I don’t want to cast any aspersions on Cindy McCain’s character. She’s talked a little smack about Michelle Obama, but by all accounts she’s a very nice lady (though, with those creepy eyes she looks, as a caller a few months ago to The Stephanie Miller Show, like an extra from the 1980s miniseries, V, who left her eyes on the mothership). However, then-Vice President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, had the temerity to say of pre-unhinged Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 that “she’s a million-dollar…I can’t say it, but it rhymes with ‘rich.’”
Just as Gerry Ferraro wasn’t nearly as well-heeled as the multimillionaire, patrician battle-axe whose husband she was running against, Cindy McCain isn’t the raging, classist shrew that the former Second Lady was (is), but she is umpteenmillion-dollar (adjusted for inflation) rich.
As long as she keeps her mitts off Michelle Obama, no one wants to start pummeling Cindy McCain, but the Republicans have played the spouse card by slamming Michelle Obama for having the stones to offer any critique of America, no matter how mild, when our country afforded her the opportunity to ascend to a higher station than that of a guest on Maury Povich. How dare she?
More to the point, Karl Rove has attached himself to the McCain campaign as an adviser, and last week pummeled the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee as an effete plutocrat. “Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”
Karl Rove led the re-election campaign for George Bush in 2004. In 2004, Karl Rove led George Bush’s re-election and his tentacles extended to every area of the party more than 2000, more than in 2006, and certainly more than in 2008. Four years ago was Karl Rove’s high-water mark. In 2004, the right clamored for the tax returns of the wife of Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry, to prove that the Massachusetts U.S. Senator was nothing more than a sneering blueblood who gleefully drowned Everyman boaters in the wake of his speeding 42′ Tiger Cigarette Boat, while the GOP was the party of the man whom all of America wanted to have a beer with, George W. Bush. And between that and one cringe-inducing snapshot of Senator Kerry in Lycra on a sailboard, their gruel-thin argument won the day.
The populist path is a harder row to hoe for John McCain, because as a candidate he’s proven–not by his shopworn and long-since-betrayed “Maverick” metier, but by his unrelenting befuddlement and power-hungry willingness to embrace any strategem that any of his $30,000 a year postgraduate student advisers tell him might give him an edge over his Democratic counterpart–harder to handle than the malleable simpleton who had the GOP nod in 2004. Cindy McCain’s fortunes aren’t going to help that. The Arizona Senator’s wife is the heiress to a beer fortune, and drops nearly three-quarters of a million dollars on her credit card some months. (Given the source of her fortune, it’s a bit telling that, while no one has asked the “Who would you rather have a beer with?” question of Senator McCain, he’s lost the closest corollary, in that most polled Americans would rather have Senator Obama attend their July 4th barbecue.) She’s spent $11 million over four years on five condos and $273,000 on household employees in 2007.
Barack and Michelle Obama have a lot of money, but it was only relatively recently they paid off their student loans. John and Cindy McCain haven’t in many a year had occasion to experience what it’s like to be a Regular Person. Presumably that has also been lost on John McCain’s staff as well, as evidenced on Countdown With Keith Olbermann Wednesday night by a McCain ad that decried the crisis of gas prices in America by showing a pump depicting $2.52 per gallon–a price for which many Americans would let themselves be posted naked on the Internet.
Barack and Michelle Obama may be comfortably in the black now (and please don’t go there), they have a fresher memory of what it’s like to make tough choices come that day that the bills are due.
As even conservative eye-poker Michael Smerconish, while filling in for Chris Matthews tonight, noted of Cindy McCain’s profligacy, “Republicans might want to be careful who they brand as ‘elitist.’”
As for following up on that, I got nothin’. He nailed it. And he’s an asshole.
To paraphrase the esteemed Mr. Dickens, “These are the worst of times, these are the worst of times.” So at least have the decency to put away your AmEx Platinum card, Mrs. Senator McCain.