Who’s the Elitist?

Michelle Obama, like most of us, buys most of her clothing off the rack. Cindy McCain, on the other hand, not so much.


The following eyeopener comes from Truthdig:

Truthdig calls this gold concoction McCain's "Let Them Eat Cake" dress.

It’s hard to paint the other guy as an elitist when your wife wears an outfit that cost more than most houses. Vanity Fair estimates that Cindy McCain’s convention ensemble, complete with super jewelry, set her back somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000.

According to Vanity Fair:

Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000 
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500 
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000 
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000-$25,000 
Shoes, designer unknown: $600 
Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100

Truthdig calls this gold concoction McCain’s “Let Them Eat Cake” dress.
In contrast, Michelle Obama’s convention wear stuck to simple, understated dresses by rising Chicago designer Maria Pinto. I can’t find the value of the dresses, but both the turquoise-colored wool dress (enhanced by a lovely pin she had in her own jewelry box) and the droolworthy fuschia dress she wore when her spouse accepted the Democrats’ nomination — like Laura Bush’s very lovely and tasteful dress pictured above — were quite accessible. And I doubt they cost anywhere near the fortune it took to purchase McCain’s ensemble.
That said, all the candidates’ spouses, even the First Dude, looked smashing. (I am well aware that people who know me are howling that this perennially jean-clad, baseball cap-topped, tiedye-wearing old hippie is talking about party frocks. Get over it — I like looking at pretty dresses and elegant suits too.)
And that said, none of this has anything to do with substance or with how well their other halves could run the country. I just found it interesting that while the GOP accuses the Obamas of elitism, they own multiple homes and wear, as one Truthdig commenter noted, “a king’s ransom in jewelry and clothes.”
Truthdig, however, does have some compelling and substantive commentaries today:
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman writes about the crackdown on journalists during the Republican National Convention — you’ll recall she was manhandled by law enforcement and jailed for, um, doing her job.
And E.J. Dionne fires away at “McCain the Divider.”  Here’s a taste:

Once upon a time, John McCain promised to be a different kind of politician and a different kind of Republican. He was about straight talk, reform and nonpartisanship, a resolute foe of the slashing politics of the slaughterhouse.

McCain wants voters to remember that man. But that man has disappeared. His convention, including his running mate Sarah Palin’s big speech on Wednesday, dripped of divisive ridicule as speaker after speaker worked to aggravate the country’s cultural schisms and replay worn-out lines about weak liberals who are soft on terror.

The Republican crowd here gleefully played into the very worst stereotypes of their party as a privileged class resistant to social change.  


Read ’em!


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