Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain Challenges Obama Over 'Weekend Junket'

PENNSYLVANIA, Oct. 22—A visibly angry John McCain today lashed out at Barack Obama and his decision to leave the campaign trail on Thursday in order to spend a few days with his ailing grandmother. McCain denounced the visit as an "obvious ploy to win sympathy from the undecideds."

McCain also had strong words for the media, alleging that they "once again gave Obama a pass" by greeting the Democratic contender's announcement of the Hawaiian trip with an "understanding, almost reverential" tone. McCain added, "Let's look at the facts, my friends. I suspend my campaign in order to come back to Washington to save America—and I get nothing but cynicism!—whereas that one takes off on a weekend junket to Hawaii for personal reasons and he's treated like some great national hero or something." Bristling at Obama's explanation that 85-year-old Madelyn Dunham was gravely ill and might not survive until the November election, McCain retorted, "Hey, my Mom is 96! Don’t you think she deserves to see me be the president before her time comes?!"

Reporters caught up with McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, at a large Nevada shopping mall, where she was picking out maternity clothes and a few $10,000 outfits for herself with pregnant daughter Bristol and the teenage girl's fiancé, Levi Johnston, who, reporters noted, was in handcuffs and a straitjacket. Palin, sporting a tee-shirt inscribed with the slogan MY PIPES DRIP FOR JOE THE PLUMBER, said that while she hated to bring race into the discussion, she couldn't help noticing that Obama's grandmother is white. "You and I understand what he's really up to, you betcha!" she said with a series of winks, as she paid for her purchase with an Alaska state credit card. "He wants us to think he's just like you and me, but we know who the real Americans are!"

Noting that that she'd heard rumors about how former domestic terrorist William Ayers used to visit with his aging grandmother, too, Palin concluded archly, "The similarities just keep piling up, don't they?"


RevRon's Rants said...

Great parody, Steve. So good that it didn't initially read like parody. I think it was the "dripping pipes" bit that finally gave it away... though who knows...? :-)

Steve Salerno said...

Ron, you're not the only one who thought this was "legit." That either shows you how Kafkaesque the actual campaign has become, or how clumsy I am at satire. In any case, you've motivated me to include a few links that I think (hope?) clarify things.

Anonymous said...

Her pipes drip for Joe the Plumber? A little risque for SHAMblog, no, Steve? ;-) But clever.

RevRon's Rants said...

I think your first is the more likely explanation. I would only suggest that it is a melding of Kafka and William Gaines. :-)

sassy sasha said...

dripping pipes, now you're talking to my generation STeve!

Chad Hogg said...

You had me until "that one", a phrase that I am sure McCain's handlers have beaten out of him after the debate gaffe.

RevRon's Rants said...

Sadly, such a comment might be more accurately applied to Steve's & my generation, sasha! It all Depends... :-)

Steve Salerno said...

Rev, I have a feeling that was an offhand allusion to your brownie recipe as well...?

RevRon's Rants said...

I'm not saying a word...

Elizabeth said...

Funny! Though I too did not realize at first it was a satire, Steve. Levi's handcuffs and a straitjacket were a giveaway for me. I'm sure they use an electronic collar and/or bracelets on him.

Speaking of Palin's poor wardrobe choices ($150,000 on clothes? in two months?? I'm a fashionista, but, for godsake, this is offensively ridiculous), you MUST see this:

Either she is a bigger idiot than we thought, or she is a leftist mole (doggone it, that sneaky Sarah!).

P.S. I see that plumbing and its vicinity continues to be all the rage these days. ;)

P.S.2. $150,000 on clothes?? In two months...

Steve Salerno said...

Eliz, yeah, and this is the party that has remade itself as the Champions of the Middle Class. Consider that something like $125,000 of the sum, if I'm not mistaken, was split between Saks and Neiman-Marcus. Neiman-Marcus! This, at a time when the American economy is going to hell in a hand-basket and many Joe-the-Plumbers are deferring the purchase of any unnecessary clothing at all.

Am I the only one who sees in this episode echoes of the $400,000 party the AIG execs threw for themselves after the bailout? I don't give a damn if the clothes are going to be "donated to charity" afterwards. It's unconscionable to do this on the taxpayer's dime, especially when you're selling Palin as "a woman of the people from small-town America."

Elizabeth said...

The GOP are the real elitists, c'mon. Middle class, yeah, right. I wonder what Joe the Non-Plumber has to say about Palin's clothing allowance -- it's more than he makes in 3 years, no? And more than his house is worth.

And isn't it ironic that Neiman Marcus stores (and Saks Fifth and others that Palin patronized) are located in those un-American parts of the country? LOL. So she can dis the un-American elites and their hoods, but is so eager to join them when no one's lookin'? Say it ain't so.

But what do you expect? She is a running mate of a guy with 10 houses and 13 cars (among other assets). Joe-the-Non-Plumber, eat your heart out (or keep stumping for them, whichever you prefer).

And yep, that charity disclaimer is really lame. Really, really lame.

