Monday, October 27, 2008

Guest Post: The Audacity of Chutzpah

[from my mom, who knows what she is talking about]

Last Thursday I shopped at my favorite thrift shop, returning triumphant with five lined and beautiful jackets for $27 (total, not each).

They are all quality label (Ann Klein, Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor, Talbot's), all like new. As you know, your mother dresses on the cheap from thrift shops, consignment stores and the Talbot's outlet.

Well, that's yet another place where I part company with Sarah Palin. Although we live in Northern Virginia and are counted by the McCain campaign as part of the liberal east coast elite, I've never set foot in Neiman Marcus or Saks. I do confess to buying a bathing suit (on third markdown) at Macy's in the 1970s. It was a Monahan mainstay for 23 years until it literally fell apart in the water at a Hawaiian beach (a fairly racy story for another day).

Returning from my thrift shop excursion, I turned on television news and heard about Guv Palin's new $150,000 high-end (what else at that price?) wardrobe, makeup and hairstyling.

Sarah Palin: Just the average middle class hockey mom, dressing for a dash to Wal-Mart's meat counter.

Lordy, Lordy, Miss Scarlett. I fear I shall swoon. What y’all don’t know about other folks!

In my entire life I never paid more than $80 for any outfit except a winter coat (top price of $125 on that and I wore it f o r e v e r.). Think how much the GOP could have saved if they allowed me the bonding experience of taking Miz Palin shopping. For that I would even take off my Obama button.

With $3,000 at Talbot’s (not even Talbot’s Outlet, shrine to thrift which it is) I could dress the Would Be Veep in enough coordinated skirts, jackets, shoes, handbags and dresses to see her to November fourth’s gala events and the GOP wake beyond.

With just $1,000 at a couple of thrift and consignment shops she could be dressed to kill (or attack, as is her wont) in dozens of outfits, many with designer labels. There would be enough apparel to carry The Guv through to Bristol’s baby’s high school graduation.

As for makeup, did anyone consider the drug store? A good supply of hair styling needs may be found there as well for well under $40. Quality stuff. Vidal Sasson, Pantene et al.

Let’s be clear about this kerfuffle and GOP contributors, please note: The Republicans blow $150K on designer duds and makeup for a candidate when the McCain campaign desperately needs those funds to buy advertising air time.

It makes a lady wonder about what kind of priorities and decisions a McCain administration would make on life and death issues. Oh, yes, remember Terri Schiavo? Remember the Iraq War?

When was the decision engendered to retrofit The Guv at the cost of a new 3br/2b house with a Lexus in the garage in Iowa? My suspicion is the scheme was born when Cindy McCain first laid eyes on The Guv at the deep vetting interview with McCain at his Arizona ranch. Mother’s imagination flashes: Cindy takes one appalled look at Sarah's outfit and thinks "That tacky polyester has to go. Let's get this babe to Neiman Marcus so she will LOOK Republican."

And so they did, also acquiring a hair stylist and make up artist to travel with The Guv at a cost of about $23,000 for three weeks work. That's more than my pension and social security combined for a year.

How could I ever have doubted the empathy, the deep compassion, the McCain campaign has for the middle class? Remember the story about The Emperor with No Clothes? Well, that is not Sarah Palin's story.

Now The Guv's handlers protest the utter unfairness of the press disclosing this. No one had to go through garbage or hack a computer for the facts: The campaign itself reported the expenditures.

One of the McCain whizzes whined that the plan is to give the clothes to charity ("Hey, Sue, look at the bag lady in Dior!"), adding that some of the outfits would be returned to the stores.

Consider the ethics of this: You wear very expensive clothes to campaign events and then return them to the merchants for a refund. What reason do you state for the return?

Reluctance to pay the bill, perhaps. No, customer service might deem that insufficient reason. Perhaps you could plead the outfits didn't photograph well or they smelled after the candidate perspired in them. No wonder many stores require expensive apparel be returns with the original price tags attached.

Just when I think the McCain campaign can't screw up any worse, they confound the world anew with their audacity of chutzpah.

1 comment:

Bozomon said...

I can confirm: My mother has long been reluctant to spend more than $30 on a pair of shoes.