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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


posted by on July 30 at 14:20 PM

John McCain spent the last week rockin’ some $520 Salvatore Ferragamos, according to HuffPo:


Check the photographic evidence (Ferragamos in the applesauce aisle! Ferragamos in front of an oil pump! Ferragamos with the Dalai Lama!), and then check out this very good point from The Nation’s Christopher Hayes:

If I were a right-wing blogger, and I found out that Barack Obama was wearing Ferragamo loafers that cost $520, I would spend about 50% of my waking hours making sure everyone knew this. I would mock him for being an out-of-touch elitist and make jokes like, “If you think that’s a lot, you should see how much his purse costs ” I would send the link to Drudge and wait for Instapundit to pick it up, and then watch gleefully as Fox News ran segments about how Barack Obama’s $500 loafers vitiate his entire economic platform.

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More proof that McSame hates America.

I'll bet he'll lie and say they're American.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 2:39 PM

C'mon - he went to see Sex and the City, got inspired to splurge a little. McCain needs a little "me" time - it can't ALL be about the American people, y'know.

Posted by Ziggity | July 30, 2008 2:40 PM

I am so glad that I found the left equivalent of Drudge (seriously)

HuffPo is great

Posted by Non | July 30, 2008 2:41 PM

Come on. How is this different from the John Edwards hair story? Yeah, I understand that this is being made a big deal because the Republicans have done it to Democrats, but this is just trivial.

And really, $500 is not THAT expensive for a nice pair of shoes. I would actually think that would be on the low end for a Senator.

Posted by sleestak | July 30, 2008 2:44 PM

Its on the low end for a man who dumped his first wife for an heiress.

Posted by vooodooo84 | July 30, 2008 2:46 PM
How is this different from the John Edwards hair story?

That's the point.

Posted by w7ngman | July 30, 2008 2:47 PM

@4: I doubt that half this country could afford to spend that much on an entire outfit, let alone a pair of shoes.

This just underscores the hypocrisy of any Republican calling the Democratic nominee "elitist."

Posted by Ziggity | July 30, 2008 2:49 PM

Lame. The reason that this isn't a story, is that $500 for a pair of shoes isn't that big of a deal for most Americans. Lots of blue collar types have athletic shoes that cost over a $100 and many people own boots up in that range.

Hitchens is an ass.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 30, 2008 2:50 PM

I wonder if his current lobbyist mistress got them for him?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 2:56 PM

The minimum wage in Arizon is $6.90. It would take someone making that over two weeks to earn enough to buy those shoes.

Posted by Zander | July 30, 2008 2:58 PM

Muslims wear sandals.

Posted by DOUG. | July 30, 2008 2:59 PM


Hayes not Hitchens.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 30, 2008 3:00 PM

Didnt slog post a pic of Michelle Obama in a designer dress not too long ago? It doesnt matter who's wearing $$ clothes. What matters is thats what all politicians spend their $ on.

Posted by Jakub | July 30, 2008 3:01 PM


Posted by D | July 30, 2008 3:07 PM

For the stoopid peoples of the right, a right-winger commenting on the $520 shoes worn by a Democrat is pointing out hypocrisy while a lefto commenting on the $520 shoes worn by a Republican is advocating class warfare.

The truth is, commenting on $520 shoes is just stoopid.

Posted by jebus h. xst | July 30, 2008 3:15 PM

@13 - If you're referring to the dress she wore on The View, which got a lot of attention because it immediately started selling out, that dress was about $150 dollars. $150 dollars is a lot to spend on one item, but as far as dresses go, it's rather low. You can find some cheap dresses for $25, but then, you can buy Crocs for $10 too.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | July 30, 2008 3:18 PM

I don't fault the McCains for wearing expensive clothes. $525 isn't really much for a pair of shoes for people of their privileged lifestyle. His wardrobe is completely banal from what we see.

But her's is sometimes pure trophy wife -- like the blonde Stepford curls she was wearing when he recommended we all see our dermatologists the other day. She looked amazing, if you ask me, but not in a First Lady way. In more of a "Wow, that's so 1970's-hairpiece-wearing tranny"" kind of way.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 30, 2008 3:27 PM

@14 Thank you, I've been resisting posting that video.

Posted by Mary T | July 30, 2008 3:29 PM

Are you people huffing glue?

