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Another BOW Award for McCain -- Surprise!

Most of the major organizations that give out awards -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives the Oscars; the Baseball Writers Association of America, which gives the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year Awards to name a few -- don’t like to recognize the same person twice in a row. Generally it takes a performance in the second year that is so overwhelming that it simply can’t be ignored. For instance, Tom Hanks won the Oscar in 1993 for his terrific performance in Philadelphia. But the following year his work in Forrest Gump was so outstanding that the Academy had to give him the award again. Same with Mickey Mantle’s back-to-back MVP awards in 1956 and 1957 -- he was the best player in the league both years. How could the baseball writers deny him the award?
Well, gentle readers, I find myself in the same position with this week’s BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award. Last week’s deserving winner was Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, whose statements and actions in the wake of the Russian military’s incursion into Georgia were shameful and reckless. How could I have known that McCain would outdo himself this week? How could I have guessed that in a week relatively short on buffoonery, McCain would come up with such a remarkable gaffe? Actually, I suppose if I’d been watching the previous six months of his campaign more closely, I would have been prepared for this. . . .
This actually should have been a pretty good week for McCain. He was on message most of the week. President Bush managed to get through much of the week without doing anything too stupid or embarrassing. And every poll released over the last seven to ten days has showed the Presidential race narrowing significantly, including one somewhat dubious poll from Zogby/Reuters that shows McCain with a 5 point lead. (Don’t worry, fellow Democrats, that poll lies far outside the range of every other poll, and Zogby is just about the most erratic of the big-name pollsters.)  Still, it was a good week for McCain, and I found myself hard-pressed to identify any BOW Award standouts.
But then McCain was asked about his houses by a reporter from Politico, and suddenly all was right with the world. The buffoonery floodgates opened, McCain’s right-wing apologists crawled out of the woodwork to defend him, and I had something to blog about.
For those who missed it, the exchange on August 20 went like this:
Politico Reporter: “How many houses do you and Mrs. McCain have?”
McCain: "I think — I'll have my staff get to you. It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."
That was it. He couldn’t remember how many houses he owns, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. (I have one, which is fairly easy to remember. How many do you have?) Soon after the interview, his campaign said that he and Mrs. McCain have four houses. Newsweek looked into the matter and found evidence suggesting they have seven. Politico turned up evidence of eight. At one point the estimate, including condos and houses, got as high as ten before settling back down at nine. Yeah, that’s right, nine. They’re worth a total of well over $13 million. In 2007, the McCains spent $273,000 on household staff. That’s more than my wife and I made in 2006 and 2007 combined. It’s not even close, really.
All this from a man whose campaign has spent the last two months trying to paint Barack Obama as an elitist who is out of touch with the every day concerns of average Americans.
But it gets worse. In their efforts to cover for McCain’s mind-boggling inability to pinpoint the extent of his wealth and property holdings, Republican operatives have gone to some extraordinary lengths. A writer on the conservative blog “Powerline” made this remarkable statement: “I can relate . . . 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.”
Joe Watkins, a Republican strategist, cautioned Democrats about going after McCain on the house gaffe. Everybody knows John McCain is a patriot.There’s nothing wrong with having investment properties. Lots of Americans do. If I was Barack Obama, I wouldn’t get into this argument with John McCain, who is an American hero.” Hmmmm. It seems that you can say anything you want as long as you’ve been a prisoner of war.
Anyway, there were a few other nominees this week, including Uber wingnut Rush Limbaugh, who long ago proved himself to be one of the most racially insensitive people on the planet. This week he said that the reason Barack Obama has the Democratic nomination is that “nobody [in the party] had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy.”
But like Tom Hanks in 1994 and Mickey Mantle in 1957, John McCain has overwhelmed the competition and earned himself a second consecutive award.
This week’s BOW Award goes to Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, for not knowing how many houses he owns, even as he claims to be the candidate who understands the economic concerns of the average voter. Take a BOW there Senator. You’ve earned it. Again. And when you get a chance let me know to which house I should send your award . . . .


