Re: W/R/T Palin: I Got 99 Problems But Her Shoes Ain't One

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OK, but $150K is ridiculous and totally fair game for mockery, especially given her fake small-towny self presentation. Live by the fake populism, die by the fake populism.

And I'm not entirely sure that you're right about the price discrepency between her clothes and Obama's -- good mens suits are very expensive, and it's not like Palin either needs to or was wearing couture. And I don't think that there's any other evidence out there that political parties are inclined to not run women candidates simply because it's more expensive to dress them. If there is any such evidence, I've certainly never seen it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:57 PM
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Just buy the shoes, Becks. It's OK to treat yourself once in a while. We won't judge. (Much.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:58 PM
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Just look at Michelle Obama for an example of a woman in the political spotlight who doesn't go to insane lengths with clothing.

For example, her View dress.

The outrage has more to do with the sheer unbelievability of the number $150,000. That's several people's yearly salaries. I guarantee you no one else's budget even comes close to that. Apparently one trip to Neiman Marcus marked up $75,000. Think about that. How would you even begin to spend that much on clothes?



Posted by: Mark | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:00 PM
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1: Becks isn't just talking about dressing, she's talking about grooming. I get a lot done in the 45 minutes a day I don't spend getting my hair blow-dried and elaborate make-up done. If we as a culture are going to demand/expect that our female leaders do that, we're handicapping their ability to do their jobs.

2. Yo Tim, what's up with trolling on the second comment?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:01 PM
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Oh, puhlease - this is not a feminist issue; it's an economic one. It would have been perfectly possible for someone to purchase a stylish and substantially less expensive wardrobe for Palin & family. I mean, Neiman's & Saks & Barney's? How about Nordstrom's and Macy's? [Does no stylist watch The Look for Less?] Yes, she had to have some nice outfits, but not $150K worth - especially after the big to-do about her being a WalMart shopper. [Just like Jane SixPack, you betcha.] Given that her wardrobe appears to be primarily black pencil skirts and coloured jackets, with the occasional white blouse thrown in, they could have outfitted her nicely for a quarter of that and had change left over for a mooseburger.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:02 PM
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Obama apparently wears suits from Hart, Schaffner & Marx at about $1,500 a pop.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:04 PM
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Yo Tim, what's up with trolling on the second comment?

Well, he doesn't have posting privileges, so he does what he can...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:05 PM
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(Confidential to Emerson: Avoid this surreal e-mail exchange between Edward Prescott and an Obama supporter if you don't want to confirm your prejudices about economists.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:06 PM
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>Obama apparently wears suits from Hart, Schaffner & Marx at about $1,500 a pop.

But, I doubt he owns a hundred.


Posted by: Mark | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:06 PM
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political opportunities for women are going to be limited to people wealthy enough to buy the right image

Winning political office is already restricted to the wealthy. If you're rich enough to run for office and win, you're rich enough to buy the image.

Also, Barbara Mikulski.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:10 PM
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Yo Tim, what's up with trolling on the second comment?

Does anyone genuinely think that the $150K thing is a real issue? Distinct, here, from whether it's a winning issue or whether it's out of bounds to gin up an issue. I don't, and I can't believe anyone else really does either. If Obama spent that much on Evian water to bathe in, I'd still want him to be President. These people spend unbelievable amounts of money on the campaign. $150K feels like a rounding error.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:10 PM
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Prescott is a lunatic. Even Brad de Long openly mocks him.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:11 PM
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4 -- I don't think it's fair to conflate the attack on Palin with the general issue of whether the grooming expectations for female politicians are too high. The beef on Palin is that she spent $150K on her clothes alone, which is absolutely ludicrous by any standard. There is nothing sexist about mocking Palin for that, nor is it anti-feminist.

The notion that we're making it harder for women to get their jobs done because they have to spend a long time grooming is true, but that's true at every level of life. It has little to do with politics in particular. The "expense" involved in presenting a female politician to the press per se isn't a significant factor in preventing women from getting into politics, which was the post's specific claim.

The situation in which a record label has to put out expenses for the clothing of an aspiring female rapper is not even remotely comparable.

None of this is to say that sexism doesn't make it harder for women in politics. But Palin's insane spending should be fair game.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:12 PM
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Witt: I've already commented about that at DeLong's, to the effect that I won't say anything until it's verified.

Everyone else: 2004 Nobel Prize economist by day, wingnut troll by night. Must be read to be believed, and may, in fact, be too good to be true.

One charitable interpretation made in the comments was that his Nobel was awarded for past work, and that his mind has gone since then. But others point out that the gist of what he says, if spell-corrected and made civil, would be completely consistent with his professional work.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:12 PM
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I'd argue that you're also buying time. If you need to outfit someone at her level stat, you can trade money for time. We've all complained about how hard it is to buy a suit that fits a woman well. They don't have the luxory to spend days looking for what works. I can see why the campaign would rather throw money at the problem.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:13 PM
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Michelle Obama looks fantastic for a potential first lady but is a little casual for a candidate (and probably doesn't always buy off the rack)...I buy that a woman needs to spend several times as much as a man given all the added scrutiny (how many fucking AP file photos are there of Palin's legs in high heels), the fact that it'll be a lot more obvious if you only have a dozen suits, etc. And it's plausible to me that designers would give you discounts or freebies in return for exposure, but it's also plausible that it's not kosher. I can also buy that what's probably the most affordable means of looking good--buying off the rack from mid-level stores & going to a tailor for alterations as needed--is simply not an option on short notice given the rigors of a national campaign. All that said, 150K *still* seems ridiculous. Especially given the faux populist shtick that the GOP has had going on for the whole campaign.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:13 PM
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This blowup also seems to be a function of Palin's 'outsider' status. It's not that someone qualified for the VP job would necessarily have the right clothes, but a someone who had been in the national public eye longer would be more likely to have built up a working wardrobe.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:14 PM
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buying off the rack from mid-level stores & going to a tailor for alterations as needed

They could hire a full-time tailor for the campaign for way less than they spent.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:16 PM
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Does anyone genuinely think that the $150K thing is a real issue?

