[T]he Obama campaign quickly jumped on John McCain’s statement yesterday that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” McCain made the comment on the same day that two major Wall Street institutions effectively collapsed, and the Obama campaign portrayed McCain’s response as evidence that the Republican nominee is “out of touch with what’s going in the lives of ordinary Americans.”
Perhaps McCain is just confused because, according to today’s Washington Post, the fundamentals of the McCain family economy are stronger than ever. In other words, his wife Cindy’s massive beer distributorship, which has made them millions, is apparently bringing in even more money thanks to Americans reliance on beer to ease the pain of the economic downturn.
More than 16 million barrels of domestic beer were sold in the United States in July, and annual sales through that month are up 1.4 percent, the largest increase since 1990, when the economy was headed toward a recession, according to the Beer Institute. (Yes, such a thing exists. It’s a trade group.)
The uptick is significant for a mature industry with roughly $50 billion in annual sales, particularly as consumers reduce spending on other discretionary purchases, such as venti lattes and designer jeans. Trade groups for the liquor and wine industries report consumption of those beverages has also increased. But beer is America’s most popular alcoholic beverage, claiming more than half the market, and the go-to drink during these times of economic distress.
We shouldn’t hold McCain’s confusion about the economy against him. He isn’t feeling the same economic strain because his family’s business is still raking in the dough. Either that, or he’s drunk…