Housing gaffe ad wars, Obama vs. McCain

It all started with a gaffe from McCain in which he said he didn’t know how many homes he and his wife owned. After that statement, the Obama campaign wasted no time in producing an ad criticizing McCain as out of touch and some kind of rich elitist who didn’t have to know how many homes he owned.

Here is the story from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – John McCain may have created his own housing crisis. Hours after a report that the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting didn’t know how many homes he and his multimillionaire wife own, Democratic rival Barack Obama launched a national TV ad and a series of campaign stops aimed at portraying McCain as wealthy and out of touch.

With the economy ranking as the top issue in the race, Obama sought to turn McCain’s gaffe into one of those symbolic moments that stick in voters’ minds.

Think John Kerry sailboarding or the first President Bush wowed by a grocery store checkout scanner, Michael Dukakis riding in a tank or Gerald Ford eating a tamale with the husk still on.

“I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain told Politico when asked Wednesday how many houses he owns. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”

Later, the McCain campaign told Politico that McCain and his wife, Cindy, have at least four in three states — Arizona, California and Virginia. Newsweek recently estimated the two owned at least seven properties.

Last week McCain cracked that being rich in the U.S. meant earning at least $5 million a year. With most Americans feeling the pinch of a worsening economy, the remarks allow Democrats to suggest that McCain cannot relate to ordinary voters.

Campaigning in Chester, Va., Obama told voters, “I guess if you think being rich means you’ve got to make $5 million and if you don’t know how many houses you have, it’s not surprising you might think the economy is fundamentally strong.” He returned to the McCain remark later, saying of teachers: “Most teachers hold themselves accountable. They didn’t go into teaching to make money. They don’t have seven houses.”

Here is the ad released by the Obama campaign:

Finally, here’s the ad released as a response by the McCain campaign:

Neither ad strikes me as being effective or convincing. In fact, this appears to be nothing more than a complete and utter waste of my time for even reporting on the topic. There are more pressing issues and it seems a little hypocritical to me on the part of the Obama campaign for trying to make this an issue when Obama personally denounced McCain for his “Celeb” ad.

So sound off below, does this matter and do you care?