A fashion scandal for the White House

At least it doesn’t involve pictures of Michelle’s rear or having to imagine how she dropped $50,000 on racy undies.

Ah, legalities. What nusiance. From the WSJ, the Obama White House finds itself in a fashion mess. Do they care? Of course not. But we should:

Move over, PACs. The latest campaign-finance flap is about sacks.

At a New York fund-raising event Tuesday called “Runway to Win,” President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign plans to begin selling campaign-themed tote bags, T-shirts and accessories designed by more than two dozen famous designers.

Attendees can purchase a tote bag designed by Derek Lam for $75. A collectible makeup bag created by Richard Blanch with nail polish in Red-y To Win Red, Victory White and Bo Blue is going for $40. And a silk scarf featuring Mr. Obama’s likeness by Thakoon Panichgul is $95. Profits from the sales will go to Mr. Obama’s campaign chest.

Republicans contend the sale might violate campaign-finance rules. The gear will sell for a fraction of the price the designers’ merchandise typically fetches at department stores. Republicans say that suggests they relied on corporate resources to keep costs low, which could amount to illegal campaign contributions. On Mr. Lam’s website, handbags range in price from $340 to $1,890. The three scarves offered on Mr. Thakoon’s website go for $325 apiece.

“This raises serious questions about whether corporate money, property and employees were improperly used in the design and production of these items without reimbursement,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.



4 Responses

  1. However, there is the moral side of this story. Obama wants to fight against income inequality and at the same time he supports these fashion moguls whose products are unaffordable for the majority of his voters living in poverty. He has been playing a two-faced game for a long time. As a Canadian I like fashion very much and especially the work of our native designers Dean and Dan Caten from Toronto but I can’t imagine that they would one day intervene into the presidential campaign following the example of some of the famous US designers and celebrities involved in Obama’s campaign.

    • There’s a “morality” involved in bringing fashion to the poor? That would involve allowing the poor to use food stamps to buy Prada. Though that wouldn’t shock me at this point, either!

  2. Many thanks for the link.
    Obama campaign, of course, obey the law. On the other hand, it’s hard to understand why such practices are illegal.
    Also, a scarf with BO”s likeness? That’s gross!

    • Most welcome. Is it hard to understand why folks can’t donate in-kind services? It made sense to me. And agreed re the scarf. The only thing worse: one with Michelle.

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