No. But if it leads the news cycle for a couple of days, that's a win for the side that's ahead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:17 PM
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I think faux-populist beltway press coverage of trivial "stories" like this is generally bad for (1) Democrats (2) democracy, but frankly, they're not going to stop anyway & it's nice to see it harm the GOP for once. And if anyone asked for it, Palin did.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:21 PM
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They could hire a full-time tailor for the campaign for way less than they spent.

A full-time tailor can't whip up dozens of outfits in a week. It's absurd amounts of money, but it is genuinely hard to find garments that fit a certain (constructed) look just so, especially when you can't bide your time until next season to see if the right items appear then. I expect that money does trade for time there. I think you're exactly right in 17. But whatever, I hate all of them and would like to see them be a bit more shame-faced about criticizing Democrats for their expensive shoes and haircut in the future, so hey.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:23 PM
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No. But if it leads the news cycle for a couple of days, that's a win for the side that's ahead.

I agree entirely. I guess I just don't think Becks needs to offer much justification for Palin here, as I can't believe people think it really tells anyone anything. But if attacks on the basis of it make Republicans feel bad about themselves, great. Those attacks aren't going to have any lasting effect, I think. Nobody on our side is going to worry any of our female candidates if they burn hundred dollar bills just under their chin for better skin. The mechanics of candidacy are what they are. I'm OK if the Obama hasn't managed to integrate a program of recycling unwanted flyers, too.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:26 PM
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I'm with you on how problematic it is that women in the public eye are expected to put so much time and money into their appearance, but "this is a dangerous enough juncture as the parties realize that fielding women candidates is going to cost them more money" seems like silliness to me. $150K is a lot of money, but on the scale of the cost of running a campaign, it's nothing. A campaign isn't going to ditch a better female candidate in favor of a male one just because of the difference in clothing and grooming costs.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:28 PM
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Which I guess is a longwinded way of saying Tim has it right in 11.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:29 PM
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One Palin wardrobe, Detroit, MI. Cheaper than 1 Palin wardrobe!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:31 PM
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Well, it might be not quite on the up and up.
But little Piper sure does look cute with her new $800 handbag.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:32 PM
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But again, part of the problem is that this situation is specific to Palin, since she had to get a sudden makeover of sorts. I'm sure when Hillary started campaigning she had to invest in a lot more pantsuits than she'd previously had, but it's not like she didn't have a bunch of television-ready ones already.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:33 PM
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Palin is really an example of Not Ready For Prime Time. A lot of the candidates are empty suits, a lot of them are corrupt, and so on, but most of them know the ropes WRT the trivial BS involved in politics, like stonewalling and bluffing and delivering the right soundbite at the right time.

Partly this is because they have teams of minders and media plants watching out for them, whereas Palin is new on the scene.

Possibly, I guess, she was just a straw in the wind, and got trashed because people were already giving up on McCain.

Obama is probably the Establishment candidate by now. No real surprise. I didn't give any of my pittance of donations to him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:36 PM
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$150K for clothes for 2 months of campaigning as a hockey mom? This has nothing to do with the hoops that female candidates have to go through. Someone simply went on a ridiculous shopping spree when she got the nod.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:39 PM
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Is it a serious issue: eh, nah.

Is it something that could possibly be used to make her less popular than she already is: possibly. If I'd given money to the RNC that could be used in competitive races and was going to this, I'd be irritated.

Why it's funny: dude, it's the montage scene from Pretty Woman! How much more fantastically non-serious can you get than to nominate a woman for Vice President where you have to immediately take her on a massive shopping spree for appropriate clothes. At least be a little subtle about it, instead of having the guy who runs your robo-calling operation pulling clothes off the rack at Saks like he's her butler.

Also: what's with the red leather jacket? Is she running for vice-president of the video for Beat It?

Is the fact that their clothes are more expensive a determinant of whether parties are willing to support women candidates? No.

Is the fact that their clothes are more expensive a determinant of whether hip-hop labels are willing to support female rappers? No. Please note that female R&B singers seem to be doing okay. It's just sexist-ass music label types making excuses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:39 PM
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Some people here seem to be under the impression that Palin was actually just a small-town gal who got called to come on down on The Price Is Right. In some sense she was, but she was also governor of Alaska and has a seven-figure net worth.

"Oh my, I'm gonna be on TV and everyone's going to look at me!"


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:41 PM
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I bet Biden's all pouting that he didn't get a shopping spree.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:42 PM
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32: you can be a rich yokel too, you know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:42 PM
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You could drop 75k at Neimans in about 10 seconds, were you foolish enough not to examine price tags and you had an unlimited line of credit. I expect that Palin could have gone boutique for the basics and had any poorly fitting items tailored instore for 7,500 and then tacked on quite a lot of excessive accessories for another 10k. She would've been all set at that point. (As DE says.)

Being who she is and given her preexisting pattern of behaviour, once she realized she could get some clothes I suspect she started humming 'We're in the money' and told the hubbie to back up the truck.

So it is a trivial issue, much like McCain's 13 houses, and Poppy Bush's inability to deal with the checkout lane in '92.

max
['Such is life.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:44 PM
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Poppy Bush's inability to deal with the checkout lane in '92.