He's the Republican candidate for president -- we should [i]expect[/i] him to wear ridiculously expensive imported shoes as he takes cheap shots at his "elitist" opponent, pretends to relate to low- and middle-income Americans, and tries to convince us he cares about the loss of American jobs.

I'd be worried about what kind of Republican he is if he was wearing Florsheims or Hush Puppies ...

Posted by Man in the Street | July 30, 2008 3:33 PM

Why didn't you mention that McCain's socks were $4.99 for a pack of six at JCPenney's?

Posted by Mahtli69 | July 30, 2008 3:36 PM

@6 - Yeah, I realize that. But again, this was a terrible example to illustrate the point (since $500 isn't that much for shoes). More importantly, aren't we supposed to be better than this? Yes, I realize that it's intended to point out hypocrisy, but if we respond in-kind every time a Republican starts some frivolous meme we won't be able to claim the high ground for long.

Posted by sleestak | July 30, 2008 3:36 PM

Perhaps he should wear wooden boxes filled with glass shards, held to his withered, hairy feet by flypaper straps, to show us how much he suffers for his country. I would consider voting for him then.

Posted by Ziggity | July 30, 2008 3:36 PM

"We" claim the high ground?

Um, are you sure you know we're on SLOG, sleestak?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 3:39 PM

The real point here is that there is a double standard for the Dems and the GOP. The Dems cannot shake the elitist label and the label simply won't stick to the GOP

Posted by TCO | July 30, 2008 3:39 PM

My dad had a pair of Ferragamos when I was a kid. He got 'em from Nordy's. How much more American can you get than that?

Oh, the only reason he had them is he wore a size 15, and there is a limited selection at that size. And they were on closeout.

Something tells me McCain has tiny feet, so he probably could get away with some Thom McCann's for $35. Wonder if he even knows about the shoes he wears. He can't dress himself anyhow, with all those war injuries.

Posted by Sir Vic | July 30, 2008 3:43 PM

I am distressed that anyone would spend $500 for a pair of shoes. SHOES?! What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Posted by Greg | July 30, 2008 3:45 PM

@23 - Yeah, I know. What I meant to say was Hulk Smash shoes. Or #1 FTW. Or something.

Posted by sleestak | July 30, 2008 3:51 PM

@26 Good thing you'll never be anywhere near my closet, otherwise you'd have a stroke. Would you like the list of what is wrong with me in alphabetical order or in order of importance?

Posted by PopTart | July 30, 2008 4:01 PM

This is another great contrast with the "hard-working, man of the people" image that Obama's nurturing:

Posted by mattymatt | July 30, 2008 4:07 PM

Hm, calling a Republican an "out-of-touch elitist" sounds a bit redundant.

And @8, while SOME "blue-collar types" may own $100 Nikes, or heck, even $200 Tony Lamas, MOST are pawing through the clearance bin at Wal*Mart looking for something that costs considerably less.

Posted by COMTE | July 30, 2008 4:11 PM

"$500 for a pair of shoes isn't that big of a deal for most Americans"

Did you mean to say "most gay Americans?"

Posted by rjh | July 30, 2008 4:24 PM

Good catch, @31. But you might want to amend it to non-parents.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 4:29 PM

"$500 for a pair of shoes isn't that big of a deal for most Americans".

Huh. And Florsheims? Yes, actually, I expect my president to be wearing a pair of Florsheim or Allen Edmonds cap toes or wing-tips. $200 gets you an all-star of a shoe. Looks good with a suit, too, and they'll last you ten or twenty years with a resole, maybe a relining. Or a pair of Church's if you want to go up a notch.

Italian loafers are for gigolos.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 4:35 PM

And Fnarf brings it home for the fucking win.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 30, 2008 5:14 PM

Yes, yes - he does, @34.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 5:23 PM

I would love to tour the Southland
In a travelling minstrel show
Yes I'd love to tour the Southland
In a traveling minstrel show
Yes I'm dying to be a star and make them laugh
Sound just like a record on the phonograph
Those days are gone forever
Over a long time ago, oh yeah

I have never met Napoleon
But I plan to find the time
I have never met Napoleon
But I plan to find the time
'Cause he looks so fine upon that hill
They tell me he was lonely, he's lonely still
Those days are gone forever
Over a long time ago, oh yeah

I stepped up on the platform
The man gave me the news
He said, You must be joking son
Where did you get those shoes?
Where did you get those shoes?

