Isabel Wilkinson's entry at Huffington Post back on July 30th had all the built-in footwork to reveal McCain, with his pricey Ferragamos, as the real elitist in the presidential race. Still, many readers questioned whether concentrating on $520 loafers was sinking too far below the belt.
Coming from the candidate who called for a high-minded campaign, then almost immediately kicked off a shallow and continuous string of character attacks, however, McCain has specifically determined that privilege and elitism would become central themes in this election fight.
Given that context, this private jet provides the best background I could think of for McCain's elite footwear. Taken in April '07, this image from the primary season highlights a point -- about a month after McCain stopped using Cindy's Cessna Citation virtually free of charge -- when the media started giving him some heat for it.
Just like Cheney wearing those beat up loafers on a diplomatic trip to the Middle East, the focus here is not fashion, however -- it's character. And with that in mind, the immediate and best comparison to McCain is not Adlai Stevenson, but his projective target, Barack Obama.
This shot of Obama might be speaking to frugality or inordinate attachment or simply priorities placed elsewhere, but unlike his well-heeled opponent, celebrity style and ostentatious wealth is not what immediately comes to mind.
(image 1: Stephan Savoia/AP. White Plains, N.Y. April 23, 2007. image 2: Callie Shell/TIME. March 1, 2008. Providence, Rhode Island via micheleroohani.com)