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McCain's Car Problem Could Trump His House Problem in Michigan

Posted by: David Kiley on September 22, 2008

Michigan likes candidates who support the home team. And Michigan voters can readily seize on things they don’t like—such as candidates that support foreign carmakers.

Newsweek updated a story done by BusinessWeek last year during the primaries, looking at what vehicles the candidates drive.

John McCain has a Cadillac CTS registered to himself, but wife Cindy has 12 registered to her, plus one, a Lexus, that is her principal ride and registered to her beer distributorship. McCain’s daughter has a Prius, which the candidate has been confused about—whether she bought it, or he and Cindy bought it for her.

Don’t most Americans know whether they shelled out $23,000 for a new car for their kid, or if the kid bought it with his or her own money?

The United Auto Workers, already supporting Obama, really doesn’t like Toyota or its Lexus unit. Nothing can stop individual union members and retirees from breaking with their union at the voting booth. But you are talking about a union that doesn’t allow foreign cars to be parked at their union hall lots, even for guests.

Ohioans may not mind the Honda, as Honda is a huge employer in that swing state. But that and the Toyotas won’t do much for the GOP candidate in the mitten (Michigan is shaped like a mitten) state.

According to Newsweek, the McCains have a 2005 Volkswagen convertible in the garage along with a 2001 Honda sedan. There’s a 2007 half-ton Ford pickup truck, a vintage 1960 Willys Jeep; a 2008 Jeep Wrangler; a 2000 Lincoln; and a 2001 GMC SUV. The McCains also own three 2000 NEV Gem electric vehicles, which are golf-cart like vehicles popular in retirement communities. Gem cars are made by a company owned by Chrysler.

The Obamas last year traded in their Chrysler 300C for a Ford Escape Hybrid.

McCain…..Nine homes and 14 cars…….

Reader Comments


September 22, 2008 3:55 PM

I'm not sure how many homes McCain's family owns is relevant to the issue of car ownership, but so be it.

Owning a *multiple* foreign cars? Gasp! This blows the election wide open! But wait, there's more! Word has it McCain doesn't know the tire air pressure specifications for all his vehicles!

McCain...14 cars and 56 suspiciously inflated tires...

(PS-McCain may own some foreign cars, but he also has purchased *more* American vehicles than Obama...)


September 23, 2008 6:43 PM

"...promise tax cut and poor people will beleive it's for them ..." Margeret Thatcher.

So true !


September 23, 2008 6:45 PM

McCain owns and has purchased more cars
than anybody except maybe for other elite wealthy in the U.S. With all that money
he still took the government share for election purchases. Obama didn't! That speaks volumes as to character.


September 23, 2008 6:51 PM

At his age he might not know the difference b/w Japan and USA. He mentioned Putin as President of Germany and the Afghanistan/Iraq border (they are not neighbours). So for him it doesn't matter. His age, his lack of economic knowledge and his war agenda is more troubling in these recession times.

James Watt

September 23, 2008 6:53 PM

Mr. Kiley: we met at reception once, so I'll try to keep this polite.

You think someone as busy as a U.S. senator -- who has a pre-nup with his wealthy wife -- should have 100% recall on what his 25-year-old daughter does?

Do you? I seriously doubt it.

Further -- do you know how many U.S. employees Toyota has? They're not UAW -- but isn't that their decision?

Finally: as noted on the cover of "People" -- McCain has seven children (three adopted) from two marriages. To think he has 100% recall of all their doings is ridiculous and absurd.

BTW: many Democrats drive USA-branded cars made in Europe and Asia. Is that OK with you and the UAW?

From Kiley: My point in the blog was siimply to point out that the optics of the McCain's wealth when it comes to cars can hurt him in Michigan where the voter base is very focused on what candidates drive. I'd argue that the Lexus being Mrs. McCain's main ride is more hurtful in Michigan than any of the other car purchases.


September 23, 2008 6:53 PM



September 23, 2008 6:54 PM

I'm a democrat and Obama supporter but I have to say that it's very insulting to think that the national origin of their cars would have bearing on how we vote. If it does, then I'm embarrased for this country. I drive a foreign car (Honda) becuase they ARE more reliable. I'm sure a U.S Senator wouldn't want to be Found On Road Dead (FORD). People try to make it seem like not buying an American car makes you un-patriotic. No, that just may mean you are demanding more from your own American auto makers who seem to take quality for granted i.e. "Buy our cars because they are American not because they are good".


September 23, 2008 6:56 PM

McCain can kiss Michigan goodbye!


September 23, 2008 6:57 PM

Yes, but don't you see - if those 4 foreign cars he has purchased were American made, it would have saved the auto industry. :P

(Josh, from Michigan, who has plenty of other reasons to vote for Obama over McCain and couldn't care less what or how many cars they drive.)

JJ Joseph

September 23, 2008 6:57 PM

Where I live, Honda and Toyota are American cars. The Chrysler 300 & Ford Crown Victoria are imports (from Ontario). Is any of this really important?


September 23, 2008 6:58 PM

How many servants (housekeepers, gardeners, drivers, etc.) the McCains have at all their houses might be more interesting. Also how many are illegal immigrants.


