Much has been made over John McCain's little gaffe last week when asked how many houses he had and he responded, "I think. . . uh . . . I'll have my staff get back to you."
Some people say it doesn't matter. That John McCain's houses aren't a real issue. Talking about how many houses John McCain has takes away from the real problems we face as a country. Okay, maybe it does, a little.
But here's the thing. When evaluating that statement by John McCain, we have to decide one of two things. First, do we believe that John McCain honestly does not know how many houses he (and by "he" I mean he and Cindy) owns? Second, if not, what does that mean? It means John McCain lied to us when he said he didn't know because he knew that by admitting to owning seven or ten houses, it proves he has little in common with the average American who is struggling to make house payments and property taxes on one modest home.
And I assume that John McCain had to decide in that split second whether it was better to look old and suffering from dementia OR was it better to tell the truth and admit he's a super rich guy thanks to marrying well. We know how he chose.
Let's look at both sides of this.
First, John McCain doesn't know how many houses he owns. If this is the truth and he honestly doesn't know then let's imagine him on the world stage. Can you imagine our President who is so old and feeble going to a G-8 Summit with a note pinned to his lapel that says "If lost, please return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC, USA" like Paddington Bear? That's going to garner a lot of respect when he's negotiating peace treaties between Israel and Palestine.
And then there's the flip side. He owns 7 houses, maybe 10. So what. If he's going to lie to us about not knowing how many houses he's got because he worries we can't handle the truth, then what else is he going to lie to us about?
I'd like to offer a better response that he could have used.
"My friends, I am a man of the people. It is a fact that Cindy and I own houses in each of the 50 states, but that means I live among you. I feel your pain. You wanna trust some young whipper-snapper who is so poor he's only got one house on the Southside of Chicago? Or do you want a man of the people, like myself, a former Prisoner of War (TM) to be your next leader?"
You know there would have been someone who believed owning 50 houses made John McCain a man of the people and it would have gotten him some votes. But he chose to look like a feeble old fool.