I swear the McCain campaign has made the conscious decision to play the POW card at every turn, practically begging the Democrats to call him out on it. There's no other way to explain their strategy. McCain didn't cheat at Saddleback because he was a POW thirty years ago. Alan Keyes couldn't call out his inconsistency on abortion because he was a POW. You can't call him out of touch on economic issues when he forgets how many houses he owns because he was a POW. You can't mock his taste in music, because he was a POW. What are they going to use it on next?
LENO: "For a million dollars, how many houses do you have?"
SEN. McCAIN: "Could I just mention to you, Jay, that, at a moment of seriousness. I spent five-and-a-half years in a prison cell," McCain said. "I didn't have a house. I didn't have a kitchen table. I didn't have a table. I didn't have a chair. And I didn't spend those five-and-a-half years because, not because I wanted to get a house when I got out."
Responding to the news last night while covering the convention, Rachel Maddow schooled Pat Buchanan on why McCain is running the risk of degrading his very salient and personal past into a "punch line."
Even Maureen Dowd gets it:
"It's hard to believe that John McCain is now in danger of exceeding his credit limit on the equivalent of an American Express black card. His campaign is cheapening his greatest strength - and making a mockery of his already dubious claim that he's reticent to talk about his P.O.W. experience - by flashing the P.O.W. card to rebut any criticism, no matter how unrelated. The captivity is already amply displayed in posters and TV advertisements."