Different Paul

September 23, 2008 6:58 PM

McCain has purchased more American vehicles than Obama? That's an argument?

Look, everyone knows that all politicians are rich. That's one of the preconditions for the job. So technically, McCain's relative weath (or, rather, that of his wife) doesn't really matter one way or the other.

His relative out-of-touchness with the realities of most folks' everyday lives is incredibly relevant, though. Does he realize that an extra dollar per gallon for milk matters? What about an extra dollar per gallon of gas, or dollar per pound for broccoli? To him, it just goes on the tab, like his daughters $23k car. But for most people it matters a lot, and thus it should matter to policy makers as well. You cannot completely pander to the economic needs of the lowest common denominator of the citizenry, but you should at least be aware of their circumstances and it should inform policy decisions.

Remember all that right-wing bluster about John Kerry and his wind-surfing habit and all his wife's money? The right thought that was horribly relevant in 2004. Why not now?

Lucky Zeek

September 23, 2008 7:00 PM

If the UAW hates Toyota so much, Why do their workers build Corollas and Tacomas in Fremont, Ca.? Is it a case of "we'll build 'em, but we won't own 'em?"


September 23, 2008 7:02 PM


Uh yeah. 13 More. I think that's the point they were getting at. For all the down-homey goodness McCain is trying to put out, this is a guy with 9 houses and 14 cars.


September 23, 2008 7:03 PM


I'm confused. What's wrong with helping save money, gas and our environment by keeping your tires properly inflated? So what if he has purchased *more* American vehicles that Obama? This means he's using *more* gas and causing *more* pollution. He's also looking *more* and *more* like Mr. Moneybags when he isn't sure about how many homes he owns and who bought what car for who.


September 23, 2008 7:04 PM

I think the funnier issue here, is that McCain doesn't know if he shelled out 23K for his daughters car. To about every working-class American, this is a check they would remember writing.


September 23, 2008 7:05 PM

Sarcasm is the last refuge of a weak argument and mind as displayed by Paul's comments. I am sure he would do well on teen Jeopardy though. What is an obvious Republican?


September 23, 2008 7:05 PM

How quickly and conviently some of us become absent-minded of the characterizations McCain has made use of throughout his Republican campaign.

Particularly when doing so allows his contradictons to remain out of the spotlight. Me thinks I remain a call of "Elitism" a fortnight past.

Big D

September 23, 2008 7:05 PM

Go ahead, elect Obama. We'll see how happy the UAW will be after no one can afford a car...foreign or domestic!

Guy Fawkes

September 23, 2008 7:07 PM

More to the point: I'll give you 50:1 odds that if McCain were asked by a reporter tomorrow how many cars he has, he wouldn't know; and Obama would have the answer instantly. That's the difference between an old, wealthy, out-of-touch failure of a jet pilot and an educated man in touch with the people he represents (and who didn't choose his running mate soley for her gender and looks).


September 23, 2008 7:08 PM

I don't really care if McCain or his wife or his daughter own an import or two. I do wonder how well he will relate to someone like me who has to watch out for my auto expenses. 14 cars sounds like a "fleet" to me. He's no differant than me, I guess. I have two cars in my garage. He just has a lot more garages!


September 23, 2008 7:09 PM

Paul, you like many others seem to be missing the big picture. Who is more like the rest of us? McCain with nine homes and fourteen cars or Obama with one of each? The bailout is for McCain's buddies not the rest of us either or don't your remember the Keating 5 and the S&L Crisis? Seems to me that was along the same lines too.


September 23, 2008 7:09 PM

I'M Armenian and I support Jhon Mccain.
Even Obama said that hes gonna help Armenia alot alot but i dont think black Man can run America you have to be American to run America not AfricanAmerican or LatinAmerican.
And about the cars if Obama has only one car then its hes problem he works the money and dont spend it well if america be in better conditin and you could but 10 cars wouldnt you buy it ?


September 23, 2008 7:10 PM

Hey, I can so relate to a guy who owns 7 houses, 13 cars and has a wife who wears $310,000 outfits.

Yes, he understands my issues.


September 23, 2008 7:11 PM

Please..............let it be Nov 5th.

Obama/Biden all the way !!


September 23, 2008 7:11 PM

Directed toward Paul's PS:

Which only goes to show that Obama is more "middle class" and McCain is rich and disconnected from the typical american.


September 23, 2008 7:13 PM

I am going to drive my vintage British made Jaguar to the scrap yard and have it turned into a boat anchor in support of the UAW.


September 23, 2008 7:13 PM

Tough you know what for Michiganites. If they had been producing what Ameica wanted there would be no problem. I've purchase a number of American made cars over the years the one I have now will be my last. A chevy Malibu. What a piece of junk. I've had nothing but problems with ever American made car I've owned except my Ford truck. If they keep on track by building junk they will go the way of the dinosaur.

Don Couch

September 23, 2008 7:13 PM

McCain may own some foreign cars, but he also has purchased *more* American vehicles than Obama...McCain may own some foreign cars, but he also has purchased *more* American vehicles than Obama...


Ron Brown

September 23, 2008 7:13 PM

Gee, this is hot news. I wonder what kind of toothpaste McCain uses???