Yeah, this one's true, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:47 PM
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Obama apparently wears suits from Hart, Schaffner & Marx at about $1,500 a pop.

Since my one suit cost ca. $800, I find this well within the realm of reason.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:58 PM
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is it possible that whoever was buying stuff bought a bunch, with the intention of only using some, and- I don't know. Returning the rest? People do this, sometimes, right? Bring home three dresses to test them out under different lighting or whatever?

Or would that have come out in the reports about it?


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:08 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:10 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:11 PM
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A full-time tailor can't whip up dozens of outfits in a week

But a full-time tailor could easily make the necessary alterations to off-the-rack garments in a week. And I don't think the coverage is faux-populist, or that the $150K is irrelevant. It's about message control; you can't proclaim yourself an ordinary working mom when you blow that kind of money on clothes.

Probably pwned several times over, as my daughters' homework has intervened mid-comment.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:12 PM
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To join in the pwned types of comments, Becks raises a good point, but really it comes down to whether you think that in order to float a female candidate for higher electoral office, you're naturally going to have to blow $150K just for her grooming. And no, I doubt it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:15 PM
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I seem to remember some similar fuss about a $300 haircut. And that's (arguably) a less ridiculous sum.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:19 PM
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Like it or not is a cop-out. Women in power shouldn't be expected to be clothes horses, and buying into that is a sign of weakness. Hillary Clinton didn't buy into it and she damn near clinched the Democratic nomination, only missing because a once in a lifetime candidate was running against her. Palin is getting tons of money spent on her precisely because her base believes that it is just the way things are that women are expensive and require a little more coddling when it comes to appearances than men do. In other words, they are shallow. Fuck that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:20 PM
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Hillary Clinton didn't buy into it

?????????????????????????????????????


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:21 PM
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Remember that NYT thing that ogged posted about, concerning the extremely wealthy in some Coloradesque resort? Some of those people were wearing single articles of clothing that cost in excess of my yearly earnings.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:21 PM
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Probably pwned several times over, as my daughters' homework has intervened mid-comment.

Priorities! They should do their own effing homework!

How old are they, 6? Homework? Damn!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:24 PM
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30.4 is correct & hilarious.

Halford, Katherine, & etc. are right on the whole kerfuffle.

I miss Bella Abzug.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:25 PM
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toglosh is my friend. For saying it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:26 PM
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^o


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:27 PM
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Palin is getting tons of money spent on her precisely because her base believes that it is just the way things are that women are expensive and require a little more coddling when it comes to appearances than men do.

Absolute B.S. Palin's base does not require Neiman's. Also, 44.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:27 PM
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46: Still 5. I'd tell them to blow it off the way Daddy used to do, but they'll figure out that strategy on their own. Plus, it's pretty easy homework. For me, at least.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:33 PM
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I guess if you're going to be a famous empty suit, it might as well be a high-quality empty suit.

Also it's just nice that every middle-income chump who thinks "Sarah Palin is just like me!" can now add "except that she spends two or three times my annual salary on clothes in a month". The Walmart-shopper shtick isn't going to go over quite so well.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:33 PM
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43: once in a lifetime candidate
Wouldn't it be great to have a play where some down-on-their-luck Ivy League Chicago lawyers ride the train out to Washington right after Obama is elected to give all the now-scrambling-to-sound-electable politicians elocution lessons? I'd pay money to see that!

I'm getting pretty sick of the whole "something-regarding-Sarah-Palin-is-a-feminist-issue" meme anyway. You know what's a feminist issue? A couple hundred thousand corpses in Iraq. You know what's a feminist issue? Thousands of your fellow human beings languishing in secret jails, tortured by the secret police. You know what's a feminist issue? The hundreds of people, some of whom are my close friends and comrades, nursing bruises and facing heavy charges 'cause they dared to exercise their "right" to free speech when Miss Congeniality was being crowned.

"Feminist" doesn't mean shit if you don't have an analysis of class and race and capital and power to go along with it.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:34 PM
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Yeah, this one's true, though.

Snopes. Enh. I heard no end to it back then, and as near as I could make out there was bafflement to be had, the NYT blew it up more than it deserved and then the inevitable backlash. When the facts and the yelling were done, it was still Bush 0, Scanner 1.

max
['David Broder disapproved.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:38 PM
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I guess I should have left Jesus happy with his success at meeting the challenge, instead of sneering.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:40 PM
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Absolute B.S. Palin's base does not require Neiman's. Also, 44.


Well then? Who does require Nieman's? Undecided voters?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:43 PM
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On another thread I speculated that people who dream about winning the lottery or going on a game show or reality TV and winning big will love Palin, because that's what she did.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:43 PM
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Absolute B.S. Palin's base does not require Neiman's. Also, 44.

I must say I'm not following this. Palin's wardrobe doesn't look like it costs 150 grand, which is all that would be relevant for the base. What does 44 have to do with it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:52 PM
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Oh, sorry, I imagine that 44 refers to the comment, and not to Palin's age. Though I'd argue with respect to 44 that Hillary Clinton wasn't particularly playing the part of a clothes horse.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:54 PM
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The quote about breaking female artists seems deeply suspect. I admit I don't know too much about how up and coming hip hop acts operate, but it's hard for me to believe that the experience is THAT dissimilar from what faces a rock band. And in that case the grooming budget, whether male or female, is $0.

