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October 23, 2008

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John C

Palin lives by the sword, so she dies by the sword. She is an empty vassal of a politician, with almost literally no views on any matter of public importance. It is therefore perfectly appropriate for the media to focus on her image, because her image is all she has. She was picked by McCain as a female prop, so it is poetic justice that the media treats her like a prop.

What, pray tell, would you rather the media focus on in regards to Gov. Palin? That she's underqualified? That story has been done, and continues to be done. Her missing medical records? Legit, but no real story until the records come out. Her abuse of power back in Wasilla? Also been done. Her views on the locked credit markets, and the proper role of fiscal policy in guiding economic recovery? Oh wait . . .

Gaffes (which is what this basically is) are effective and go viral when they are of a piece with a larger meme about a candidate, either supporting it or exploding it. For instance, when Kerry said "I voted for the war before I voted against it," that gaffe stuck, because it bolstered the meme of Kerry being a flip-flopper. Same thing here - the meme is that Palin is supposedly some folksy, down-home hockey mom, so when it comes out that she dropped 150K on clothes in two months, it is of a piece with her meme (and explodes it). That's how campaigning in the age of the modern MSM works.

Rebecca

In the past, your assertions that men's attire doesn't get any attention would have been more true than it is today. Historically, men weren't "supposed" to care about fashion, but that tide is shifting. In 2007, Obama got attention for being on GQ's "best dressed" list. Esquire and GQ both scrutinized Obama's and Edward's choice of clothing and personal style, while USA Today ran a piece on what all candidates were wearing during the fall of '07. A google search reveals the obvious: political campaigns have long recognized that clothing can have an impact on how a candidate is perceived -- for both men and women. Is the scrutiny on women harsher? Sure, but women also put a lot more thought into what they wear. There are simply more styles for women to choose from and a much larger market targeting them. Women's fashion is more interesting than men's, and thus generates more attention. I think it's interesting that you overlooked an essential part of this "news": that Palin was a willing participant in buying and wearing these absurdly priced clothes. The value of the clothes she was wearing was above and beyond a "shopping spree" for most average people -- she went high end fashion that very few women can afford. Why? What does that say about her views on the importance of clothing? If women don't want to be judged and anlyzed based on what they're wearing then perhaps a good first step would be to not personally put so much emphasis on clothes in the first place. I like to look good as much as the next woman, but I recognize that it's disingenuous to get dressed up, put on makeup, choose from 30 pairs of shoes, and then criticize someone for analyzing what I'm wearing.

Also, your comparison to Biden's Amtrack expenses is misplaced. For one, it makes no sense to say she spent less in one shopping spree than he has on transportation over 20 years...think about the time frame you're comparing there. Second, as a single father, I hardly think he should be criticized for frequently travelling back and forth between Delaware and DC. Thirdly, taking the Acela train over the regional train is like shopping at Nordstrom's over Macy's. We're still a far cry away from Neiman's and Saks.

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The value of the clothes she was wearing was above and beyond a "shopping spree" for most average people -- she went high end fashion that very few women can afford.

Alfred

This is entirely off the point of this post, but there's a pretty cool elementary school project that discusses what Inuit people wear:
http://www.nunavuthistorica.com/projects/2007/arviat/Inuit_Clothing_Arviat_English.pdf

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When is the next post comming on this topic.


Regards
Derek

Eileen

Where can I get the doll?

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