September 23, 2008 7:16 PM

"but he also has purchased *more* American vehicles than Obama"

Yeah, poor guy like McCain... I'm sure he'll look out for the middle and lower classes best interest.

I believe you, Paul, entirely missed the point, as seen by your first sentence. It's not only the fact that he buys so many foreign cars, but that he spends so much on cars. Duh.


September 23, 2008 7:17 PM

There should be an independent bi-partisan committee set up to investigate this startling revelation and maybe a bailout for McCain so he can get rid of the toxic cars.


September 23, 2008 7:18 PM

I don't understand how anyone could feel like this is a burning issue. Why don't we do a little research to find out how many American's were employed having a part in making those foreign cars...I mean how many "American" cars are really built in the US anymore?

Gloria Poole

September 23, 2008 7:18 PM

Business Week, be ashamed of yourself.How many cars or houses a candidate has only shows his ability to make and keep money. It does not disprove him as being Presidential material. I am surprised that you a magazine supposedly devoted to business interests would fault a person for being what?? 'too successful"??? Is that what you intended to convey with this article?
I am recently divorced from a man whom I call a deadbeat and he has six autos in his backyard. The number of cars a person has does not necessarily define the person's integrity or lack of. Two different examples: one a Senator with 14 cars and one a deadbeat with six. How many cars do the Clintons own, and Ted Kennedy, and Obama? Let us compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Excessive 'compensation' is the name of the game on Wall Street and Congress it seems to me.


September 23, 2008 7:18 PM

In 1974 my dad owned 12 cars. He was a math teacher. Three Vegas, a Ford station wagon, Chevy pickup, Merc Montego, Ford Mustang, Merc Capri foreign, Pontiac Bonneville, Rambler Ambassador, '66 Impala, and a Nova wagon, and my mom had another car. Seven kids. Mom worked at Holiday Inn. So whats that point here?


September 23, 2008 7:19 PM

HIs wife sells Dutch Beer (BUD)-thank you for de-regualtion and gobalization John McSame) You cant really think you can drive an America Cars in SEDONA and not get funny looks?


September 23, 2008 7:19 PM

The make and model of cars is relevant, because John McCain made it relevant. While campaigning in Michigan, he has regularly touted his ability to bring back good-paying jobs. His purchasing autos from foreign car manufacturers undercuts the manufacturers in Detroit and surely cuts into McCain's credibility on the issue.

Stan G

September 23, 2008 7:20 PM

I'm bettin' hockey mom owns a Kawasaki snowmobile. Any taker's?


September 23, 2008 7:21 PM

This is such an irrelevant issue it kills me. I hope whoever is worried about how many cars or homes McCain owns didn't vote for John Kerry in the last election who has five homes. This is nothing new. If Michigan voters base their vote on what car the candidate owns then that is their problem


September 23, 2008 7:21 PM

The big shock is to think that McCain has a car registered to him. McCain's main ride must be the golf cart. Does Cindy drive the car for him like she does his computer work?
Can't remember if he bought a car for his daughter or she bought herself? Third option is that a lobbyist bought the car, like was done for Sen. Ted Stevens.


September 23, 2008 7:21 PM

He owns more of everything than Obama...who is elite? (His excuse is always " I don't know") What can be worse, Palin? Absolutly!


September 23, 2008 7:22 PM

I'm glad Business Week is doing some of the foot work to reveal the reality each of the candidates lives in, and sees from. This election will have much impact on the economy we live in and we can't expect people living a billion dollar lifestyle to understand that the "fundamentals of the economy are [not] strong".

Me a republican? Are you insane?


September 23, 2008 7:22 PM

I think the key point is that he doesn't know how the car for his daughter was paid for. The implication is that he is "out of touch" with middle Americans who probably do know exactly how much their cars cost and how they paid for them. Another possibility is that this is a business magazine and as such they are hinting that CEOs of families or corporations or countries should be held accountable for knowing the details of financial schemes for which they are responsible. Cars, houses, financial schemes with S&L mavens...hey, it's just a lot of details, right?


September 23, 2008 7:23 PM

The man bought 12 American cars! If that isn't support, I not sure what is. I, like Obama, only have 1 American car. How many do YOU have?


September 23, 2008 7:23 PM

Why doesn't Senator Obama concentrate on taking care of his brother, George. Poor man is in need of a safe home, a hot meal and good community organizer.


September 23, 2008 7:24 PM

Is this *really* how we select our leaders? There is no hope for America's future.


September 23, 2008 7:24 PM

I guess being a senator gets you 14 cars and 12 houses.

Is the government hiring?


September 23, 2008 7:24 PM


I don't care what kind of car the McCain family owns. There are a lot of domestic workers employed by foreign-owned firms, and a lot of the proceeds from foreign car purchases stay in this country. That which does not stay here is loaned back to us.

The sheer volume of luxury afforded to the McCain family here shows how insulated they are from the economic realities of the average American. While I wouldn't mind trading economic places with the McCains, I certainly don't think he can hang his hat on the "everyman" hook and not look like a pandering, out-of-touch politician.

Sarah Paleon

September 23, 2008 7:25 PM

McCain is the husband of a wealthy woman who keeps him in cars and homes. He can't keep track of his wife's buying, can he?

