o it's Joe Biden. I'm fine with that. Actually, pretty pleased. He's had his own gaffes, will have others, but nothing compared to McCain's outright lies, flip-flops, evasions, gaffes and misstatements. More on one of the latest ones in a minute.
Since ABC and other networks broke the news sometime after midnight that Obama had picked Biden, I'm wondering if the text message that went out around 3 a.m. was trying to get out in front of early morning reports or a subtle reference to the phone call that comes in at 3 a.m. Probably the former but it's interesting to think of Mark Penn's cellphone beeping at 3 a.m. with the news that the U.S. senator with the most actual experience in foreign affairs was joining the Obama ticket.
So here from the Chicago Sun-Times is the extent of the "scandal" around the Obamas' house in Chicago. Sounds like a good deal, getting it for 85% of the listing price, but hardly a sweetheart deal. Fifteen percent off the original listing price isn't unheard of at all, and probably doesn't even come close to the deal I got on my apartment 8 years ago.
"A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko's wife paid full price $625,000 for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko's wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard."
he fact that McCain can't remember how many houses he owns whether to live in, for investment purposes, or whatever is a hilarious turn of events. It'll die down during the conventions, I expect, although several of the speakers at this next week's Democratic National Convention should build on that point further.
Did McCain & Co. really think no one was ever going to ask this question, if only for background purposes? And is it that hard to figure out even if the answer is "We have one home we live in, one we use for my work in Virginia, two vacation homes, and then we have some investment properties" as some pundits have suggested as a possible answer. (That's still not exactly the right tone to set if labeling your opponent an out-of-touch elitist is your gameplan, but at least you don't look like Ritchie Rich or Scrooge McDuck.)
What I thought was even more inept, however, was the statement put out by the McCain campaign after Obama and surrogates made note of McCain's too-rich-to-know-how-rich statements. "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? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people "cling" to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?"
Leaving aside the Rezko reference which, frankly, is really lame and a stretch as a scandal (see sidebar) the libel against the 50th state as something exotic and elite, and the ridiculous jab at U.S. farmers who grow anything other than iceberg lettuce, what struck me most about this flailing was the first line about the Obama's income (which is mostly from book sales). Whoever wrote this (McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers) didn't watch his own candidate at Saddleback Church last weekend, apparently. According to McCain himself, the Obamas are middle-class since he said himself "rich" doesn't kick-in as a description before you hit $5 million.
I realize so many of my latest posts (the air conditioning issue aside, which has been resolved) have been about politics it's an election year, after all. But I've also been reading some interesting scripture as part of the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer in the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. So, the next time one of these strikes me as something worth thinking further about out loud (well, here), I probably will. You've been warned.