Monday, 27 October 2008

Fashion Makeover Front: Why Don't the Republicans Raffle off Sarah's Clothes

Makeovers have always been about my favourite things in so-called women’s magazines. An ordinary looking woman or girl is photographed, almost always in black and white, wearing her usual hairdo and her own clothes. Then the reader gets a glimpse at how a team of fashion and beauty experts tackle all her weak points. The same sort of thing is fodder for specialty TV channels and on You Tube while The Globe and Mail just ran a contest to pick two young business people to makeover.

But the makeover was kicked into a higher level this fall when, it appears, the Republican Party paid $150,000 to buy clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and members of her family. The clothes were nice, even though The Washington Post carried a story about what a low key fashion statement Palin was making. Certainly the good old boys at Palin rallies loved them (she drives men wild, Margaret Wente says) but makeover candidates isn’t quite what political parties are supposed to do, many think. When the story first broke, the explanation was that all the poor dear had was clothes suitable for Alaska and was going to need some dresses etc for campaigning in the lower 48. Then, as criticism mounted (including a threatened suit—pun intended—by a watchdog group) we were told that she was giving them back to the party. Now we’re told that about a third of the purchases were sent back anyway because they were the wrong size or colour, and that the rest will be given to charity.

Can you imagine what a charity garage sale that will make? Why didn’t they just put everything on eBay: the McCain-Palin campaign supposedly is short of cash, and selling off Sarah’s wardrobe would raise a bundle, I’d think. That they haven’t is another sign that a campaign which has been extolling the common sense of Joe Six-Pack and his buddies hasn’t got a clue about what works,

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