It's very, very hard to believe that grooming budgets are the primary factor holding back female hip-hop. Professional makeup's pretty important if you're getting filmed; not so important if you just need to scream into a mic under a bank of red and blue gels in front of a crowd of inebriates


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:57 PM
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I'm not getting the argument that money is a substitute for time in Palin's situation. When you need a bunch of stylish, well-fitting women's outfits quickly, the solution isn't to go to a more expensive store, it's to go to more stores. That seems to be exactly what they did. They just chose to make all the stores high-end. And even then, blowing that much money that fast is is a hell of a trick.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:57 PM
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Well, I was certainly watching to see what she would wear next. Her suits were amazing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:59 PM
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The Daily Show is having fun with this at the moment. Did they really say the plan was always to give the clothes to charity?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:00 PM
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63: you know those republicans; big into donating things to charity.

Fair or not, I really do love this contrast.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:11 PM
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That's because you're shallow, Blume, just shallow!

Kidding obviously; women politicians (and celebrities) are subject to wardrobe attention. That you were watching to see doesn't mean Clinton was playing to it; it means that you were focused on it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:11 PM
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That you were watching to see doesn't mean Clinton was playing to it; it means that you were focused on it.

Past threads on this very blog would seem to indicate otherwise. But I know, it's hard remembering things that long ago at your age.

Kidding, obviously!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:14 PM
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Who does require Nieman's?

Either some campaign consultant or Palin's taste for luxury on someone else's dime.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:16 PM
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64: Nice photo, too.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:17 PM
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66: You mean people's discussion here of Clinton's outfits? No doubt, no doubt. This blog is a bit fashion aware.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:17 PM
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I don't really care about Palin's suits, but whoever it was that I read today that observed that were Palin's $150,000 shopping spree a person, it'd get a tax break under President Obama's plan cracked me up.

Becks is right about the difference in costs for a well-groomed man compared to a well-groomed woman. Even a tiny thing like being able to (or expected to) wear colors limits the re-wearability of a woman's wardrobe. (Hillary's probably not wearing that mango pantsuit again much, you know?)

As to the total cost, I have no idea even where you'd go to buy clothes that expensive. I can believe the expenses due to grooming; weeks of travel and little sleep? I'd be putting on the MAC with a trowel.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:17 PM
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This blog is a bit fashion media and image aware.

I tend to think of that as a good thing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:19 PM
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So, parsimon, I'm curious: are you really saying that Clinton was unaware of what image she might be projecting, and picked the clothes to wear purely on the basis of, what, comfort? Ease of ironing?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:27 PM
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It's odd how few Google hits the phrase "if you experience an election lasting more than..." gets.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:28 PM
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Ease of ironing?

Polyester jersey, dude. You could totally tell.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:28 PM
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I don't think Clinton was playing the part of a clothes horse, but I also don't know how much she spent, and Palin wasn't really acting like a clothes horse either. The Palin thing seems ridiculous, but it should be bothering the Republicans more than it bothers me.

To the extent that sexism comes into play, I don't think it's in anyone marveling that the woman spent more in a day on clothes than I earn in four years (and she's calling my kind elite? Bite me with a moose), but that I don't think anyone who's flipping out about Palin knows anything about what's typical for a politician's wardrobe. There's a lot of background noise that makes it hard to take the sticker shock at face value.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:31 PM
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74: Of course not. Aware of projecting an image; if that's all Palin's doing, projecting an image that requires a 150K expenditure, okay. Then it's simply correct to say that the expenditure is a job requirement. But that's the question, isn't it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:36 PM
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Fair or not, I really do love this contrast.

Rather like this famous photo of Adlai Stevenson. You just know the photographer was thinking about this picture.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:37 PM
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and she's calling my kind elite?

That's the issue. Nobody cares that Cindy McCain cleans up spills with twenty-dollar bills, but Sarah Palin is Hockey Joe the Six-Pack Plumber Mom.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:38 PM
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And, my unfair sexist comment: $75K and I hate all of her suits. Boxy short little fuckers of jackets.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:42 PM
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little fuckers of jackets

That's a new one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:45 PM
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They're maverick jackets.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:45 PM
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I don't think it's in anyone marveling that the woman spent more in a day on clothes than I earn in four years (and she's calling my kind elite? Bite me with a moose)

You think you're smarter than she is. Admit it. Don't think she can't sense that, elitist. A quarter million dollars worth of shoes can't make up for that insult.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:48 PM
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But Cala is smarter than Palin.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:49 PM
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She's as phony as a 3 dollar bill, and this is just one more piece of it. Bringing some of that Wasilla Main Street sensibility to Washington.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:51 PM
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Are you calling Palin gay, Carp?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:51 PM
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Were I a Republican who liked her taste in boxyfuckerjackets, I'd be tempted to contact the campaign with a self-serving good will offer. Gee, Miss Sarah, I'm trying to get a job and I can't afford to shop at Needless Markup. You could donate a suit to me! (I'd only have it taken in a little.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:53 PM
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(I'd only have it taken in a little.)

Me-ow.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:58 PM
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But Cala is smarter than Palin.

Y'all saw this?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:00 PM
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87: My Republican counterpart is bitchier than me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:01 PM
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Are you calling Palin gay, Carp?

Neither this nor the JILF references above make any sense to me. I'm not sure whether it's the wine, the fact that baseball is being played in fucking Florida, or the turning of the odometer that's to blame.

Here's this, anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:12 PM
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I know the expression as "queer as a three-dollar bill", 's the thing.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:14 PM
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ZOMG VOTER FRAUD GERMANS ARE VOTING IN OUR ELECTIONS

WE aLL REMEMBER HOW WELL GERMANS DID WITH THEIR FAILED EXPERIMENT IN DEMOCRACY...WHICH REICH ARE THEY ON BY NO{W!~?


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:14 PM
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Fair or not, I really do love this contrast.