C. Sorrells

September 23, 2008 7:25 PM

American made? You mean Mexican and Canadian made don't you? The Big 3 sold America out decades ago. They didn't learn their lesson in the 70's and repeated those mistakes in the 90's and 2000's now it's damn near put them out of business. Boo-"F"ing-Hoo!

America 09!

September 23, 2008 7:25 PM

there is no point in even mentioning how McCain/ Palin are grossly out of touch with suffering Americans. Many whome operate one car and own one home and don't split families or on cancer ridden wives. Such numbers tallied on cars alone makes it seem truly evident on how way off McCain is on his own life, on the economy here and nowm or on most any topic involving the nation's best interets.


September 23, 2008 7:25 PM

Get a life.
If Michigan would start making better cars, unlike the crap they're making, then he wouldn't need to buy imports. Imports are more efficient and last 10 times longer than most American made.

I bet you a hundred bucks the majority of union members and auto workers drive or own imports.

"McCain, sorry your educated and married into money. You shouldn't be allowed to buy nice things. Maybe if you were driving a 1980 ford pickup you would be accepted"

"Get rid of the Unions and I bet they'll build cheaper and better cars"


September 23, 2008 7:25 PM

When was the last time a union backed a Republican? The reason GM, Ford & Chrysler are where they are today is because of the UAW.

If the US produced cars of the same caliber as Toyota/Lexus, not only would politicians be driving them, so would regular people. If the US carmakers could move swiftly and not be tied to ridiculous labor contracts, perhaps they could be making cars AND profits.


September 23, 2008 7:26 PM

McPain proposes giving Oil companies billions of dollars in the form of tax breaks, but is against low interest loans to help the auto-industry. Doesn't he realize the auto-industry created the middle class and the oil industry created the super-rich? McPain only takes care of the rich people (like his wife)!


September 23, 2008 7:27 PM

McCain is a lying rich old jerk. He is a big corporate fat cat. 14 cars? 8 houses? Of course that's not relevant. Why would it be, in such a sound financial market as ours. Ask McCain, he'll tell you all about our fabulous economy. Don't ask Plin, though, she's not allowed to answer questions. She's just there to smile and look pretty.


September 23, 2008 7:27 PM

Why is this BS even news worthy?

From Kiley: It's blog worthy because it is an issue in an important swing state, and it's about cars, and this blog is about cars.


September 23, 2008 7:27 PM

I think this just shows that he has nothing in common with the middle class. He doesn't know how many houses he owns or how many cars. Does he have mortgage problems. Nope. He is out of touch with the average American.


September 23, 2008 7:28 PM

of course he's purchased more cars... thats how it goes when your 96 years old. I think his dad got him the first model T.


September 23, 2008 7:28 PM

OK the I guess th Libs are going to have a Lynchin' well make sure you sto at J.Leno's house first


September 23, 2008 7:29 PM

Yes, 14 cars (foreign) and seven homes or was it ten- $100 M in family net worth. McCain a populist and man of the people!! McCain has been having a tough time zeroing in on a clear message and is floundering to come up with something, anything coherent to say about the economy. He said earlier in the campaign that he knows little of the economy and is on the record being against regulation of Wall St. before he was for it. McCain also said the economy was fundamentally sound the day the market crashed. But what he really meant was that the Workers of America ( is he a socialist?) are fundamentally sound. Now he says he wants to build "green cars" and revitalize the auto industry. He lifted that one right out of Obama's policies. Wait until tomorrow, because what McCain means when he says Change is Coming, he is talking about his position on the issue of the day.


September 23, 2008 7:30 PM

I find this information relevant .. so one candidate is a good manager and the other is not ...


September 23, 2008 7:30 PM

So he likes multiple women, houses and cars...sounds like an American. That being said, Republicans are destroying America.


September 23, 2008 7:31 PM

Of course he's got more cars...the McCain net worth is like 100x what Barack's is.


September 23, 2008 7:32 PM

Yeah Paul, I'm sure he has given that he's ANCIENT.


September 23, 2008 7:33 PM


Everyone in this room just got dumberer by reading your comment.


September 23, 2008 7:33 PM

One wonders how many cars does the guy who researched and wrote this article have. Multiple houses, multiple cars, hmm sounds like spending to me and doesnt the current economy need more spending? Can we stop wasting time on stupid stuff like this and spend it more on how we can fix this country and bring it back to a true world leader?

The used to be a time where the USA was inventing stuff and leading the way for the rest of the world. Now we are becoming a second world nation outsourcing to india and asia and sitting in the back seat while all of the money were are sending overseas is helping those countries take over. Let stop watching and take the lead again.


September 23, 2008 7:33 PM

So if we vote for people who are successful in their life dealings, it's a bad thing??? I'm not a McCain person, but don't we want people who are successful???

But in Palin's case, she is average and not qualified (so she is more like us than McCain), so we ripe on her for being average???


September 23, 2008 7:34 PM

I think people are confusing the issues. There are two that seem relevant. One, McCain owns foreign-made automobiles making him unpopular with the Motor City. This is a wash when you consider the favor he gains in Ohio. Personally, I don't hold him accountable for buying whatever car he feels is best for him. Second, the sheer number of cars. The number of houses is mentioned as it relates to this statistic. Notions of conservation, environmentalism, and wastefulness need to be discussed. I don't know the exact details concerning why he has so many cars or houses but the number seems more important than the fact he bought foreign cars (probably produced in the US).


September 23, 2008 7:34 PM

In this day and age, who knows what is American and what is not. Just because Ford or GM cars were traditionally American cars does not mean they are more American than a Camry that is produced in Georgetown Kentucky. Huge number of parts for the so called "American cars" are designed and produced overseas including engines. Outsourcing has turned many traditionally American companies effectively into foreign companies this includes Boeing. Who knows what may be next, NASA? Obama is openly against outsourcing where as McCain is happy to see big companies ship American jobs to China as long as huge corporations are making money. Tricle down economy is not working for every day people and McCains wants to stick to it.


September 23, 2008 7:35 PM

The article's topic is the union perspective on "foreign" car ownership. In fact Toyota's factory in Georgetown, KY employs thousands and plows millions back in to the local economy. All car makers are global now with Fords and Chevrolets made in Canada, Mexico, Korea and elsewhere.

The real story is how completely out of touch from mainstream America the McCain family remains. The article mentions, "who doesn't know whether they or their child paid $23000 for a new car?" Apparently: the candidate for president who behaves more like a "Sun King" than an American who understands the economic pain of most citizens now. Talk is cheap. If how many houses and cars you own are little details you leave to your "handlers" you are NOT my president.


September 23, 2008 7:36 PM

Like all rich Republican's, he can afford too... So out of touch.


September 23, 2008 7:38 PM

To Paul,

When a candidate is actively campaigning in states like Michigan, Ohio, and my state of Pennsylvania and he is talking about how the fundamentals of the economy are strong, it makes guys like me who weren't even born when phrases like "as GM goes, so goes the nation" realize that buying a foreign car does not do America any good.

Country First is the campaign slogan I see on signs at all of McCain's events. Now, if you put our country first, the United States, you buy a car built in the US. If you put your own interests first, you buy the car you like. Don't give me that "gasp" nonsense when his campaign and it's right-wing surrogates are telling the Democratic party that Al Gore's electric bill is relevant to whether or not he believes in conservation, but the Republican candidate and his family don't put the American "country first".

And take a walk on your tire pressure, If that's the best argument you've got to ridicule a candidate on something your candidate himself was forced to concede was an OLD idea for saving fuel, I'm not impressed by your fake outrage.

'More" American cars is still a wash when you realize that the contribution to the US trade deficit is still more than zero for every one of his foreign cars, and since there are 0 (zero) foreign cars in Obama's stable, that means his contribution to our trade deficit is .... zero.

L J Laubenheimer

September 23, 2008 7:39 PM

Definitions -

Rich: Multiple houses, condos, mansions.

Middle class: One modest house, has to budget to afford it.

Rich: Owns more cars than there are drivers in household.

Middle class: One car or less per driver, traded in for newer model.

So, which do you think will represent middle class America? Hint: It's not the rich guy.


September 23, 2008 7:39 PM

I'm not sure but I don't think the article mentions anything about tire pressure. Mayby you should check the air pressure in your head. Stick with the facts, McCain drives more junkie cars not made in the country he claims to support. Support?? who Japan??
Stick wiht the facts. Typical republican comments!


September 23, 2008 7:45 PM

Paul -- Are you a republican? Or just simply an Obama detractor?

Obama has one car, one home and one wife. McCain however has multiples of everything. In a campaign where the excesses of Wall Street and the exploitation of the average Joe have become focal topics, it's quite easy to make a case for how McCain has lost touch with the average American. The author was alluding towards that at the end.


September 23, 2008 7:46 PM

This write up is just an attempt to try and point some sort of fault at McCain. I'm not even a McCain supporter, but the arguements brought up here are weak and frankly embarrising.

So, McCain owns foreign cars. As Paul already pointed out he owns far more domestics. If I used twisted logic, I could argue that McCain owns so many automobiles because he wanted to do his part for the auto makers and buy plenty of domestics! His few imports are, as the author pointed out, registered to his wife (he owns the caddie for himself).

So, how un-American of Mrs. McCain to own so many imports. She's her own woman, she can purchase whatever automobile she wishes. In fact, if American automakers did not make such inferior products to the Japaneese makers, then perhaps Mrs. McCain would own more domestics.

Just because McCain has a few homes and automoblies does not mean he's "a bad guy". It just sounds a little like the author is jeleous that he cannot enjoy such luxuries.

From Kiley: The point of the blog was to point out optics that could hurt McCain in an important swing state.


September 23, 2008 7:49 PM

The McCains have purchased more American made cars than Obamo.
They provide more jobs for Americans than Obama.
They do more Charitable work than Obama.


September 23, 2008 7:51 PM

I don't see how this much affects the race. I would hope that the American people are not wrapped up in such trivial matters when deciding who to vote for. At the same time, McCain does seem to be out of touch with your common man/woman.

The only thing that I feel is contingently relevant about these stories is that McCain shows his age in not remembering both the number of homes he has nor if he bought his daughters car. Alsheimers getting ready to settle in, John?

Kathy Chiavola

September 23, 2008 7:51 PM

"McCain may own some foreign cars, but he also has purchased *more* American vehicles than Obama..."

Don't matter, honey.


September 23, 2008 7:51 PM

I hope Paul isn't as ridiculous as is his reasoning.

Anyway, so much for the "Obama is an elitist" argument. I'm sure us average Americans can all relate to the very average McCain, with his 9 homes and 14 cars.


September 23, 2008 7:51 PM

No wonder reality escapes him. He's living in a dream world. America needs someone who understands the pain that the average American is experiencing. This can't come from someone who has 14 cars and doesn't remember how many homes he owns. None of us knows anyone that out of touch... other than McCain.


September 23, 2008 7:52 PM

How many of these 14 cars are colored either red, white or blue? If Mccain has over 50% of his cars in these colors the ethnicity of them has no bearing.


September 23, 2008 7:52 PM

Such a b******* article. I would like to see Obama as our next president.. But talk about real issues, don't talk about homes and cars.. like republicans, who talk about patriotism, abortion , gay marriage, etc, instead of real issues like economy, health care and war.
There are many rich ppl who have lot of cars and homes, that doesn't make them evil.

From Kiley: The point of the blog was to highlight something that will hurt him in an important swing state....nothing more.


September 23, 2008 7:53 PM

He may have purchased more US based cars than Obama, but who is the elite person that is out of touch with the average person living in this country? Seven houses and 14 cars versus 1 house and 1 car, and Obama is the elitist?


September 23, 2008 7:55 PM

If "foregn" cars are better, then the consumer should buy the BEST car available. That is why Toytoa is now #1 US car seller. Detroit needs make better cars, not complain at what the market demands when THEY make bad products. Incidently, I own a Ford F250.


September 23, 2008 7:55 PM

If I have to drive an American car in order to go into politics, I'm staying out.

jethro mayham

September 23, 2008 7:57 PM

John stands there promising to support auto workers and increase employment. How does he do that by purcasing foreign cars?

I think he is now running the Crooked Talk express if u know what I mean.

Jơhnnỳ can't be believed cause he is just an extension of the Bush administration.


September 23, 2008 7:57 PM

And this social climbing status seeker -- a man who dumped his first wife (after she had been badly disfigured in an accident)for a big busted beer heiress, has the gall to label Obama an "elitist."

McCain is a snob's snob! He shmoozes with celebrities, he was on the cover of the snooty "Architecturte Digest," his wife wears designer outfits that cost thousands, and he flies around on his private jet.

So who is the real elitist? Clearly, it is McCain. He should stop being so hypocritical. He should own his wealth and his connections to the elite of washington and hollywood proudly.

Patrick in El Cerrito

September 23, 2008 7:58 PM

That's priceless, Paul. You're voting for McCain because he bought more American cars than Barack Obama?! By that standard, Jay Leno should be the next president of the United States! And, since you don't seem to understand, let me spell it out: someone with enough money to own more houses AND cars than he can keep track of probably thinks the economy is going pretty well. How many cars do you own, Paul? And houses? I'll tell you what -- McCain should get ALL the votes (but only the votes) of people who own more than six cars or three houses -- your pick, Paul.


September 23, 2008 7:59 PM

Sheesh - yes, the article is superfluous, BUT for the last line. It wouldn't matter, but it is McCain who tries to portray Obama as elitist and out of touch. Being so rich you don't even know how rich you are qualifies McCain as out of touch, and far, far ahead of Obama. I'm just saying McCain should not have gone there. Now that he has, people will point fingers and whisper "the guy with 9 homes and 14 cars", and with good reason.


September 23, 2008 7:59 PM

The mere fact that they own 11 cars, 3 golf carts and 9 homes is an obscene level of consumption that says more to me about McCain's character and ability to realate to our problems thananything else. At a time when we require self sacrifice, he is a picture of self indulgence.

Obama Biden 09

September 23, 2008 8:00 PM

No one cares how many cars and homes McCain has but one thing is for sure. This guy is out of reality and is main "obejective" in life is to live in the white house. He thinks the country "owes" him that for his military service. Well, there are millions of VETS and we can't make everyone president. Specially when all you can offer is gimmicks like "Sarah Palin" and flip flop on all the issues just to please right wing nuts!


September 23, 2008 8:01 PM

Ok seriously...

Not only this article doesn't even ATTEMPT to come off as unbiased.

Firstly, I don't care who you are, politician or not, I'm not gonna hold it against anyone, save maybe the CEO of Ford, to choose a honda over a ford. It's your money, spend it the way you like. If American carmakers want me to by their vehicles, they better start making better vehicles. That's how capitalism works. It's the American way.

Secondly, almost every "foreign" car that John McCain owns is made in America by American Workers in American factories. So what's the problem? Those people need support too.

Thirdly, the retirement community line... that's below the belt. As is the mention of the number of homes he owns. This article conveniently fails to mention that McCain's wife was rich from the beginning, and so a lot of the money that goes into those homes and cars is hers. It also fails to mention that she and her son build cars meant to race as drifters... drifters are by definition cars that are light with a lot of power, so most of them end up being imports. While most Americans don't own 14 cars, most people who build and race cars as a hobby DO own more than the average amount of cars. Whatever happened to journalistic integrity?

