Location, Location, Nomination

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During the last presidential campaign, John McCain had to withstand some ribbing, if not all-out ridicule, for his many and various abodes. (The situation was hardly helped by his noted failure to remember precisely how many there were). Take this Paul Schwartzman write-up from the Washington Post:

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools! Spas and state-of-the-art fitness centers! Views of the Arizona mountains, the Pacific Ocean and downtown Phoenix! John McCain isn’t just a presidential candidate. He’s a veritable bling-master, worthy of an “MTV Cribs” episode, those televised tours of brazenly gilded homes led by celebrity owners like 50 Cent, Hulk Hogan and Bow Wow.

And if real estate is grounds for judging a candidate, we can be fairly certain that there are plenty of 2012 GOP contenders who are ripe for consideration.

It’s hardly news that Mitt Romney is absolutely rolling in it. His manor-worthy summer house in New Hampshire, though hidden from public view, has been the cause of much rooting and reporting over the years. Take this breakdown from the Concord Monitor:

It is anchored by a 5,400-square-foot, six-bedroom contemporary dwelling and also boasts a 2,700-square-foot boathouse and a 2,600-square-foot stable, which has been outfitted with modern guest quarters. With ample frontage and a western view onto the lake, the property is worth more than $10 million today, said Hughes, president of Prudential Spencer-Hughes Real Estate.

That was $10 million in 2005, mind you; inflation alone could add another cool mil. And once a phrase like “guest quarters” gets used, one might well evoke caviar-flavored mints on the pillows and butlers willing to serve Cognac or burst into to song, depending on the liege’s mood.

Newer on the high-end real estate scene is the beach house of certain former Arkansas governor: News broke in December that while voters may heart Huckabee, Huckabee hearts enormous porches. The Arkansas Times reported that he was building a $3-million dwelling on Blue Mountain Beach in Florida. “The three-story house will have 8,224 square feet of living space and 2,969 square feet of decks and porch,” they said. “A pool or spa is also in the works.”

Jon Huntsman, the departing ambassador to China, also has a palatial pad — and arguably the richest grounds for joke-making. Not only does he own a $3.6-million townhouse in Kalorama, one of the highest-end neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., but the former cast of Top Chef: D.C. lived there before him. The space features five bedrooms, five bathrooms and five fireplaces — of which you can see many given the exposure the Bravo show brought his pad. You can find the listing here or a video here.

But that’s not to say all the Republican names being bandied about have homes worthy of Architectural Digest. Take Tim Pawlenty, who lives in the Minneapolis suburb of Eagan, Minnesota. His relatively humble house was valued last year at $320,000. The 3120-square-foot space has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The fanciest amenity listed in the property records? A 640-foot garage.