In Arab cultures, showing someone the sole of your shoe is disrespectful. Barack Obama is showing his disrespect for America!

</wingnut>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:15 PM
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But Cala is smarter than Palin.

Which would make things even worse. Liberal elitists like to rub it in.

But if Cala's so smart, why isn't she rich? How come *she* can't afford a $75K shopping spree? Huh?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:17 PM
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Zwei Frauen um die 40 - der Oberkörper mit Obama-Buttons zugepflastert - waren so aufgeregt, dass sie die ganze Zeit wie wild telefoniert haben und die ganze Welt haben wissen lassen, wie aufgeregt sie tatsächlich sind

Boy, that sounds charming.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:19 PM
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93: No, he's showing his patriotism by showing his disrespect for Arabs. The man's a master of political imagery!

Next to the article linked in 88 is a link to another piece from the same issue of TNR in which Jonathan Chait predicts that Palin will be the nominee in 2012. Dude should read his own magazine.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:20 PM
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But if Cala's so smart, why isn't she rich?

The topic of a penetrating analysis by Julius Eastman.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:21 PM
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The man's a master of political imagery!

And he didn't even have to don fuck-me boots to do it! Sexism pure and simple.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:25 PM
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Everyone already wants to fuck Obama.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:28 PM
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Speak for yourself.


Posted by: Kobe | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:31 PM
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More wisdom from the blog from 90:

Nicht alle, die Obama nicht wählen, sind Rassisten oder Landeier. Dagegen sind nicht alle, die McCain nicht wählen, Snobs oder Akademiker.

Doch sind die meisten so!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:33 PM
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Next up: McCain campaign launches new ad: Obama is a slut, and while we wanted to keep this off the table, it's time the American people faced the question of just what sort of administration ... &c.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:36 PM
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Snobs oder Akademiker

Sorry, I just needed to repeat that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:37 PM
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Landeier

Awesome word.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:40 PM
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9: That was in response to comment 1, wherein RH wasn't "sure about the price discrepancy between her clothes and Obama's -- good mens suits are very expensive".

I, too, doubt he owns 100 suits. But he might have that many ties.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:11 PM
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70: I can believe the expenses due to grooming; weeks of travel and little sleep? I'd be putting on the MAC with a trowel.

"putting on the MAC with a trowel" seemed so gross, so sad as a necessity for women as part of something as basic as 'grooming' ... then I realized that I don't know what MAC is. Ha. Major Artistic Cosmetics. Mostly Amateur Cosmetics. Uh, Make-believe Artificial .. Cornpone.

Entertaining!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:27 PM
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I miss Bella Abzug too, Kraab.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:30 PM
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You know, you'd think for the money they spent they could have at least gotten elephants.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:02 AM
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Dude, are you still stoned? Try to keep up.

107: Hey, I went to school with her. Not Bella Abzug, but SD.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:11 AM
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Please give her my best at the reunion. Her albums "Day One" and "The Walls Ablaze" are among my favorites. And I'm not even a folkie-rocky dyke.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:22 AM
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To be fair, Palin looting the campaign fund to buy her families nice new clothes is exactly what anybody in her base would do. They're Republicans after all. No need to give feminist props to greed.

Proper bigtime politicans, male or female, already have a good wardrobe suitable for a presidential campaign and don't need to panic buy at Neiman Marcus.

To call that feminist is just inane.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:25 AM
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109: I, uh... huh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:29 AM
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Proper bigtime politicans, male or female, already have a good wardrobe suitable for a presidential campaign and don't need to panic buy at Neiman Marcus.

Huh? Have you seen Barney Frank's wardrobe? Surely he's "bigtime", albeit unlikely to run for president any time soon.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:45 AM
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Why would we have seen Barney Frank's wardrobe?


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:50 AM
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albeit unlikely to run for president any time soon

No, no he isn't. He also has an incredibly safe seat, and -- given that he's a huge slob, doesn't like talking to people, hates campaigning, and has no particular ambition to higher office -- he probably isn't a very good exemplar for the variety of bigtime politician we're talking about.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:51 AM
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Why would we have seen Barney Frank's wardrobe?

Well, I think most of us have been over to house at least once or twice...


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:53 AM
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Have you seen Jan Schakowsky's laundry hamper?


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:54 AM
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94: Because when the RNC asked her to be VP, Cala was too smart to say yes.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:11 AM
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I sort of think the issue, to the extent there is one, with both this and the travel billing is where the money is coming from: the RNC (and its donors); Alaska (and its taxpayers). If you're a Republican (donor), Alaska taxpayer, or potentially someone whose taxes will go to Palin, this could be an issue. Still a pretty minor one, given the total sums involved in political campaigns and public finance.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:20 AM
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Also, I imagine the first "a" in Cala is pronounced with an "a" like the initial "a" in "California" but the first "a" in Republican Cala is pronounced with an "a" like the a in "Palin."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:23 AM
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You should have called this post Big Primpin'


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:24 AM
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115: Barney Frank has no ambition to higher office? I realize that you are more plugged in to Mass. Dem politics than I am, but isn't Frank likely to run for Kennedy's Senate seat when he...er...when the seat becomes vacant? Frank's hoarding of campaign funds in anticipation of a Kerry win in 2004 certainly suggests so.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:57 AM
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Further to previous, I'd dearly love for Barney Frank to represent Massachusetts in the Senate. I can't wait for his inaugural speech on the senate floor where he talks about being the first openly gay Senator, "with the operative word here being 'openly'".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 3:00 AM
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No, it's not about the source of the money at all. It wouldn't matter if it had come from her uncle, Cindy McCain, the people of Alaska, the president of Georgia, or Osama bin Laden. "Caribou Barbie" isn't Joe Sixpack From The Rugged North.

