Deep thoughts from CNN’s “Showbiz Tonight,” keying off Mrs. O’s new fashionplate status. Which gives me the perfect excuse to link Byron York’s piece in today’s Examiner wondering what the White House social secretary’s doing attending Donna Karan shows while The One assures us the economy’s disintegrating.
I asked [a White House aide] whether the first lady considered Rogers’ hitting the fashion shows a little frivolous, given the seriousness of our times. “I think you’re assigning a value judgment to the fashion industry,” I was told. “She doesn’t think it is frivolous at all.”
I talked to two former White House social secretaries, one Democrat and one Republican. “I don’t really understand where fashion ties in with the social secretary’s job,” the Republican told me, “because the only fashion she needs to worry about is her own, and she has to make sure she does not eclipse the first lady…
As millions of Americans worry about losing their jobs, the first lady is celebrated on the cover of Wintour’s magazine, Vogue, where it is suggested that her “ardent championing of new names in American design” has caused some to call her the “new Jackie Kennedy.”
Why not Nancy Reagan? Mrs. Reagan’s husband also took office amid an inherited economic crisis, and she quickly became the subject of sometimes bitter criticism for her fondness for high fashion — for “exercising her opulent tastes in an economy that is inflicting hardship on so many,” in the words of a 1981 New York Times article.
Exit question: If First Lady Cindy McCain’s secretary was seen scouting out Vera Wang haute couture while Maverick announced a $3 trillion budget, that’d all be part of her “cool” too, no?