GADFLY: On Palin's Wardrobe Malfunction 

When the history of this presidential campaign is written, two of the most prominent fingers of blame will point at Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin. No, I don't mean because of Cindy's creepy extra-terrestrial-like appearance or even Palin's air-headed responses to virtually every one of the few questions from the press she has deigned to answer. I'm talking about the two biggest wardrobe malfunctions since the famous Janet Jackson nipple slip.

In the midst of an economic crisis that has overwhelmed the Republican candidate's ability to deal effectively with it, while people were losing their savings and retirement funds, not to mention their jobs, two of the most visible symbols of Republican oblivion to the real world continued to appear at McCain rallies wearing what we've come to learn are a small fortune's worth of designer clothing and jewelry.

The recent revelation that the Republicans spent $150,000 putting fancy threads on their pit bull, and yes, lipstick too has turned into a political nightmare, not the least of which reasons is the outcry from Republican donors, some of whom want their money back. And as if converting Palin from Caribou Barbie into Barbie for (Vice) President wasn't bad enough, it turns out the Republicans also bought Palin's husband (a/k/a the “First Dude”) $5,000 worth of new duds more fitting of a prince consort than the snowmobile duds he might otherwise favor.

All of this, on top of the revelation that Cindy McCain routinely wears six-figure outfits, makes the McCain women seem more like Marie Antoinette than the “Joe the Plumber” image they keep flogging on the campaign trail. At this point, the only kinship McCain/Palin can claim with that bogus “every man” is that they're becoming increasingly used to having to deal with smelly poo. Add this to the prior revelations about McCain's cornucopia of houses and cars (not to mention his $500 Italian loafers), and the lie may have finally been given to the McCain campaign's attempt to color Obama as the “elitist” in this election. You've gotta wonder how people we now know, thanks to Cindy's belated revelation of her tax returns, live on a $4 million annual income have the nerve to call anyone else “elitist.”

How tone deaf must a campaign be to spend $150,000 on clothing and $20,000 on makeup in the midst of an economic disaster? The only possible explanation is that McCain and Palin are heeding their mentor, George Bush's, advice that the best way to deal with a disaster (as he told us immediately after 9/11) is to go shopping. We already knew he had other acolytes who like to shop during disasters. Oh, and the icing on this cake? The Republicans tried to hide the source of the money to make these purchases by having one of their “consultants” (the same one who's masterminded the campaign's recent dirty “robocall” jag) pay for the clothing. The Republicans, it seems, will never learn that the coverup is always worse than the crime.

I'm left to wonder, with the way the McCain campaign is going, where the candidates will be buying their sackcloth and ashes on November 5th. My guess is it won't be at Saks or Neiman's.

UPDATE: Oh, go here for proof of just how expensive pit bull lipstick can be.

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