(Lest we go to 1,000 comments, let me add here that I've never used the term before, but (a) it fits exactly here and (b) she used it herself on SNL).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:11 AM
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Well, it would matter if the money came from there, but only additionally.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:14 AM
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Simone's video interviews of people at the Obama rally yesterday are priceless. The comparison with those McCain crowd milling around tapes couldn't be clearer: young folks talking about hope, of one kind or another. I'll find a link later today (she's writing for several different outlets).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:19 AM
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there needs to be some way for a third party to fund this stuff without outrage. If not, political opportunities for women are going to be limited to people wealthy enough to buy the right image. Sure, we could magically change everyone's opinions on how women are judged and standards of beauty and power and whatever but good luck with that. Until then, the right for a campaign to take their candidate on a shopping spree at Neiman Marcus is a feminist issue.

Interestingly, this assumes that a) Palin had no decent clothes of her own at all; apparently she governed Alaska from inside a lumberjack shirt or something; b) there is no middle ground between b) unfit-for-TV bag lady and $150,000 Barbie - presumably all female senators and governors have blown $150,000 on clothes, or just schlep around in jeans; c) that anyone would care if Palin turned up to two events in the same jacket.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:47 AM
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I can't tell the difference between all of her jackets, so I wouldn't notice if she showed up to a campaign rally wearing the same one over. I heard that her glasses were custom-made ad cost a fortune too.

I bet that Barbara Boxer spends a lot on her clothes, but she does look good.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:03 AM
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124: Listen to CC on this one. I used up most of my possibly sexist asshole ranting on this on the Yiggles thread yesterday but two points to push to any McCainistas* you may encounter:

1) *I* am not that outraged, but given the very specific methods and techniques that the lying criminal psychopaths of the McCain campaign have chosen to use to court the Joe & Jane Plumbers/Sixpacks of the world, this resonates big time. (These are the guys whose initial general campaign attack on Obama was that he was "celebrity".)

2) On the McCain campaign (and therefore McCain himself), yet another knock on judgment, execution and competence.

*My wife's experience is that only the hard and fast religious pro-lifers seem unreachable right now on the various McCain/Palin bozosity stories. The others might not be changing their votes, but they listen and acknowledge that it has been a clusterfuck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:32 AM
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"putting on the MAC with a trowel" seemed so gross, so sad as a necessity for women as part of something as basic as 'grooming'

Careful with the generalization. Gross and sad? On HDTV and in front of lights? Everyone wears make-up. On that kind of travel schedule? Looking exhausted doesn't get anyone elected.

He also has an incredibly safe seat, and -- given that he's a huge slob, doesn't like talking to people, hates campaigning, and has no particular ambition to higher office -- he probably isn't a very good exemplar for the variety of bigtime politician we're talking about.

Of course, Palin wouldn't have been, either, before September....

Palin had no decent clothes of her own at all; apparently she governed Alaska from inside a lumberjack shirt or something;

There was a picture floating around yesterday of Palin in some really odd aquamarine parka, apparently while at some sort of governmental meeting.

I, too, doubt he owns 100 suits. But he might have that many ties.

Palin aside, this is one thing that really makes it easier for guys. A nice new tie in a different pattern or color, and the suit counts as different clothing.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:47 AM
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Perhaps a little number crunching? From the 29th of August to the 5th of November is 68 days. $150k/68 is $2,205.88. So the question here is, are we talking about a standard of "grooming" here which means it's literally necessary to spend $2,200 per day on clothes for the election? I think the question basically answers itself. Pro rata, this would mean that a newsreader or similar would be spending about half a million a year.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:04 AM
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That's about right. More expensive for women than men, sure. More variety of clothes necessary with less repetition, yup. Higher, more time-consuming standard of grooming, you betcha.

But there have been women in the public eye, including in national political campaigns, for quite a while now, and this is still a very weird amount of money to spend. The prospect of being mocked for spending $150K on clothes for a female candidate shouldn't put anyone off supporting female candidates, because that magnitude of expenditure really isn't necessary, even to be impeccably well dressed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:32 AM
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I defer to Robin Givhan for the definitive perspective on politicians' fashions.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:35 AM
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a standard of "grooming" here which means it's literally necessary to spend $2,200 per day on clothes for the election

Again I say that this number isn't surprising given that, for this election, Palin isn't meant to go out there and win debates, elaborate policies, organize surrogates, etc. She is merely and ultimately the elaborately made-up face the GOP wants to project. Even if Madonna were having a divorce-propelled affair with a baseball player with an actual stake in the pennant race, she would still be a lesser star than Sarah Palin. For 90 days the GOP is paying $2,200 for Palin to go out there, but she's performing to a national audience every day.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:40 AM
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PREPARE TO BE ACCOMMODATED


Posted by: THE ACCOMMODATOR. | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:58 AM
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They're maverick jackets.

Javericks.

I think the least defensible, most knee-jerk summary would probably be, "I wonder how much body armor that would buy?" It's low and it's unfair and senseless but it's very emotional and I'd love to hear someone in the media say something like it.

I have no problem with a party making their candidate presentable. As pointed out upthread, candidates have very expensive wardrobes and grooming and women are unquestionably more closely scrutinized. That said, one of my favorite parts of Fahrenheit 9/11 was the montage of grooming for the camera for the way it emphasized that for so many of these people they were simply performing a role that had nothing to do with their real intentions or concerns. Bush and his administration were playing the role of Very Serious People Concerned About Terror/Tyranny and were actually the super-wealthy seeking to make an investment and settle a few family scores. I think it's perfectly valid to point out that same disconnect between part and performer can be found now that the role of Hockey Mom is being filled by Self-Righteous Opportunist.

