed against Obama yet in this campaign.
It’s clear that this issue has struck a nerve, and it will continue to cause damage. Remember history: George H.W. Bush–extremely experienced, brandishing war hero credentials, won a successful and popular war in Iraq–was unseated by the unknown Governor of Arkansas, who successfully portrayed Bush as out of touch. McCain knows this could damage him–perhaps fatally–particularly if his running mate is also a wealthy elitist (Mitt Romney, anyone?)
And McCain just keeps digging his hole deeper:
McCain, who huddled with advisors at his desert compound in Sedona, Ariz., said nothing in public. A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. McCain otherwise avoided reporters.
And USA Today nails it:
McCain, who has portrayed Obama as an elitist, is the son and grandson of admirals. The Associated Press estimates his wife, a beer heiress, is worth $100 million. Obama was raised by a single mother who relied at times on food stamps, and went to top schools on scholarships and loans. His income has increased from book sales since he spoke at the 2004 Democratic convention.
Don’t expect this to go away soon–with the economy becoming such a huge issue, the American people want to know their next President understands their suffering, something John McCain clearly doesn’t do.