However, from what I understand, this is not "taxpayer's dime," because the money came from donations to RNC. But all the same, it is outrageous. IMO.

Dimension Skipper said... reports on the fashion controversy...

Stylists: Palin's fashion buys worth it
By Sarah Abruzzese

Elizabeth said...

DS, I've read that piece (and pretty much everything else on the Palin's shopping spree, trying to understand the rationale behind it) and I find it (mildly) ridiculous and supremely ironic.

Because we have a GOP VP candidate who presents herself as a typical hockey-PTA mom, a maverick who breaks tradition of the big Washington spending and has it in her to clean up the old boys' clubs of all kinds. Right? A VP candidate who pontificates from the stump on the value of hard work, sacrifice, good old American frugality and what have ya. A candidate who cannot stop throwing potshots at the "elites" and celebrities, who are, supposedly, in her words, un-American and out-of-touch with "real America." She includes her opponents in this category (note that Obama used to re-sole his shoes until now, instead of buying new ones, the stinking elitist, he).

And what does this candidate do in her first two months of campaigning? Does she acquaint herself with her job description? No. Does she read the Constitution? No evidence of it. Does she learn more about realities of the world politics? Nope. She buys herself and her family a new wardrobe that costs more than most American houses. In the first two months of her campaigning -- she is not even in office yet. What message does this send to the electorate? Certainly not one of judicious budgeting and spending.

One of the stylists (and, I'm sorry, but there is a useless "profession") interviewed for the article comments that,

"It is a good thing she has all that Armani, she needs all the points in her favor that she can get,” Abrie said. “If you are looking the part, you are halfway there."

Ummm... No. If you are looking the part, you are only looking the part. Looking the part is no substitute for substance. And no amount of Armani is going to impart to the wearer intelligence, wisdom and a desire and willingness to learn. You know how it goes: you can put lipstick on a... er, pitbull, and it's still a pitbull. Albeit one apparently preoccupied with the image and celebrity status bestowed on her now by expensive rags and "looking the part." Some maverick.

Anonymous said...

' reports on the fashion controversy...'

This is receiving the most election coverage currently on this side of the pond.

Rune readers have judged that the decision to donate the clothes to charity after the campaign is a tacit admission of imminent defeat on the part of the Republican policy wonks.

Buying the clothes in the first place is seen as taking the long view and positioning Palin for a top-of-the-ticket shot next time.

I suppose we should be grateful that she has at least four years to swot up on Hamas and the exact location of the Gaza strip.

Steve Salerno said...

There is a whole subsidiary argument here that ties into SHAM, with its emphasis on style over substance--looking, acting and sounding the part--but in fairness, some have said that such a criticism could be applied to Obama as well.

One thing that puzzles me, though, is how anyone could think that Armani-wear gives someone an advantage...on television. Or even at a rally, for that matter. Even assuming that such garments are inherently worth the four- and five-figure price tag (using whatever rationale one uses to define worth, at its upper limits), can you really tell from a distance of 50 yards or through the cathode-ray/liquid crystal display of a TV set?

Elizabeth said...

No, you can't, Steve (identify an Armani from TV or a distance). Not if you yourself are not a member of the "elite" Armani wearers. (I'm not, I can't, and I don't care, btw.)

A message to Palin and her apologists: Armani shmarmani. Go to Walmart, woman, you can find decent clothes there. Well, ok, Macy's, if you must. You would send the right message at least to your supporters. Not to mention save money.

And, Steve, I think the comparison of Palin and Obama (as in underscoring the emphasis on style over substance) can be made only by someone who is completely ignorant of reality and/or malicious of intent. Or someone who simply does not know what they are talking about. (I don't mean you, btw.)

Obama has got style (I see a new slogan in the making ;) that comes precisely from his substance -- his intelligence, thoughtfulness and discerning judgment (in addition to being a skilled politician). Palin's style, at least its current past make-over version, is a cover-up of a vast emptiness within, a beauty pageant kind of style -- or a lipstick on a pitbull, if you take into account her mean-spiritedness. No amount of externally imposed style is going to change the fact that the woman is dim. Easy on the eyes, but dim.

Drawing parallels between Obama and Palin here is like comparing, oh, I dunno, Joe-the-Non-Plumber and Einstein (you could say they are alike in that both do not (did not) pay much attention to their physical appearance (debatable, but please humor me here; hope you get my gist)).

Anonymous said...

'how anyone could think that Armani-wear gives someone an advantage...on television. Or even at a rally, for that matter.'

I am no longer much interested in clothes but did once shell out £750on a Gianfranco Ferre suit. It was 1980, the suit was fabulous but what I was really trying to buy, in addition to the wonderful design, cut and style, was social confidence.
Poor Sarah is trying to do the same, and doubtless will have as little success with the method as I did.

I'm afraid you have chosen a poor example here, Steve. Italian tailoring comes quite close, but not close enough, to being worth the money, even without the added fillip of the hoped for confidence boost.