More houses than he can count

He’ll have to get back to you on that.
Hey, maybe he didn’t marry Cindy for her money after all!

Perhaps I’ve been unfair to John McCain. (“No!” I hear you cry. “Kleiman unfair? Never!”)

I had assumed that, when McCain dumped the wheelchair-bound wife who had raised his children while he was in captivity to marry a beer baron’s daughter, he was doing it largely for the money. Cindy was only the last in the string of girlfriends with whom McCain had shattered the Seventh Commandment, so could it have been merely a coincidence that the one he picked to marry was the one with a hundred million bucks?

Well, maybe it was.

After all, if you marry a woman for your money, wouldn’t you at least keep track of how many houses you own? Not that it’s any criticism of McCain that he can’t remember; at least, there are other aspects of his cognitive decline that are much more worrisome. And remembering how many houses McCain owns is a somewhat intellectually demanding task, since we more or less know that the actual number of houses is greater than six, which seems to be the largest number most people can grasp at a glance without counting. And when one of them is actually two.

Now lemmesee ….

More houses than he can count, check. Five-hundred-dollar loafers, check. Doesn’t know the price of a gallon of gasoline, check. Thinks you’re not rich unless you make more than $5 million a year (which is roughly the expected return on his wife’s wealth), check.

Yep. Definitely time to roll out more “Obama is an elitist” spots.

Footnote If this post seems a bit on the rough side to you, John McCain thinks you lack a sense of humor. His buddy Lieberman would just tell him to relax and enjoy it. Well, if McCain shares Lieberman’s somewhat masochistic taste, we’ll be giving him a lot to enjoy over the next 80 days. He’ll be on the floor laughing.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: