What, precisely, constitutes being rich? As the two presidential candidates and their campaigns sparred over real estate, what makes someone better off than anyone else?
So, McCain has many houses. His campaign says he has four homes. The Obama campaign says he has seven.
McCain's campaign countered with charges that, while Obama has but one home, it's a mansion with four fireplaces and a wine cellar.
So we've move on from the elite wars -- elite, readers say, is someone who thinks he's better than you -- to rich, when they were long twinned. Now, it's a dissing war into who is more privileged.
What constitutes rich, especially when rich people never describe themselves as such but merely as "comfortable?"
Does one house with four fireplaces trump having four, or seven, residences? McCain's primary residences are in Phoenix where fireplaces are useless, and a Washington, D.C. condo (ditto). Then again, plenty of beach homes are going up with multiple fireplaces.
So are fireplaces and wine cellars the new sign of luxury?
Obama's South Side Chicago home does have four fireplaces. It was built 96 years ago, when people needed fireplaces, especially in Chicago.
If you have a Weber, does that count as a second fireplace? Also, if you store a few bottles of $8 malbecs in the basement, plus the odd bottle of vermouth for visiting relatives, does that make it a wine cellar?