Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Apparently just clueless

Regarding Michelle Obama's recent comment about spending a $600 stimulus check on earrings the Tn GOP created a list:

Here are some things we think many Tennessee families would be more likely to spend $600 on than earrings:

  1. 150 gallons of gas - though they could buy more if Democrats would only stop blocking increased domestic oil production.
  2. One to three months of daycare or pre-school for a young child[ii]
  3. A month’s worth of groceries for a family of four
  4. More than five months’ worth of the average electric bill.[iii]
  5. Save it in a child’s college fund.
  6. Replace an old washer or dryer.
  7. Pay for children’s clothes and school supplies for the new school year.

If you can think of better ways to spend $600 than on a new pair of earrings, we’d like to hear about it. Just email us at 600DollarEarrings@gmail.com.

Frankly, I'm still stuck on her bungled attempt back in February to tell Ohio mom's how much she understands their family budgets.
“I know we’re spending — I added it up for the first time — we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth,” Mrs. Obama tells the women. “And summer programs. That’s the other huge cost. Barack is saying, ‘Whyyyyyy are we spending that?’ And I’m saying, ‘Do you know what summer camp costs?’” National Review
$10,000 on extra curricular activities!! Seriously woman. Have you no idea that's 1/4th of the median US household income? Do you realize that's more than your charitable giving for the years 2000 through 2004 combined? Do you not yet realize that most of us can't afford to own $600 earrings? Why do you think Cubic Zirconium was invented? Hello? She's just now adding it up? Those of us operating under the Dave Ramsey plan out of necessity would have added those expenses up a long time ago. What kind of budget do you have that ten grand can go unobserved?

I didn't have a chance to think about $600 earrings. Our stimulus check was gone before it got here.


N.S. Allen said...

I'm glad that our alternative to the Obamas is so much more in touch with the financial life of the average American.

After all, while Barack Obama's wife is spending $10,000 on her children's extracurricular activities, John McCain's wife has a minimum of ten times that amount of debt on just one American Express card.

Which is to say that, while it's a pity that Joe Middleclass isn't being nominated for the presidency, the Obamas are easily the closer to the average American, in economic terms. After all, the Obamas' net worth - about four million dollars, most from Barack's books - is only a fraction of the McCains' roughly forty million, almost entirely from Cindy McCain's inheritance.

Not to say that the earrings comment wasn't tone deaf, but I'll take tone deaf over truly out of touch, any day.

Kay Brooks said...

Cindy McCain didn't seem out of touch at the Nashville Speedway this past weekend. She didn't seem tone deaf working with Operation Smile last month.

It's not about having lots of money---it's about not realizing that spending $10 grand on non-essentials or $600 earrings isn't normal. She's not in Hyde Park and if she cannot tailor her comments to the crowd she's not going to help McCain more than her husband.

Kay Brooks said...

errr....make that she's going to help McCain more than her husband.

N.S. Allen said...

Ah. Well, if it's just a question of being on message, then, yeah, Cindy McCain wins this one by a mile.

(Though I think she probably loses the ground again with that comment about the only way one can get around in Arizona being by private plane.)

I'm just saying that, outside of the fact that it's cringe-worthy, politically, Michelle Obama's comment doesn't shed light on much. And while I'm sure both sides in this campaign will gleefully cite every suggestion that the other side gives of wealthy elitism, in the end, it's the pot calling the kettle black.

...No racial overtones intended in that cliche.

Sharon Cobb said...

With all due respect, Cindy McCain was STEALING DRUGS from charities, so let's not give those brownie points away for her charity work with OS. Those poor children needed pain medicine, and Cindi stole some of it.

Cindi owns her own jet, a tad more costly than earrings. How many Tennesseans own their own jet with a black American express card and worth over 100 million dollars?

Michelle Obama came from a working class family and made it on her own--the true American dream.

And why shouldn't she wear 600 dollar earrings? I mean, it's not like she stole them.

Kay Brooks said...

What does Cindy's past have to do with Michelle's jewelery suggestions?

The point was, Sharon, not the past of these women, but the present in regard to tailoring their message for their audience. Michelle may have grown up in middle-class Chicago but she's managed to forget that $600 earrings aren't a normal purchase for MOST of the women in this country--let alone spend $10K on lessons! She's come a long way and sometimes that means forgetting there is a difference between want and need.

Cindy McCain didn't suggest anyone use their $600 to put a down payment on a jet.

No one makes it 'on their own'.

MBA Alumni Coverstone for Schools said...
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joe smith said...

If we're debating who's more on message, then, Michelle Obama wins. The Cindy McCain line that you just have to use a jet to get around AZ is far more out of touch. But, then again, this whole debate is a total non-starter; if it's a contest to see who's more out of touch, I go with the heiress who's literally in the clouds. But, then again, this debate is a non-starter as no one, aside from the right-wing media, is taking note of the gaffes by either candidate's spouse...