With this in mind, here's a tip for candidates: please try to keep track of your total number of homes in case the question comes up, because it's likely to come up.
For years, then-Gov. Tommy Thompson complained that he wasn't earning big bucks as a government official. Not any more.
Simply ask the U.S. Senate candidate exactly how many residences he owns. Just like U.S. Sen. John McCain, Thompson has a hard time keeping track. "Three," the veteran Republican responded last week at a campaign event.
Thompson has three houses? Isn't there another one? "No," he answered without hesitation.
OK, everybody knows about the farm in his hometown of Elroy and the house in Madison. There's also his family's relatively new 10,889-square-foot home on the outskirts of the Walt Disney World Resort in Kissimmee, Fla. A Thompson family trust bought that edifice -- and its "top of the line everything," an online ad says -- for $675,000 last year after the bank-owned property was marked down from its original $1.4 million asking price.
Later, the Republican's staff clarified that Thompson said he owned three homes, he meant to say four. Thompson apparently forgot about the $1.3 million condo he owns off Lake Wisconsin.
There was another -- a DC-area home Thompson used during his time as a lobbyist -- but the Republican sold it last year.
Matt Canter, a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in as statement, "Only an out of touch millionaire influence peddler like Tommy Thompson could forget that he owns a $1.3 million lakefront condominium. Thompson's memory lapse is not surprising. The fact is Tommy Thompson long ago lost touch with Wisconsin when he cashed in on his political connections to become a millionaire in Washington peddling influence on behalf of special interest clients."