The High Cost Of Looking Confused

By Jesse Taylor
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:16 EDT
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imageAll I’m saying is that if a girly-man Democrat had spent $150,000 outfitting themselves for ten weeks, it would be the story that consigned them, their ticket and perhaps their party to FOREVER ELECTORAL DOOOOOOOOOOM.

Now, obviously part of this is the gender differential – it’s okay for women to spend money on their clothes because it’s a “feminine” thing to do. It makes no sense given that Obama and McCain both have to have fresh, pressed suits every day (and concurrent shirts, ties, etc.), but it’s a cost that’s often invisible and accepted so long as they stay in the range of acceptable man-purchases. Oh, and they’re not Democrats.

But think about this – Palin’s selection was announced on Friday, August 29th. Election day is Tuesday, November 4th. That’s a little under ten weeks of campaigning. If John Edwards’ legendarily elitist haircuts ($400 a pop!) were a weekly thing, he’d spend $4,000 on haircuts over the course of ten weeks. John Edwards could get 7.2 years of haircuts for what it costs to keep Sarah Palin it high-necked jackets for ten weeks. (Keep in mind that the RNC spent over $4700 on hair and makeup for the campaign, and I’m sure they weren’t paying for $12.95 trims at Great Clips.)

I honestly don’t care that they spent this money – imagemaking is expensive, and it’s about 60% of what presidential campaigning is. But when aw-shucks Sarah the Governor spends more than three times the median household income to be “one of us” for ten weeks, it would seem to cut straight across the last little bit of credibility the campaign has left. At least she understands my problem of having large, well-financed organizations insist that I wear tens of thousands of dollars of new clothes because I’m so good looking.

ELITISM UPDATE: Last week, the New York Post ran an item about how Michelle Obama stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria and ordered lobster and Iranian caviar and probably the head of her enemies as well. Flopping Aces has the full story. Go read it.

Done? Good. Because, as it turns out, Michelle Obama did not order lobster and Iranian caviar at the Waldorf-Astoria. We know this because she was not staying at the Waldorf-Astoria. We know this because she was not, I believe, in the state of New York at the time.

Can we just call the election now, please? Please?

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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