I think the McCain campaign has finally hit its stride. Briefly wrong-footed when the candidate couldn’t remember how many homes he owned (a calculation which apparently involves Bessel functions and hypercomplex geometries), the campaign hits back … HARD!

The McCain campaign was in full damage-control mode as the housing story took off today. [Campaign flack Brian] Rogers tried to play down the story, saying that reports of the many McCain houses were overstated.

“The reality is they have some investment properties and stuff. It’s not as if he lives in ten houses. That’s just not the case,” Rogers said. “The reality is they have four that actually could be considered houses they could use.”

Mr. Rodgers is actually too soft on Obama here. John McCain does not have the elitist power of omnipresence, nor does he subscribe to the fashionable but morally nihilist doctrine of astral projection, so he actually could use only ONE house AT ANY GIVEN TIME. (The other three houses are for the use of his good friends P, O, and W.) One house at a time, just like the rest of us. A missed opportunity, there, perhaps, but Rodgers lands a crushing blow with his next attack:

“In terms of who’s an elitist, I think people have made a judgment that John McCain is not an arugula-eating, pointy headed professor-type based on his life story.”

“I may be rich,” says the candidate through his manicured media manservant, “but at least I’m stupid.” Vintage bonus points for referencing “arugula”, which I assume was the “organic sun-dried tomato pesto” of whenever John McCain lost interest in the world around him. I think this is a winning message for 2008. Indeed, I think the campaign ad writes itself …

[McCain, in military dress, in front of a huge American flag, a la Patton. The scene flickers, and suddenly the flag is an enormous dollar bill, and the candidate is dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags. Wu-Tang Clan’s classic C.R.E.A.M. begins to pump.]

Voiceover: Elitist liberals complain that John McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns.

[A Monopoly board. Houses, hotels, and Monopoly money and Chance cards (“?”) spill onto it in slow motion.]

Voiceover: Who can keep track? They don’t teach fancy slide-rule calculus in POW camps. John McCain may not know how many mansions he has, but he knows how many books he has.

[An empty bookshelf, covered with cobwebs. McCain walks by, holding a familiar black book.]

McCain: I can count up to The Bible.

Voiceover: Can America afford to have a President who reads and knows whether Czechoslovakia is a real country and who’s a Sunni and who’s a Shiite when crazy terrorists want to kill us? John McCain: He’s Got More Money Than Brains.

Paid for by McCain/Hilton ’08 and the 2005 bankruptcy bill. “C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang Clan feat. 4-Closure.

Hey, it worked the last two times!