There comes a defining moment in every presidential campaign where a candidate says something not only profoundly stupid and tin-eared but indicative of who they really are, which, for their opponent, is the political equivalent of a flat, slow pitch dead center over the plate. The kind your wood cracks so solidly that the thwack can be heard across the stadium, and the cover peels from the ball, and one long string unravels and floats down over the back wall, followed by the yowp! of a falling pigeon, which hits the ground with a stomach-churning shlupping sound, bounces, then gets run over by a garbage truck in front of a troop of Girl Scouts who have just emerged from a field trip to a petting zoo.
This is called a “gaffe.”
An example of this would be if, at the height of the current mortgage crisis, when people are literally fighting to keep their homes, one of the candidates, perhaps an older man, pressed to answer how many homes he owns, fumbles, can’t remember, and tells the reporter to check with his staff for the exact number. This means the candidate not only is richer than anyone you probably know but is so unconcerned with his economic status that he can’t bother to keep track of these things. That or he’s senile…take you pick. And that’s exactly what happened to John McCain today:
For the record, the answer is: ten.
In other words: Hey! You kids! Get offa my lawns!