From Kiley: The point of the blog [not an article] is that this skind of profile does not play well with the voter base of Michigan, which is organized labor.


September 23, 2008 8:03 PM

Here in Michigan, where we have been in a recession for the past few years, we are no longer looking at the country of origin of our neighbors' car. We are just concerned when we see that houses that have 3 car garages now are lucky to have one car of any kind in them. Furthermore, we count the number of these houses that are empty and in foreclosure, not the number of houses someone owns. And more importantly, we talk about the persons we know who are about to lose their jobs or have been without a job for a year or more. Michigan is a place where we have been experiencing what the rest of the country has just started to talk about in the past couple of months -- Recession. The only valuable resource we have now besides our people are our Great Lakes and the price of these will be like oil in the future.

C. Neiman

September 23, 2008 8:06 PM

How can the average Joe or Jane relate to someone who owns 7 or 8 homes and 14 cars, or expect them to understand their problems?


September 23, 2008 8:09 PM

If you're a Republican, the good thing about such an anemic attack ad is that it indicates the well is going dry. If you're a Democrat looking for red meat, be worried about the Friday debate. The MSM shills are providing little for Obama to go on. With so much focus lately on falsehoods and misrepresentations, both his and theirs, he'll have to debate on actual substance, and without a teleprompter.


September 23, 2008 8:10 PM

aA comment for the post above.

I think it is relevant in that it shows Americans that McCain is out of touch with the average American. That is relevant. Anyone that has more than 1 car per adult is really moving into territory unheard of for 99% of america. The fact that he does not know who bought which cars, how many he has or how many houses he has is quite frankly disturbing.

How many Americans can you think of that would say "I can't recall if I have 12 or 13 houses". Answer: not many.

Now does this make McCain a bad guy. No not at all. It just simply says that he is out of touch with the economic woes that have befallen us all. He is so removed from the average every day struggle to maintain and navigate the economic melt down that I would really think this could effect his judgment. That is relevant.

I have heard him quoted as saying things like "I don't think government should intervene in free market systems". I think that if he were closer to reality in his finances he would understand that this is sending a losing message to the public. More importantly it is out of touch with reality and history. Look at the Great Depression- the attitudes of our congress and Senate were identical. Some times a free market economy need a nudge in the right direction.

McCain ran his campaign in the primary into a financial crisis and out of money. Obama is the most successful fund raser in history. Does this make one better than the other? Who knows but it sure gives me pause when I see McCain stumping for anything financial - he simply does not get the economy and that is very relevant.

I don't tbhink any of us want to give anyone a free ride but could McCain's removal from the social and economic cultures ,that the majority of us are in, influence his "tough talk" persona to do somwething unwise? I think in my opinion I would say yes it does. That is relevant. very relevant and timely.


September 23, 2008 8:15 PM

The union workers have better worry about how the car companies are going to compete with the foreign car makers. If they cooperate with the manufacturers instead of competing with them.

arugula eating elitist

September 23, 2008 8:18 PM

and if Sen. McCain drives his vehicles like he drives this country he'll be buying even more American cars in the near future (at least somebody will).


September 23, 2008 8:40 PM

Okay, um, who's the elitist, here?

And, yes, I'm quite certain that McCain has purchased more vehicles than Obama...roughly 30 years' worth.

Seriously, folks, how is it that someone with more vehicles in their garage(s) than people in their immediate family can identify with those that are struggling to keep the roof over their head, trying to afford the gas to go into their single car to get both Mom and Dad to work, and balancing the food bills to boot?

Please, America, how many of us are doing better personally and financially now than we were 7.5 years ago? If you are better off now, bully for you, but I'm pretty sure that the majority of this great nation cannot say the same. I know I can't.

PLEASE don't vote for FOUR more years of the same.


September 23, 2008 9:20 PM

Paul misses the point. Here is a man, (Mr. McCain), who is not handicapped by his wealth, but by his inability to understand that it doesn't ring true for most folks sitting squarely in the middle class of this country. He claims to be a rep for the working people. Seriously Paul, Mr. McCain is not a fiscal watchdog. He never has been and for the few years he has on this planet, he will not have to worry about trivial things like car or house payments. His biggest concern will be which car will he be driven in and to which home. He has the luxury of waxing poetic over his military career, an perhaps he should, but frankly, I don't care. I want health care for everyone. Not just the lucky majority who still have an employer that pays for part of it. I also want to stop bleeding my children's future in Iraq. How many houses does he own?


September 23, 2008 10:31 PM

The fact that I am not American and do not have any political affiliation still do not convince my acquaintances that I am not anti-Republican. I am just anti-stupidity and the post by Paul reinforces my stand.

The relevance stems from the fact that McCain doesn't remember the number of cars as well the number of houses that he owns. With the perspective that an average American can keep track of how many spouses, cars and houses he/she has, the article aims to reflect how in touch (or not) with an average American Mr. McCain is. The fact that I have to explain such a trivial analogy is ridiculous.