I do not consider it sexist to question whose idea it was, either, in light of other things we know about her. This seems of a piece with her per diem received for living at home and other little ways of taking advantage of someone else's platinum card, doesn't it? I think I would question pretty much anyone who pocketed that much government/party money regardless of their gender or the rank of their office.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:15 AM
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For 90 days the GOP is paying $2,200 for Palin to go out there, but she's performing to a national audience every day.

this would imply a budget of at least $500,000 for a newsreader. It's just too big by a factor of three or four.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:26 AM
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For 90 days the GOP is paying $2,200 for Palin to go out there

That's just what they're paying for the clothes. Then there are meals, travel, coaching, etc.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:29 AM
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For that kind of scratch, I'd expect Palin to look like this and be pouring Dom Perignon over half-naked dancing campaign aides.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:31 AM
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They'd be paying that for any VP, though; the question is whether the extras for Palin are worth it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:32 AM
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1. My understanding is that the 150K is for the whole family, which takes us down, at least, to D^2 wardrobe cost for a newsreader.

2. Who cares? It's their money.

3. Are the attacks sexist? After the Edwards haircut brouhaha, it seems pretty hard to make that argument. If it is, it's trivially so. It isn't going to have any effect on the number of female candidates or the wardrobes they purchase (apparently, it's possible to hide such purchases in advertising expenditures).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:38 AM
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141.1: No it doesn't -- little kid clothes you couldn't spend all that much without being really insane. Even a teenager: if you can't dress Bristol presentably from head to toe for $500, that's just wrong, and the kids really, really don't need full unique outfits for every day on the trail.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:43 AM
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re: 142

Well, there are photos of her kids with Vuitton bags. There can't really be any doubt that this is profligate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:46 AM
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142: I'm not wedded to the analysis, but she has like 500 kids and they're the bedrock of her image.

Personally, I think this was probably tasked out to someone who wanted to do a good job but didn't know what he or she was doing, so he just went to name stores, on the assumption that he couldn't go wrong there, and asked for help. And the salesperson took him for a ride. Good for the salesperson; I hope the commission was huge.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:51 AM
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She is merely and ultimately the elaborately made-up face the GOP wants to project.

They could wheel out a well-dressed mannequin and I'd be just as impressed. They could save a lot on food.

I just heard an "image consultant" on the radio defending this expenditure on the grounds that you only have so much time to make an impression: Millenarians evaluate people in 15 seconds, genXers in 30, Boomers in 1 minute. But no way a 15 second evaluation includes "I think I've seen that black suit before".

This is going to play differently in different parts of the country. Image consultants totally understand. So do the media-wise. Former auto workers, not so much.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:07 AM
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143: Why does everyone insist on ignoring my theory that explains everything? Sarah had to bribe her family so that would play along with her vp bid, and so she got the RNC to give her an unlimited wardrobe budget.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:09 AM
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146: What, just because you're clearly right? How is that relevant?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:21 AM
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Millenarians evaluate people in 15 seconds, genXers in 30

I want data on this.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:24 AM
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148: You'll have to consult the image consultant. Personally, I think it's an economically convenient pseudo-fact that image consultants made up.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:35 AM
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Millenarians are too busy worrying about the coming apocalypse to care about clothing expenditures, surely.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:39 AM
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SomeCallMeTim: Are the attacks sexist? After the Edwards haircut brouhaha, it seems pretty hard to make that argument.

You kind of missed the point of the attacks on Edwards for getting a $400 haircut: the direct implication was that Edwards was a girly-man, an effeminate, a faggot, because he spent so much on haircuts.

The patriarchy requires women to spend more time and money and effort on looking good than men have to; and patriarchal double-standards also get to dismiss women as trivial and expensive because they spend so much time, effort, and money on looking good.

Most if not all homophobia is sexist at root. The attacks on Edwards for his paying to look good were very close to the root.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:53 AM
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150: Of course you're right, Ben. Thanks for pointing that out.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:56 AM
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I guess I meant milliners.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:57 AM
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64. I'm calling staged on that one. Adlai did it first.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f230/GoogleEarthPictures/5621a536.jpg


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:00 AM
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154: Staged as in they said "can we photograph your shoes" and he put his feet up, or staged as in those aren't his shoes, or he wears them rarely? The former is unproblematic.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:03 AM
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147: Thank, Walt!

I just needed someone to acknowledge my rightness.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:03 AM
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probably: almost everything's staged these days TLL.

But the point is not off the mark.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:03 AM
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Most charitable: Senator- I noticed you need a resole. Hey- let's take a picture. it will be a subtle reminder that our guy is a brainiac like Stevenson. Boomers will get it.

Least charitable: Senator- I remember seeing this picture of Stevenson with a hole in his shoe. Put these on for a picture.

For the Xians- the picture depicts Obama in need of a soul. A visual pun.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:10 AM
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158: right. I suspect the more charitable is true.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:11 AM
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if only because the least charitable is risky.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:12 AM
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164: I totally pwned TLL on this, I swear, but now I can't find my comment.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:18 AM
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77


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:20 AM
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pwnership graciously acknowledged. But you need to be contentious for it to resonate.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:22 AM
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You're right, I need to be more contentious. No wait--You're wrong about that! Completely and utterly wrong!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:34 AM
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I bought a pair of Steve Madden boots once and they had those same wear holes within about a year. I'm not exactly pounding the pavement in my day to day life.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:43 AM
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The salesperson who took Palin's handlers for a ride.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:45 AM
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Off-topic:

OMFG:

"Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the current financial crisis has uncovered a flaw in how the free market system works and that has shocked him.
Greenspan told the House Oversight Committee on Thursday that his belief that banks would be more prudent in their lending practices because of the need to protect their stockholders had proven in the latest crisis to be wrong.
Greenspan said he had made a 'mistake' in believing that banks in operating in their self-interest would be sufficient to protect their shareholders and the equity in their institutions.
Greenspan said that he had found 'a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.'

