Something that a McCain spokesman said recently has been bugging me a lot. I’m sure many people didn’t notice it, and not all of those who did thought it was a big deal. But to me it’s a classic example of their dishonest, mud-slinging attitude.
It started with John McCain not being able to remember offhand how many houses he owns. This is of course troubling from a presidential candidate, but it’s not what bugs me.
Obama’s campaign was naturally quick to pounce on that, among other things with this ad, which I actually don’t like because it strikes me as a cheap dig and it says nothing about Obama himself. I always dislike ads that tell me whom to vote against. But this isn’t the thing that bugs me either.
In response to that, Brian Rogers, a McCain representative, said “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?” There are several things wrong with that. One is that McCain recently said it takes $5 million to qualify as “rich”. Another is that this isn’t about houses, it’s about being aware of your own finances.
What gets me is one word: “private”. That particular detail was invented and thrown in just to try to paint Obama as an elitist again. It’s a lie. How do I know? Because there is no such thing as a “private beach” in Hawaii. All beaches are public. I’ve been on the beach where he was.
Mr. Rogers might claim that by “private” he merely meant “secluded” or something like that, but “private beach” plainly implies a beach that is private property. You can’t say he was exaggerating, either. Calling something the opposite of what it is doesn’t count as exaggeration. It’s a deliberate fabrication. A man who allows such things to be said on his behalf should not be president.