By John Ruberry
While “the betters” on the Sunday talk shows were praising John McCain, who died from brain cancer Saturday, Mrs. Marathon Pundit turned to me and asked, “Why isn’t anyone talking about the number of houses he owned?”
The TV talking heads weren’t.
In his laudatory statement about the Arizona senator’s passing, of course Barack Obama didn’t bring up the houses. But in 2008, when a Politico reporter asked the Arizona senator how many houses he owned, and in a awkward manner, McCain replied that he didn’t know. He suggested that the reporter check with his staff.
Watch Obama–the pertinent section begins at 1:38–mock McCain for being an out-of-touch elitist over the houses gaffe.
The correct number was eight, if you include the homes owned by McCain’s wife.
Obama’s campaign used the McCain houses remark in television ad. Which, in one of the McCain campaign’s better moments, led a spokesperson to retort, “Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?”
Obama still owns that mansion, purchased with guidance from Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko. And he now owns a second mansion, this one with–wait for it–a wall, in Washington.
McCain was tortured by his North Vietnamese jailers during his five years as a prisoner of war. Those injuries made it very difficult for him to type and use a computer. Which led the Obama campaign to run this sneering ad against McCain:
CNN didn’t begin its piling-on against prominent Republicans with the rise of Donald Trump, its Jeanne Moos sardonically reported on the McCain computer kerfuffle during the ’08 campaign.
When asked a town hall in 2008 about a George W. Bush statement that American troops might be serving in Iraq for 50 years, McCain musingly replied that they could there for “maybe 100.”
Let’s add some context here. Over seven decades after the defeat of the Axis powers there still are American troops stationed in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Only extremists from both sides of the political aisle are calling for their removal.
Obama pounced on McCain for the 100-years remark. “Instead of offering an exit strategy for Iraq” Obama said a month later, “he’s offering us a 100-year occupation.”
McCain never spoke of an “occupation.” Obama pulled out our troops from Iraq in late 2011 and bragged about it in during his reelection campaign. Three years later ISIS seized nearly one-third of Iraq. Then Obama dispatched combat troops to Iraq again. About 5,000 of them remain.
Obama, as he is about so many other things, was wrong about Iraq.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.