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Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 20:46 | SYDNEY
Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 20:46 | SYDNEY

Another tall log-cabin story

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8 September 2008 09:22

In this op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald last Tuesday, I complained about the tall stories told by Democratic politicians in Denver about their humble origins.

I was not surprised to hear similar log-cabin stories coming out of the Republican convention in St Paul – but I was surprised to hear them from the fabulously wealthy Cindy McCain. She spoke of the ‘hardscrabble roots’ of her father, Jim Hensley, who built a beer business ‘with only a few borrowed dollars in his pocket, a strong back and a can-do spirit.’

Leave aside for a minute the fact that The New York Times and others have reported that, in the late 1940s, Hensley was convicted of concealing sales of black-market liquor. Surely the most relevant point about Mrs McCain’s father was his enormous wealth. That wealth helped to propel John McCain into politics, and the family company has assisted the Republican candidate’s political career in many and diverse ways ever since.

It also afforded Mrs McCain a life of Porsches and private jets. Vanity Fair estimates that her outfit in St Paul, including the jewelry, would have cost US$300,000. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with any of this – and indeed, Cindy McCain has directed some of her wealth toward admirable humanitarian work. But please, spare us the story of the family log cabin!

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