Well, I've seen 'em on the TV, the movie show
They say the times are changing but I just don't know
These things are gone forever
Over a long time ago, oh yeah

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | July 30, 2008 5:29 PM

I can't believe the number of people here who think $500 "isn't much" for shoes? Where do you people work? And can I have some of your extra scratch?

Posted by Andrew | July 30, 2008 5:38 PM

Something about this coverage stank to me. Not Eli's...the original story's.

You see -- and I don't know how to put this entirely unboastingly, but -- I know a few things about clothes.

And one of those things is that Salvatore Ferragamo doesn't sell a loafer in that price point.

To the interwebs, Robin!

Disturbingly, three of my rather few Safari bookmarks are for the Neiman-Marcus, Bergdorfs and Barneys web sites. I hit paydirt on try #1...

Ladies and gentlemen, submitted for your approval is the Pregiato Moccasin, at $520. Other loafers by Ferragamo run up to the high three figures. I'm sure they'll do a bespoke shoe at John Lobb prices, or thereabouts.

So folks, Fox News is right: it's a $500 shoe.

And as for Cindy Lou ("Who") Hensley McCain, yes IMM she does look 70's tranny, but, more accurately, like a 70's tranny with a North Beach Leather gift certificate. Is America ready for a First Lady in purple leather? And I did all that without saying, "gurlicious" once.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 30, 2008 5:42 PM

But I'm obviously crazy -- I read that as $250, not $520. I quit.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 30, 2008 5:46 PM

All that research based on a false premise! I had to make up for it...I bought some cedar shoe trees.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 30, 2008 6:22 PM

You can never have too many cedar shoe trees.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 6:32 PM

I think I'm with Greg @26. Of course I don't pay close enough attention to other people's shoes to be able to tell whether they cost $520 at Nordy's or $10 at K-Mart. But just like the thread above about the hypothetical "family values" GOP senator being exposed as an ex-porn star it's the hypocrisy that makes this worth noting.

Posted by RainMan | July 30, 2008 6:33 PM

@41, did we just agree on something?

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 30, 2008 6:48 PM

You $500 shoe folks are outta yer fukkin' minds. You've been warped by our crazed conumerist, brand-name, fashion designer society. I'm all for quality, and I spend more on shoes than some folks, but that price range is just bullshit. Don't you folks have IRA's to put money into?

Posted by CP | July 30, 2008 7:47 PM

The contrast to how the left would be lambasted for such footwear is a good one. However, I suspect that McCain doesn't do his own shoe shopping (especially if his war injuries prevent him from putting them on) but instead has a shopper who buys what is class appropriate (that is super rich) or what a campaign advisor has suggested the shopper buy. Thus McCain has deniability.

This kind of thing has been true of republicans and the rich for a long time. Remember Bush 1 talking about how interesting supermarket checkout scanners were? These people don't shop. They have people to do it for them. They are essentially America's royalty. Where's my knitting needles?

Posted by LMSW | July 30, 2008 7:47 PM

It would be priceless if he tried to explain it that way. "My expensive shoes don't make me elitist, because my assistant buys my clothes for me."

Posted by Chris in Tampa | July 30, 2008 8:01 PM

@43, we agree on almost everything.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 8:05 PM

$500 dollar shoes aren't crazy.

Cheap dress shoes are $100, and don't last long (the sole always cracks on mine. $150-$200 level gets you Rockports which are well made, but basic shoes (what I wear). Go up a level or two in quality and you're at $500.

I would never spend that much, but I don't think it's crazy for a presidential candidate to wear shoes at that price range. He's in them all day, and I'm sure the directors/V.P.s at my company wear better shoes than me.

Posted by shoe | July 30, 2008 9:49 PM

Can we talk about the war please?

Posted by Trevor | July 30, 2008 10:00 PM

No, we have to talk about the economy.

You know, the one where we have a $500 BILLION deficit and Canada (which is fighting a war in Afghanistan we forgot) has a RECORD SURPLUS.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 10:43 PM

Wow! Barbara Bush looks awful in that photo. Maybe it's the sweater she has on.

Posted by hal | July 30, 2008 10:58 PM

@8 Hey Mr. Michael Strangeways.... you're an out of touch jackass. Most Americans these days can barely afford their basic bills, let alone buy $500 shoes. Do you understand what this economy is doing to middle and lower class people?

Apparently not, if you think blowing $500 on a pair of fucking shoes is 'no big deal for most Americans'.

Fuck you and yer Bruno Malis or whatever the fuck they are, you elitist prick. Shove 'em up yer kiester. How out of touch with the real world are you?

You're an ass.

Posted by michael strangeways is an elitist prick | July 30, 2008 11:24 PM

Now, I lucked into a well-worn but still functional pair of Ferragamo cap-toes exactly in my size at a thrift store for $3 over 10 years ago, and it really did make me realize that you do get what you pay for (or at least what the rich guy who originally bought them paid for) in shoes.

That said, however, the Democrats would be suicidal idiots not to beat the living s*** out of McCain for this on the blogs - especially Republican and Libertarian ones.

After 2000 and 2004, you'd figure we'd have learned what happens when we keep showing up for gunfights with bean bags....

Posted by Mr. X | July 30, 2008 11:52 PM

They look like Haband shoes. If he paid $520 for those he was robbed.

Posted by jeffg166 | July 31, 2008 5:06 AM

uh, I make $15 an hour and my primary pair of shoes are Chuck Taylor knock-offs from Payless that have holes in the soles. The most expensive shoes I own are $200 Kenneth Cole boots I bought 15 years ago in NYC. The very attractive shirt I'm wearing today, I took from my apartment building's laundry room after it had been abandoned for three months. I don't own a car and have considerable debt.

Sounds pretty elitist to me.

Some of you have an odd view of America as a nation of people living on the edge of poverty. We're very much a middle class country. As of 2004, the median household income was $43,389. The vast majority of Americans are probably unlikely to pay $500 for a pair of shoes, but a majority of Americans COULD afford to BUY a pair of $500 shoes, once a year, if they so desired.

$500 dress shoes worn by a millionaire are not that shocking or insulting. I think you'd have to hit the $1k mark and have them made out of stem cells before you'd get much public outcry over a pair of goddamned shoes.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 31, 2008 9:49 AM

oh, and it's Bruno MAGLI, you stupid, dumbfuck.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 31, 2008 10:14 AM

While I will not agree with FNARF that Italian loafers are only for gigolos, I will agree with him on the premise that American presidents, and presidential candidates should buy American. LBJ made a big deal of having his shoes, not just his cowboy boots, made for him by a variety of American shoe companies. Of course, Republicans believe in the global market so buying locally would be a repudiation of McCain's values. For the sake of disclosure I will admit to having several pair of Ferragamos, and I have never been paid for my company. If one is going to go the full Cleveland one is going to do it well.

Posted by inkweary | July 31, 2008 12:26 PM

My full apologies to Christopher HITCHENS. He was not the asshat in question in the original article that Eli quotes's Christopher HAYES, from The Nation.

My mea culpa is that it usually IS Hitchens who writes such tripe.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 31, 2008 2:32 PM

@ Mr. Michael Strangeways....

You would know how to spell Magli, you elitist prick, even if you can't get your sources right. Hitchens, Hayes, it don't matter. Nice backtracking you fucking douche.

What you consider an 'odd view of America' is reality for those of us who have to live it.

BTW... good job w/ statistics from 2004. They are really relevant today.

Posted by michael strangeways is an elitist prick | August 1, 2008 1:17 AM

Well, my last post seems to have disappeared, but....

@ Mr. Michael Strangeways... you would know how to spell Magli correctly, wouldn't you.

Nice backtracking you fucking douche. What you consider 'an odd view' is a reality for those of us who live it. Just shut the fuck up you elitist prick, and shove yer Chuck Taylors up yer ass.

Actually, just shut the fuck up.

Posted by michael strangeways is an elitist prick | August 1, 2008 1:42 AM

Hey now... there it is.

Now I'll shut the fuck up.

But Mr. Michael Strangeways, you still are an elitist prick.

Posted by michael strangeways is an elitist prick | August 1, 2008 1:47 AM


And stop being obsessed with my prick...i know it's thick and juicy and very, very tempting but HAND'S OFF!

You wanna piece, it's going to cost you the price of a new pair of shoes...EXPENSIVE-ass shoes, motherfucker.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 1, 2008 9:58 AM


Posted by michael strangeways is an elitist prick | August 1, 2008 11:12 AM

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