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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The $98 pacifier

At first I wasn't going to weigh in on the blooming frenzy over Sarah Palin's wardrobe selections. Then I got to the $98 pacifier.

That purchase from a children's boutique in Minneapolis reflects the double standard of the Republican Party and its candidates as it tries to win an election by throwing every personal attack in the book at Barack Obama.

Most of the stories have focused on the wardrobe shopping spree for Palin -- the moose-hunting hockey mom who burst in the national scene in late August. The McCain-Palin campaign racked up $150,000 in clothing tabs from Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman-Marcus (AKA Needless Markup).

Fairness suggests that perhaps all Palin did is try on the clothes selected for her by a consultant. Nevertheless, where were the Hockey Mom values?

Apologists are quick say this is all sexist, that no one ever talks about Brooks Brothers suits (not quite true -- I frequently called Mitt Romney a terrific empty suit).

Yes, but men's grooming has been fodder for the right -- John Edwards' $400 haircut (68,000 hits on Google) and Bill Clinton's alleged LAX clipping.

Then there was the incessant attention to Hillary Clinton's pant suits (more than 100,000 hits no matter how you spell it) or the orgy of comment on the dress Michelle Obama wore on The View ($148 off the rack).

But back to the pacifier. Democrats are supposed elitist, but some RNC handler couldn't find anything cheaper? A quick check of Amazon found a high-tech pacifier with a built-in digital thermometer at Amazon for $11 (shipping extra). If germs don't both you, there are used ones from $8.99. And they are two-for $3.49 at Minneapolis-based Target.

This is more a reflection on the handlers than the candidate herself. But it is the handlers who put words into the principals' mouths (maybe pacifiers too?) and encourage them to sound the theme that Barack and Michelle Obama are elitists out of touch with American values.

If John McCain and Palin then parrot those words without pausing to think about the obvious contradictions between their words and their own deeds, then they are fair game for the criticism.

Or, as Joy Behar noted:
“I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks”
Gosh, I hope not.

CORRECTION: OK, so I didn't read. The name of the store where RNC folks bought $98 worth of baby clothing was Pacifier. The premise about the RNC shopping spree remains correct even if that one "fact" is not. Sorry.

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Anonymous fasteddie said...

"Pacifier" is the name of a Minneapolis baby boutique. The charges are to the store for baby clothes, not an actualy pacifier.

She's unqualified and she took advantage to go on a shopping spree.

Cindy McCain dresses like that - why shouldn't Palin and her family?

October 23, 2008 11:11 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

My bad -- I should read more carefully. Thanks

October 23, 2008 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I made the exact same mistake. In fact, I discovered this blog after incredulously googling a "$98 pacifier."

I suppose the indignation isn't entirely uncalled for though, seeing as these opulent superfluities exist somewhere out there. The bastards...

October 24, 2008 12:45 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

That helps -- just a little :-)

October 24, 2008 3:36 PM  

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