Another BOW Award for McCain — Surprise!

August 23, 2008

Most of the major organizations that give out awards — the Academy of Motion  Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives the Oscars; the Baseball Writers Association of America, which gives the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year Awards to name a few — don’t like to recognize the same person twice in a row.  Generally it takes a performance in the second year that is so overwhelming that it simply can’t be ignored.  For instance, Tom Hanks won the Oscar in 1993 for his terrific performance in Philadelphia.  But the following year his work in Forrest Gump was so outstanding that the Academy had to give him the award again.  Same with Mickey Mantle’s back-to-back MVP awards in 1956 and 1957 — he was the best player in the league both years.  How could the baseball writers deny him the award?


Well, gentle readers, I find myself in the same position with this week’s BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award.  Last week’s deserving winner was Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, whose statements and actions in the wake of the Russian military’s incursion into Georgia were shameful and reckless.  How could I have known that McCain would outdo himself this week?  How could I have guessed that in a week relatively short on buffoonery, McCain would come up with such a remarkable gaffe?  Actually, I suppose if I’d been watching the previous six months of his campaign more closely, I would have been prepared for this. . . .


This actually should have been a pretty good week for McCain.  He was on message most of the week.  President Bush managed to get through much of the week without doing anything too stupid or embarrassing.  And every poll released over the last seven to ten days has showed the Presidential race narrowing significantly, including one somewhat dubious poll from Zogby/Reuters that shows McCain with a 5 point lead.  (Don’t worry, fellow Democrats, that poll lies far outside the range of every other poll, and Zogby is just about the most erratic of the big-name pollsters.)  Still, it was a good week for McCain, and I found myself hard-pressed to identify any BOW Award standouts.


But then McCain was asked about his houses by a reporter from Politico, and suddenly all was right with the world.  The buffoonery floodgates opened, McCain’s right-wing apologists crawled out of the woodwork to defend him, and I had something to blog about.


For those who missed it, the exchange on August 20 went like this:


Politico Reporter:  “How many houses do you and Mrs. McCain have?”


McCain:  “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you.  It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”


That was it.  He couldn’t remember how many houses he owns, which is pretty incredible when you think about it.  (I have one, which is fairly easy to remember.  How many do you have?)  Soon after the interview, his campaign said that he and Mrs. McCain have four houses.  Newsweek looked into the matter and found evidence suggesting they have seven.  Politico turned up evidence of eight.  At one point the estimate, including condos and houses, got as high as ten before settling back down at nine.  Yeah, that’s right, nine.  They’re worth a total of well over $13 million.  In 2007, the McCains spent $273,000 on household staff.  That’s more than my wife and I made in 2006 and 2007 combined.  It’s not even close, really.


All this from a man whose campaign has spent the last two months trying to paint Barack Obama as an elitist who is out of touch with the every day concerns of average Americans.


But it gets worse.  In their efforts to cover for McCain’s mind-boggling inability to pinpoint the extent of his wealth and property holdings, Republican operatives have gone to some extraordinary lengths.  A writer on the conservative blog “Powerline” made this remarkable statement:  “I can relate . . . For example, if a reporter asked me how many ties I own, there’s no way I could answer. Just like McCain, I’d tell him he has to ask my wife. Likewise if someone wants to know how many Wii games my kids have.”


Joe Watkins, a Republican strategist, cautioned Democrats about going after McCain on the house gaffe. Everybody knows John McCain is a patriot. There’s nothing wrong with having investment properties. Lots of Americans do. If I was Barack Obama, I wouldn’t get into this argument with John McCain, who is an American hero.”  Hmmmm.  It seems that you can say anything you want as long as you’ve been a prisoner of war.


Anyway, there were a few other nominees this week, including Uber wingnut Rush Limbaugh, who long ago proved himself to be one of the most racially insensitive people on the planet.  This week he said that the reason Barack Obama has the Democratic nomination is that “nobody [in the party] had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy.”


But like Tom Hanks in 1994 and Mickey Mantle in 1957, John McCain has overwhelmed the competition and earned himself a second consecutive award.


This week’s BOW Award goes to Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, for not knowing how many houses he owns, even as he claims to be the candidate who understands the economic concerns of the average voter.  Take a BOW there Senator.  You’ve earned it.  Again.  And when you get a chance let me know to which house I should send your award . . . .


One Response to “Another BOW Award for McCain — Surprise!”

  1. […] Writers Association of America, which gives the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, and Rookie o condos, retail set for project on Far West Side Chicago TribuneNeighbor to pay city 100,000 for […]

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