As for owning foreign cars, Paul, you are again being an idiot - the article is all about, never mind - please read this article again...slowly.

Again your smartass Captain Obvious comment about McCain having purchased 14 cars: please refer to the second paragraph. Again Paul, nothing personal and I do not have anything against conservatives - I just cannot stand stupidity and you seem to be demonstrating your lack of intelligence and failure to reason quite adequately.


September 23, 2008 10:51 PM

I think it is very interesing that the article does not mention that Obama's Chrysler 300 was NOT built in the United States.


September 24, 2008 12:05 AM

McCain loves "free" trade. So, Michigan, watch out. Democrats back free and FAIR trade, with labor and environmental standards to make America more competetive. More regulations properly monitored are backed by Democrats and Obama, not McCain and Republicans, so protect yourselves against shoddy foreign products that take American lives and maim Americans and reduce us to poverty. VOTE OBAMA. Vote for America!


September 24, 2008 12:53 AM

So because he's richer, he's better? I fail to see your logic Paul...

Tom Paine

September 24, 2008 11:28 AM

Well, this is all quite entertaining! I think that nobody would care how many cars Sen. McCain has except for the fact that it makes him look ridiculous calling his opponent "elitist." If you have a big car collection and a big house collection and a private jet (which was built in the USA, please note) it makes the populist point a bit hard to argue. And I would hope that Americans would want to send their elite, defined as the best, to represent their interests in government. Now, the other point that bothers me: I drive a Mazda, which is produced by a car company controlled by Ford, and which provides a lot of engineering for Ford models such as the successful Edge and Lincoln MKX. Can I park in the union lot?


September 24, 2008 2:48 PM


NEWSWIRE--NEWSWEEK reports that John and Cindy McCain own 13 cars, while Barack and Michelle Obama own one.

For some men I know, exhibition of cars
Is a manifestation of manhood.
I remind them that, sometimes, cigars are cigars,
So secure in my minivan-hood.
Light verse, ripped from the headlines


September 24, 2008 4:31 PM

McCain says his greatest interest is in helping americans who are fighting to pay their mortage while they look for a job.. A guy with 9 houses and 14 cars is not that person.


September 24, 2008 11:52 PM

This article is really pretty insulting to Michiganders. We support candidates based on their views on important issues - the economy, health care reform, education, and the environment (among others). I assure you that the average Michigander doesn't really care about the national origin of McCain's cars.

That being said, McCain is still going to lose Michigan. The Great Lakes State will always be blue.



September 25, 2008 8:14 AM

John McCain owns ONE (1) car and I do not know how many houses,(I suspect NONE). Mrs. McCain owns everything, tells her husband very little about her finances and plans to tell the rest of the world NOTHING. She wants no part of John's line of work, (including the American public), in my opinion.


September 25, 2008 9:08 AM

>>> From Kiley: The point of the blog was to point out optics that could hurt McCain in an important swing state.


I would think that automotive swing states would (maybe should) be more interested in where a given candidate stands (and has stood) on issues such as NAFTA, CAFE standards, union relations, auto-worker retirement benefits, etc.

As for the number of properties owned by a candidate--I'd be more interested in knowing if they were obtained without any suspicious origins (aka Tony Rezko).

From Kiley: The McCains' multiple homes and cars were obtained, I think it is safe to say, by means of Cindy McCain's inherited wealth.
My undersatanding is that Obama acquqired an adjacent lot to his house in a deal that involved Rezko. Rezko's legal difficulties arose long after the transaction with the Obamas. But Obama has said that the transaction was ill-advised, and he made restitution.
Working people in Michigan where I live are very interested in where the stands are on NAFTA, etc. But they also like to see their elected officials supporting the home-team.


September 25, 2008 1:34 PM

>>> From Kiley: Working people in Michigan where I to see their elected officials supporting the home-team.

I'm a bit confused on your calculus. McCain owns *multiple* recent year domestic vehicles and Obama owns just *one*. Who then has shown more support by way of total domestic car purchases in the last 10 years? Owning a foreign car or two (out of agreeably many) should not really matter, especially when the majority of the vehicles owned are domestic.

To me I find Obama's single home more troubling (as you said, "legal difficulties... ill-advised ...restitution") than the fact that McCain has multiple homes by way of his wife's inherited income.

If the people in Michigan are very interested in NAFTA and such, then why do you seem to only mention the current presidential candidates in blog postings relating to air tire pressure and the number of homes/cars owned?


September 25, 2008 4:09 PM

So the McCains bought a couple imported cars. Look out on the street. They're not the only ones.

Paul (Vw)

March 6, 2009 8:47 PM

When I stumbled across this article, I was quickly reminded of this post from a while ago:

Hmm...brings to mind some keen insight from above...

>>> My point in the blog was siimply to point out that the optics of the McCain's wealth when it comes to cars can hurt him in Michigan where the voter base is very focused on what candidates drive.

Given that assertion, I bet quite a few readers of the Detroit News had an interesting reaction when they read the news article.

I own an Audi and a I have little credibility on this matter myself. Personally I don't think it matters what Mr. Obama or his staff drives. But then again, I don't live in Michigan.

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