Obama Campaign Presses the Attack Over McCain's Houses Gaffe

Democrats use the lapse to portray the Republican nominee as out of touch—and old.

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Democrats are still piling on John McCain today for "losing track" of how many houses he and his wife own.

Spokesmen for the Barack Obama campaign and for the Democratic National Committee have been raising questions about whether McCain's failure to come up with the number of his own properties indicates he is out of touch with everyday Americans and their struggles to cope with the current economic downturn.

Inside the Obama campaign, Democratic insiders are delighted with the negative coverage McCain is attracting in the media, and the Democrats are doing all they can to fuel the fire. The DNC has released "person on the street" videos that show individuals displaying astonishment at McCain's lapse. The DNC and the Obama campaign are also sending reporters summaries of news stories and local TV pieces critical of McCain on the issue.

The Republican presidential candidate started the fuss earlier this week when he fumbled a question from Politico about how many houses he owns. He hemmed and hawed, then said, "I'll have my staff get to you."

One sidelight that may become a larger issue is a series of what seem to be subtle references to McCain's age. His critics don't overtly say he is 71 in the current torrent of zingers, but some of the criticism uses terms such as McCain "losing track" of his homes and getting forgetful, raising questions about his mental alertness.

McCain's advisers are counterattacking by criticizing Obama for getting help in purchasing his Chicago "mansion" from a felon.