"Maybe for John McCain, the American dream means seven houses," says Tim Kaine. Not just for John McCain, Tim! Why is this so hard to understand? The political opportunity in McCain's "houses" gaffe isn't in pointing out that he's rich: Americans don't hate rich people. The opportunity is in pointing out his cluelessness and his inattention to detail--with all of the implications that come with it, both the unutterable one (like, say, his age) and the one that is key to Democratic strategy (hmmm, what other GOP leader is known for cluelessness and inattention to detail?).  It's not, "ooh, rich guys don't care about us." It's "guys who don't bother to know how many houses they have wind up letting us get foreclosed out of the houses we have."

-Michael Schaffer