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Proudly Out: Wouldn't It Be Lovely

Proudly Out: Wouldn't It Be Lovely

The Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on wardrobe, hair and makeup for VP pick Sarah Palin, which brings us back to lipstick, pigs, hockey moms and, oh right, the recession.

I wish someone would drop $150,000 on my wardrobe. Not that I’d look any better if they did.

But, the fact that the Republican National Committee spent close to $50,000 at Saks in St. Louis and New York City, a bit over $75,000 at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis and almost $5,000 on hair and makeup for VP pick Sarah Palin seems to bring back lipstick, pigs, hockey moms and, oh right, the recession.

The RNC’s purchases give a new twist to an old title. Instead of “The Selling of the President” let’s read “The Marketing of the Vice President.” They’re trying hard to market Sarah Palin, all right. The problem for them is nobody’s buying.

The latest NBC-Wall St. Journal poll shows that Palin is a bigger drag for John McCain’s campaign than George Bush. Here we have the worst president in a generation, if not in our history. The man who, with his VP Dick Cheney, has gotten us into a war not worth fighting and, in turn, destroyed our economy. He has more of a pull for voters than McCain’s running mate? You just can’t make this stuff up.

But, this presidential race is sure to become a doctoral dissertation of what to do and of what not to do if you want to get elected. Both campaigns are text book examples.

Barack Obama has been steady Eddy from the start. His chief strategist, David Axelrod, has made all the right moves. Lesson number one from the Obama campaign -- stay on message. Obama’s message of change has been consistent right from the start. He’s used the perfect storm of events that has been handed to him to underscore just how much we need to change the way we do business here in the states and abroad.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to go to Europe and have a friendly conversation with a local who doesn’t shake his or her head at what our president is doing? Wouldn’t it be lovely for the United States to once again be seen as a world leader rather than a world class joke? Wouldn’t it be lovely to feel confident that our retirement accounts are safe instead of on a steady slide into oblivion?

Obama’s calm demeanor and forthright style has served him well. Polls are showing that his temperament is one of his strongest selling points. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a president whose finger isn’t itching to press the proverbial big red button but rather to have a president who brings the best minds together to find the best solutions to what is ailing us as a country?

The contrast between Obama’s campaign and McCain’s is startling. It’s like the Republicans forgot how to run a presidential race. With Karl Rove not pulling the strings and social issues taking a back seat to the economy, the war and health care, the GOP really doesn’t have anything to run on. Even the bans on same-sex marriage that are on the ballot in Arizona, California and Florida don’t seem to be having the impact those types of initiatives had in 2004.

McCain is just erratic. His pick of Palin shows he’s more of a desperate risk-taker than a maverick. His inability to really feel the financial pain people are in makes his rhetoric hollow and heartless. It’s gotten to the point where he and his surrogates have to race bait, raise the 1950’s specter of socialism and communism -- oh my -- and call those of us who support Obama un-American and heathens.

This, my friends, is what a party that is desperate to stay in power no matter what they have to do looks like. Recent stories of voter suppression in states where there is heavy African-American turn out shows the cynicism of a party that markets itself as having a big tent.

In actuality, the only people they want in that tent are rich and right wing. It helps if you’re white, straight and Christian but they’ll take you if you’re a person of color, gay or Jewish as long as you agree with them. The GOP’s big tent rhetoric ends once you get down to real issues. They’re not interested in anyone who doesn’t agree with them. To gain entrance into the tent you have to be anti-choice, anti-gay, in favor of tax cuts for those who make over $250,000 a year and big business as well as be willing to stay in Iraq for 100 years.

And you have to be willing to shell out 150 grand for new duds. That’s more than the winner of Project Runway gets for starting a new collection.

Miss the last "Proudly Out"?Read it here.

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