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Paraphrasing the next Vice President of the United States, "A verb, a noun, and POW". At some point, which has passed, the use of being a POW has becomes a negative. It's bad enough to continually use it, demeaning other POWs and their experiences for political gain, to claim it as some sort of executive experience that would qualify one to be President even has its limits. To use it to defend his memory of how many homes he has is not only offensive but it makes people wonder just how damaging that experience was for the Senator from Arizona and whether the damage actually has the reverse effect and makes him, personally, distinctly unqualified for the office.
Aug. 24th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
All excellent points. I still find it hard to believe that Wesley Clark, a genuine hero whose military experience actually does enhance his resume, was crucified in the press questioning whether McCain's experience as a POW qualifies him to be President.
Aug. 24th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
verb...noun...POW...and now...house keys. :)

The funny thing is how the McCain campaign and the RW shriekers have responded. No matter who Obama picked, that person would have a different resume than he has. Therefore, the detractors could claim that whoever was chosen was picked to fill some 'hole' in his resume, to fill a weakness. That anyone in the 'media' even brings up that concept shows just how silly we've become.

The McCain campaign is also now using Biden's and Clinton's statements in the primary rather than come up with their own ideas. This seems to be a theme. Regurgitate talking points over and over hoping something, anything will stick. The media certainly is giving them the free air time they need to trash Obama rather than making them pay for it. Good business call there.

Have grown to like Clark but what Obama actually needs is someone who can be his attack dog. Clark is too principled to sling mud and Obama's persona (or personality) won't allow him to do it either. Biden's entrance just changed the tone of this. What the Democrats always do is think the other side will hold back and they won't go there. I don't think we have to worry about that now.
Aug. 24th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping you're right. It would be fun to watch the Dems successfully bash the GOP for a change.
Aug. 24th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
That is beautiful in a twisted way.
Aug. 24th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm. Is that better or worse than being twisted in a beautiful way...?

Thanks for the comment. Hope all is well.
Aug. 24th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Funny how Repubs are trying to defend this stupefying gaffe when they used the very same argument AGAINST Kerry in 2004.
Aug. 24th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
--Gasp-- Mark, are you implying that the Republicans are guilty of some sort of . . . of . . . hypocrisy?! I'm shocked!
Aug. 25th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
I actually like how Obama who recently returned from his private beach in Hawaii, to his million dollar home which he bought with the help of a convicted felon has the gumption to say that McCain is out of touch with the working man. I don't think Obama would want to get into an argument about houses when he has his house looming over him. I think there is an apt phrase out there. "People in million dollar glass houses shouldn't through stones."

Secondly, most of the houses McCain supposidly own are actually owned by his wife with his name just slapped on the byline of the deed.

Thirdly, how many houses did John Kerry have again? How many does Nacy Pelosi have? How many houses do the Kennedy's have?

Overall, I think politicians in general are out of touch with the working man - be they Republican or Democrat. That is one of the things wrong with the current political process.
Aug. 25th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I won't bother responding to most of this, since it pretty much echoes GOP talking points and they've proven remarkably ineffective at containing this mess for McCain. But I think you've got some serious chutzpah saying that the houses are Cindy's and bringing up Kerry's wife. The Right was relentless in its attacks on Theresa Heinz Kerry in 2004, and they would NEVER have let Kerry get away with the "it's my wife's money" defense. In fact they accused him of soaking off his wife and never actually working or producing anything of value or some such nonsense -- words that could be thrown right back at McCain this time around. And at least Kerry had the decency to release Theresa's tax info and details about her wealth, something McCain has yet to do with respect to Cindy's money.
Aug. 26th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
And I love how the Republicans comment about how Obama shouldn't bring up McCain's houses because of his (debunked) ties to Rezko. You'd think the Republicans would stay away from Rezko given McCain's ties to Charles Keating.

Of course, that would have just been a youthful indiscretion. Don't go that far back in his history, unless it is to point out that he was a POW.
Aug. 26th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comments, Steven. It would be nice if someone were to correct the RNC on the Hawaiian beaches thing. Not that they'd listen. And yes, unless you're going to point out that McSame was a POW, please avoid all references to his past. In fact, criticism in general is inappropriate
Aug. 26th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
There are no private beaches in Hawaii.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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