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Republican Style Is Shifting

I suppose that you should vote your conscience, or at least your intellect, but the funny thing is, I keep thinking that if you voted for style or for aesthetics you’d probably be just as likely to make the right choice, maybe even more so.

I’m sure some of my readers will think this is a jaded perspective, and that this is the elitism that the Republicans have been talking up in their campaign against Obama. He’s an elitist, he’s a celebrity. He’s a latte sipper and an arugula eater. Funny, it used to be quiche they were incensed about. But now the millions of iceberg loyalists are up in arms about salad. Because McCain presumably eats wedges of iceberg with bottled ranch at his seven houses, he’s more of a man of the people than Obama, who presumably eats salad like a Frenchman. (And no French dressing.) So we might as well fight it out on that front. At least if we’re as green as we say we are we can support the guy most likely to toss up frisee, mache, finocchio (code word for “homo” in Italian), mizuna, radicchio, and endive.

Several months back, assessing the candidates for President, I had this to say about Joe Biden: ”Biden may look a little too bespoke for a White House run. Still, there's something likeable about him, and I'm hoping for Secretary of State Biden. It's about time we had a statesman who, when he puts his foot in his mouth, it at least has a Berluti shoe on it.”

And this about Obama: “How can you not like Barack Obama? He gets you at hello. That radiant smile; that long, lean profile; that quiet dynamism. That Camelot preppie chic. He's almost too stylish, or let's say he's almost too Kennedy-esque….Of course, high style worked for Kennedy. He made ‘charisma’ a household word. Style is what got him elected. The cool breezy glamour of Kennedy trumped the sweaty five o'clock shadow and scripted delivery of Tricky Dick Nixon. And now Obama brings a similarly modernist gleam to this crucial race. While Hillary brays at stentorian volume and Biden turns on the old-school power moves, Obama sets just the right tone and volume for today. He speaks with cool, measured reason in a network-quality deep baritone, making serene, steady eye contact and using JFK-like hand signals. Watching him in the debates, the hand signals were almost eerily similar to Jack Kennedy's, and this candidate, self-consciously or not, presents the same youthful vigor and charm that made Jackie's husband the idol and hope of millions.”

Hmm. It seems that the most stylish men made the ticket. And maybe if Hillary had listened to me she would have, too. I must say though, that she has made a wonderful loser. Her appearance at the Democratic Convention was extraordinary. Not just the speech, but the way she handled her voice and face. The contortions were gone, along with the brays and honks. She was nearly presidential. As one not fond of her pantsuits and their traveling sisterhood, I must admit that she did look radiant at the convention in that almost dayglo orange suit, against that almost dayglo blue backdrop. One of the best photos from the convention was the posse of Hillary handlers holding up a veritable pantone book of pantsuits to see which looked best against that cerulean wall. It wasn’t just the pantsuit that was radiant; she seemed to glow from the core. In defeat she finally appeared presidential.

Stylishness does not seem to help in the Republican Party, where the frumpiest contender of the lot tops the ticket. Obviously they are cleaning McCain up a bit, getting him out of grandpa’s sweater and making sure his shirt is tucked in, but in keeping with the Republican’s ironically populist stance, maybe McCain’s sheer stylistic clumsiness has appeal to the world of regular guys. He might have seven houses, but does he have seven suits?


Meanwhile his running mate is not only the first woman on a Republican ticket, she's the first bimbo on any ticket.


She is one of that rare breed of Americans who, when she picks up the Monopoly card “You have won second prize in a beauty contest,” can say, “Yes, indeed I have!” She also won a “Miss Congeniality” contest, and her pitbull-with-lipstick image is something that Sandra Bullock should be able to sink her teeth into. I can see the TV movie now. The former mayor and governor obviously made her way to the top by displaying that combination of cuteness and meanness, that feisty Bullockness, that very American quality of thinking that insulting a man is attractive. I know that persona is tremendously popular among women of my generation, which accounts for so many of the “sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits.” They think that sarcastic mocking performed with a bit of sexual innuendo thrown in actually attracts men. And they wonder why their husbands left them for post-feminist trophy vixens.

Sarah Palin is the candidate of the first wives club. She knows that men like a challenge and she undoubtedly knows how to tease them with icy coldness.


She’s definitely no dummy. That’s why she wears glasses and goes for that Nana Mouskouri look. And no doubt lots of voters will identify with her K-Mart wardrobe. Her name is an anagram of “plain.” That’s the message here folks. She’s one of us!


She'll be a veep in velour. With beehive, bangs, and highlights! And down-home styling touches like the banana clips.



And she leaves no doubt on the score of man's dominion over animals. What good are they if you can't shoot 'em, eat 'em, or wear 'em?


This coat looks like she shot it herself. And this jacket…no, maybe that’s Naugahyde. I wonder if they still have naugas up on the North Slope.


John McCain would be the oldest President ever. And the first who has had two bouts with melanoma. So we wonder, should McCain/Palin win, what odds Vegas would lay on Sarah Palin becoming the 45th President of the United States?


If so we know what will get. Theocracy. No right to choose (even in cases of rape), Creationism taught in schools, banning same-sex marriage and benefits. She not only prays for you and me and all right-thinking Americans, she also prayed for a $30 billion natural gas pipeline. And for God’s plan for Iraq: “Our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [troops] out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for—that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

In the coming days we’ll be learning more about God’s other plans, and I suspect He plans to do something about our heathen culture. Apparently Governor Palin believed that Alaska would, in the end times, which might just be now, become a refuge for fleeing Christians. Maybe God told her about trouble ahead. He seems to talk to her, just like He did with George W. Remember your Bible. God spoke to Moses through a Burning Bush. What’s next?

Some people think Sarah Palin is hot. She might just be hot enough to burn a library—or a country.


Somehow if she was a liberal, like many of you over at GQ, I don't believe she would be treated this way.
If I want left wing views I will read the NY Times. I read your material for grooming and fashion advice.
Perhaps you might want to look at what Obamas advisors and friends wear. Perhaps William Ayers or Pritzker his campaigns finance officer. She's the one who allowed a reception for Irans Prsident to be held in one of her hotels.

You need to stick to fashion. Your political writing is atrocious.

A disappointing read, Glenn. So Palin is both a 'bimbo' and 'no dummy'? How could that possibly work? Is she dumb enough to disregard as an apparition but smart enough to know how to appeal to the working and middle class?

If you'd like to argue the abortion point, go right on ahead. Mccain's appointed SCOTUS justices would correctly allow the states to decide whether they'd like abortion to be legal or not. Hate this all you want, this is the Constitutionally correct position. (See the reserved powers for the states.)

But keep cheering for Obama. After all, he's the one that would admittedly appoint judges that would take private property from old women and give it to a multi-billion dollar corporation. (See how the liberal judges voted in the Kelo v. New Haven case.)

Barack is an intelligent and sophisticated man: why should he be chosen to represent the USA? ... ?!

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