Monday, October 27, 2008
What not to wear
I’m so glad Sarah Palin has decided to “go rogue” . . . by bringing up her $150,000 wardrobe again. This is a brilliant political strategy, one designed not only to irritate the liberal media with their “gotcha” questions but also to shore up the Neiman-Marcus base and the Republican donors whose contributions have been put to such good use. And it’s really wonderful to see that she’s teamed up with ordinary football-mom Elisabeth Hasselbeck to take her case directly to the people.
Ensuring that news of the Republican National Committee’s sartorial spending spree will remain in the headlines for at least one more news cycle, Sarah Palin on Sunday sounded off on the $150,000 wardrobe that was purchased for her in September, denouncing the report as “ridiculous” and declaring emphatically: “Those clothes, they are not my property.”
A senior adviser to John McCain told CNN’s Dana Bash that the comments about her wardrobe “were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning.” Palin did not discuss the wardrobe story at her rally in Kissimmee later in the day.
But in Tampa, Palin happily broached the clothing issue after being introduced by “The View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who accused Palin’s opponents of being “fixated on her wardrobe” and “deliberately sexist.”
That opened the door for Palin to weigh in on a topic that has frustrated the candidate and her advisers since the story first broke five days ago.
“This whole thing with the wardrobe, you know I have tried to just ignore it because it is so ridiculous, but I am glad now that Elisabeth brought it up, cause it gives me an opportunity without the filter of the media to get to tell you the whole clothes thing,” she said.
This is great, great stuff. I have to wonder who’s advising Palin—because whoever they are, they are (mirabile dictu) even more brilliant than the very brilliant Dick Morris, whose most recent New York Post column advises McCain that he can pull off the upset if only he follows Morris’s Super Genius Three Stage Plan (purchasable by mail order from Acme Consulting Services). One, focus on Obama’s nefarious plans to raise the capital gains tax:
McCain should jump on the issue and challenge Obama to agree to a two-year moratorium on increases in the capital gains tax. If Obama agrees, McCain will score points for leadership. If Obama refuses, or ignores the challenge, McCain can attribute much of the drop in the market to the fear of increased capital gains taxation once Obama takes over.
Because that won’t look at all like a “suspend my campaign” kind of stunt, and it’ll help millions of struggling Americans who are wondering what to do to avoid capital gains taxes on their investment portfolios this year. Two, go after Reverend Wright, because that won’t look desperate and diversionary at this late date. Having been duly horrifed by the Tale of Bill Ayers, the American people are thirsting to learn more about Jeremiah Wright. And three, “warn voters of impending socialism in America”—as exemplified by the “recent bailout legislation [that] puts the United States government inside the ownership, management and direction of many of our major companies and financial institutions,” and which John McCain bravely oppo . . . uh, OK, never mind.
[Aside: Wouldn’t it be a hoot if this Morris tool ever actually gave advice to a real President?]
The other day Janet was talking to me about What Not To Wear—specifically, about the fact that participants are offered five thousand dollars to buy themselves a new wardrobe. Five thousand dollars is, for most people, the rough equivalent of One Entire Shitload of money for clothes, so (if you’ll allow me to call up the “calculator” function here) Palin’s budget comes out to about . . . lessee . . . thirty shitloads. Which, in clothing terms, is like a furlong multiplied by a hectare.
Now, I grant you that Sarah Palin isn’t “most people.” She’s running for Vice President, and has been on the campaign trail for over eight weeks now, so it’s only right that the Republican National Committee send out solicitations to potential contributors reading, “for less than $3,000 a day, you can clothe a worthy candidate for national office. Your donations can make a difference. Give from the heart.”
Besides, as Gov. Palin justly points out, these clothes are not her property. They’re going to charity. All across America, needy women will be warmed this winter by the high-necked jackets made famous by Sarah Barracuda. It’s sort of like that moment in Clueless when Cher donates her new skis and tennis racquet to the victims of a natural disaster:
McCain: Sarah, what are you doing?
Palin: I’m captain of the Pismo Beach disaster relief.
McCain: I don’t think they need the Valentino Garavani jacket you wore for your acceptance speech.
Palin: Daddy, some people lost all their belongings. Don’t you think that includes ensembles from Saks?
There’s no question that people are going to rally to Palin’s side once they learn the real facts behind this ridiculous story.
Please, please, please put these people in charge of the RNC for the next four years. Let the GOP braintrust be Dick Morris, Sarah Palin, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and the (remaining) crew of the National Review. And let Wingnuttia be Wingnuttia again.