16 December 2008

The Empress's New Clothes

Fellow Blogger, Andre wrote a blog a couple of days ago. My comment was so long that I decided to just post it as a blog.

The proposition was that Michelle Obama's inauguration dress should cause the same media stir that the McCain campaign's ostentatious new wardrobe for Sarah Palin did. Go read it for yourself, though, because I could be totally off-base. These are my thoughts:

Using campaign funds to make yourself over is completely different from being extravagant with your own money. I know Palin said she didn't know about the clothes, but that's just...well, hard to swallow. Even if you didn't know someone was going out to purchase them for you, you sure as hell knew about them once they were dropped on your lap. I'm not saying it was all her fault, but c'mon...don't use ignorance as an excuse. That's pathetic. Not to mention that it's not really what I'm looking for in a vice presidential candidate.

In addition to that, who's to say that Michelle Obama is actually paying for the extravagant dress? Which doesn't even exist yet, by the way, so it's hard to say how extravagant it will be or how much it will cost. Lots of designers design clothing for celebrities to wear on the red carpet, let them borrow said clothes, then sell them for crazy amounts of money as "The Dress worn by so-and-so at the Oscar's! A must have for the season!"

Michelle Obama hasn't even done anything wrong yet, and you're going to jump all over her (and the media) because some moron from Alaska got busted using campaign funds for a ridiculous amount of new clothes during a presidential election and it made the news? Should they report on the possibility of her buying an extravagant dress?

And the percentage of the budget isn't really the point, in my opinion. If Obama had gone out and used campaign funds to buy himself a hooker in Las Vegas, would it matter that it was only 0.0000000000000001% of his total budget? Unlikely.

The irony is that McCain himself sponsored a bill on campaign finance reform and then his running mate gets caught with $150K of campaign funded clothing. Is it against the rules? Apparently not. But it makes him look bad. She made him look bad. Over and over and over.

Not to mention the overwhelming irony that blossoms up when the McCain campaign has been accusing Obama of being elitist and out of touch with regular people. So in order to be more in touch with regular people, Sarah Palin (Average Joe Hockey Mom Golly Gee) needed $150K in new clothes for the campaign? McCain can't remember how many houses he owns? It's just...ridiculous. And probably the reason they got such media attention about it. If you call someone out on something, you should probably be sure you're not guilty of the same thing first. Nearly all politicians are out of touch with us regular folk.

I hate to say it, but I think the comparison is apples to oranges. Or actually, apples to elephants. They're not even remotely the same to me. Do I think spending thousands of dollars (or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars) on one dress for one night is a smart use of your money when the entire country is in financial melt-down? No. But it's not my choice and she isn't using my money to do it. Brides and celebrities do it all the time. And she hasn't even done it yet. And the story is out there, or neither of us would know about it. Has it made national news? No. But if she was using campaign funds to buy it, you can bet your ass that it would make national news. Don't worry, the national news tends to cover Paris Hilton's every sneeze. We'll hear about it.


Jason Harx said...
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meshealle said...
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Jane Dough said...

I'm thirsty.

Anonymous said...

"his running mate gets caught with $150K of campaign funded clothing. Is it against the rules? Apparently not."

Then whats with the "gets caught" language if no laws were broken?

"But it makes him look bad. She made him look bad."

No it doesnt. No she didnt. It was the RNC that made the decision to buy the clothes for her as they felt that her small town wardrobe just wasnt enough for a national presidential campaign. She was upset at the price tag once she found out.

meshealle said...


If I were cheating on my husband and he found out, would I not be "caught" even though it's not illegal? It was questionable behavior, in my opinion, even though not technically against the rules for campaign spending. Certainly more people than just me found it questionable. So yes, she "got caught."

I don't think McCain had anything to do with the decision by the RNC, but it was his campaign and it did reflect on him. He looked like he didn't know what was going on in his own campaign. She did make him look bad over and over again, not just about this (heck, at the end there, she basically started campaigning for herself, instead of McCain). And it contradicted the message that the campaign was supposed to be sending. "We're just like you, regular people." But her "just like you" clothes weren't good enough.

But the fact remains that spending extravagant amounts of your own money on frivolous things is a different thing. Which was the actual argument.

Killer B said...

Alright, M, come get me... ;D

meshealle said...