WORDS FAIL ME.

THANKS A LOT. ALLEN. BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:02 AM
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Jeebus. Welcome to the real world, Alan Greenspan.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:03 AM
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Objectivism, bitchez!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:05 AM
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Steve Madden

I'd like to note that the absolute worst shoe experience I've ever had was trying to buy a pair of Steve Maddens and decided that they are way, ridiculously over-regarded among the cute-but-affordable class of shoes.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:10 AM
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My alternative theory is that the last 18 years have been a time-release John Galt ratfuck.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:10 AM
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167: Does he actually explain what the flaw in his model is? He says his model (really his whole worldview) didn't predict the banking crises, because rational, self interested bankers wouldn't put themselves in such jeopardy.

But what part of the model is he ditching in the face of disconfirming evidence? Is he saying "ok, people aren't rational utility maximizers"? Or is he saying "Well, I neglected externalities X Y and Z, which stifled rational self interest in this case"?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:11 AM
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It looks as though Greenspan is clinging to the Taleb "stupid bankers" explanation that Dsquared recently ridiculed at CT.

I wish that that motherfucker had chosen to ruin his reputation in a less destructive way, with a sex scandal for example, or a series of shoplifting arrests. Comething besides a global economic collapse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:19 AM
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170: I've never owned any, but known people to describe them as crap, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:22 AM
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167: ZOMG indeed. It would be neato as anything to find out if he'd figured out the flaw.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:32 AM
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144:

Palin's shopper was also McCain's robo-caller and Coleman's landlord - http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/239132.php


Posted by: msw | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:50 PM
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139: Why is Lil Jon wearing a jacket from the Dutch Football Association?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:57 PM
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122: the impression I have is that he feels like he can get more done with his current seniority and chairmanship than he could in the Semate, but who knows.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:01 PM
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167: I think he just endorsed Obama.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:03 PM
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180

178 to 177.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:21 PM
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$150K isn't that out of line. If you do the math, you probably come up with something north of $25K for Obama's campaign wardrobe (given the vagaries of travel, cleaning schedules etc.). Hillary Clinton's probably ran into 6 figures. But they didn't charge their clothes to their campaign. So we don't know how much they spent. Out of sight, out of mind. We're left with the impression that Obama dresses well, but not flashily, but don't ask, don't even think of asking, how much he spent to look that good.

Edwards's mistake wasn't getting a $400 haircut, it was charging the haircut to the campaign. Palin's mistake (or the McCain campaign's mistake) was in creating a publicly available record of spending $150K for a reporter short of a story to see and write up.

And isn't the bahaviour of the campaign here stereotypically gay?


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:08 PM
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172: it's becoming clear that all of portfolio theory in economics significantly underestimated the systemic risk created by modern "financial innovation". Procedures that were supposed to hedge away risk did not, mathematical methods that were supposed to measure risk did not do so accurately.

There are other problems too, of course.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:04 PM
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Greenspan really pissed me off.

"Oh, dear! That didn't work. Well, fancy that -- I guess I was wrong all that time. My, my, my. This really surprises me."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:06 PM
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In McManuslike fashion, I've been talking about a bubble ever since about 1996 or so, and I've been right twice so far. Stopped clock, of course.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:08 PM
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182.1: Dear god, that's just well-said enough that I was briefly afraid for you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:09 PM
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Oh, dear! That didn't work

Who could have imagined human beings might act unwisely or irrationally or selfishly? Nobody ever sacrifices long-term good for immediate gratification, right?

Greenspan may be a lot of different things and I'm certainly not privy to all of them, but I'm pretty sure he isn't actually retarded. Apology not accepted, Maestro.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:23 PM
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Greenspan may be a lot of different things and I'm certainly not privy to all of them, but I'm pretty sure he isn't actually retarded.

There is such a thing as deformation professionelle, you know.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:27 PM
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Also called "trained incapacity" or "occupational psychosis". Burke, Dewey, Veblen.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:30 PM
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"It is very hard to convince a man to understand something if his income depends on not understanding it." - Upton "Winston "Oscar "Mark Twain" Wild" Churchill" Sinclair


Posted by: Shatlas Rugged | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:32 PM
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A far as I know, Yglesias is the only major blogger who's picked up on Greenspan. I've tried to prod DeLong and Dsquared.

It's like we've spent the last 18 years in a Randian experiment, and now Greenspan has decided that it might disconfirm one of his theses.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:39 PM
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190: do you *only* read bloggers, John? The NY Times and AP picked it up.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:45 PM
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190: Really, John, I think a lot of people noticed that Greenspan was in trouble.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:50 PM
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I'm waiting for commentary. I read it on AP myself, but they're not a source of commentary. DeLong is a semi-reformed Greenspan cultist. Dsquared is a reliable source of snark.

The Sandwichman has a snarky little thing. Krugman has a noncommital, somewhat favorable snippet. Thoma cites Dean Baker.

Dean Baker is about right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:03 PM
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I gotta say, I wore my Beat It jacket tonight, and I'm already king of Greenland.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:39 AM
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Trying to get the last word on some old threads, Sifu?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:45 AM
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