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John McCain Wears Nice Shoes

McCain's Expensive ShoesThe flack department at HuffPo emails to tout Isabel Wilkinson‘s post, “A Week In John McCain’s Shoes — His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is.” It documents, in extensive detail, McCain’s wearing of a pair of black calfskin Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Pregiato’ Moccasins, which retail at Nieman Marcus for $520.

Apparently, this goes to show that McCain doesn’t buy his shoes at WalMart. And is a hypocrite?

In response to Barack Obama’s foreign tour, McCain spent much of his energy last week emphasizing his focus on domestic issues. What better way to show his American pride than to tour the country in Italian leather?

No word on what shoes Obama wears. I’m guessing, given that he’s a youngish millionaire with a sense of style, that he’s wearing expensive shoes, too. At any rate, while Allen-Edmonds and other American manufacturers make some nice shoes, I can’t imagine many Americans will be upset that an elderly gentleman who can afford it wears comfortable Italian loafers.

Fashion-wise, I prefer lace-ups, including Allen-Edmonds, with a suit. I do, however, own a pair of chocolate suede Ferragamo bit loafers (perhaps Nirvanas, but I’m not positive) that I bought last summer in Florence for substantially less than $520.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    Nothing wrong with wearing a nice pair of shoes. I favor Cole Haans at about half the price of the Ferragamos.

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  2. markm says:

    Kinda splitting hairs but isn’t that pair of shoes (somewhat of a durable good) just shy of a John Edwards haircut (probably bi-monthly at a minimum)?. Also, buying domestic footwear is tough to do these days.

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  3. Chris says:

    Surely presidential candidates should tour the country dressed in garbage bags and with shoes made of tire rubber? Wilkinson is being a bit silly here…

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  4. The real question is did he buy them or were they a gift from his wife.

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  5. The Other Ed says:

    Just another attempt to show that multi-millionaire John McCain isn’t a regular guy like you and I. I mean, what would you expect a guy with 9 houses to wear? Bostonians?

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  6. Tlaloc says:

    Seems like pushback against the various “obama the elitist” memes.

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  7. James Joyner says:

    Seems like pushback against the various “obama the elitist” memes.

    Perhaps, although that was mostly a primary artifact. And one can be a member of the elite, as both candidates are, without being an elitist.

    I favor Cole Haans at about half the price of the Ferragamos.

    I’ve got some Cole Haan cap toes but they’re not nearly as good as shoe as the Ferragamos. But, as you say, they’re much less expensive.

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  8. Alex Knapp says:

    This is a rather ham-handed way of making the quite valid point that McCain has never actually held a job in the private sector, and is wealthy by virtue of marriage. I think that’s a valid consideration in evaluating a candidate, though obviously not the end-all, be-all. Just a factor among many.

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  9. Tlaloc says:

    And one can be a member of the elite, as both candidates are, without being an elitist.

    True enough. I’m not one who finds the elitist argument very compelling. Probably because I’m an elitist. :)

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  10. Anderson says:

    McCain probably got them at Nordstrom Rack for $300.

    Myself, I hate to be repetitive, but I can’t help thinking that the new RAND study on counterterorism is a bit more discussion-worthy than either candidate’s shoes. Call me old-fashioned.

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  11. Tlaloc says:

    This is a rather ham-handed way of making the quite valid point that McCain has never actually held a job in the private sector, and is wealthy by virtue of marriage.

    Is it really better to be wealthy from “work” in the private sector?

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  12. Boyd says:

    In the Obamas’ controversial interview with Access Hollywood a few weeks back, one of the (many) things The Mrs chided BHO about was the horrible condition of his shoes. Nobody said anything about the brand or anything, but apparently he doesn’t do much to care for his shoes.

    Now if that doesn’t clinch my vote in November, what would it take?

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  13. Fausta says:

    I love (women’s) Ferragamos and own several pairs. And, as a capitalist, I firmly believe everyone should buy & wear any shoes they best please.

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  14. It’s absolute nit-picking. We’re shocked when we find the rich (who are elite, but elites don’t have to be rich) live like the rest of us, but then lambaste them for living unlike the rest of us. They can’t win…and I can’t wait to join them.

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  15. mrbill says:

    How many shoes of that quality and price range are MADE in the US.

    I’m guessing the list is somewhat short to nonexistent.

    Heck, Levi’s are no longer made in the US. They are now simply a marketing and advertising agency like Nike. Walmart forced them to close all their plants, lay off 3000 people BEFORE they would talk to them about carrying their jeans.

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  16. MM says:

    *Sigh*.This is what the whole “I’m a man of the people” political strategy results in. Rebuttal commentary on the candidates’ footwear and breakfast drinks.

    On that note, I’ll pledge my vote for the candidate with the most knowledge of Truckasaurus.

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  17. sam says:

    He could diffuse this fashion crisis by pulling an Adlai Stevenson.

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  18. RW Rogers says:

    Walmart forced them to close all their plants, lay off 3000 people BEFORE they would talk to them about carrying their jeans.

    That statement is untrue.

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  19. just me says:

    I really do not care what kind of shoes anyone buys.

    Also, you don’t have to be rich to love and buy expensive shoes. My sister in law isn’t wealthy at all-very typical middle class, but she buys expensive shoes-she has a very large hard to fit shoe, and she would rather lay down several hundred dollars on a well made comfortable shoe than $100 or less on a pair that will hurt or feet or fall apart quickly.

    If McCain was wearing them to mow the lawn or paint his house or something, I could see wondering or caring about his shoe choices, but a nice suit with a nice pair of shoes seems to be a requirement for most men in congress. I seriously doubt there are too many senators who don’t have expensive shoes and suits in their closets.

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  20. Dan says:

    I see how it is…

    Expensive haircut… major offense

    Expensive shoes… no problem, especially when you’re Republican

    I wonder if McCain wore the loafers while walking in that supermarket, and in the German restaurant.

    How much did he stand to gain from Budweiser being bought by foreigners again?

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  21. michael the conservative says:

    “In response to Barack Obama’s foreign tour, McCain spent much of his energy last week emphasizing his focus on domestic issues. ”

    In the interests of accuracy, I’d like to note that McCain spent last week talking about nothing but Obama’s foreign tour.

    With a PR committee made up of the entire Republican party, Obama should have no trouble coasting into office in November.

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  22. capital L says:

    I see how it is…

    Expensive haircut… major offense

    Expensive shoes… no problem, especially when you’re Republican

    Is John McCain presenting a campaign message of “Two Americas,” one comprised of the undeservedly and ostentatious wealthy and the other of the helpless and oppressed poor? Did John Edwards?

    QED

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  23. Pug says:

    Is John McCain presenting a campaign message of “Two Americas,” one comprised of the undeservedly and ostentatious wealthy and the other of the helpless and oppressed poor? Did John Edwards?

    The answer to both questions, of course, is no.

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  24. Carol says:

    John shoes are fine, he needs better ties and a hair makeover….

    He will be next president so get going on his makeover…

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  25. Janis Gore says:

    I admire his restraint.

    If I were on the schedules that candidates have, and had the money that they do, I would have handmade shoes to my foot and comfort.

    Athletes don’t apologize for their needs.

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  26. Christopher says:

    “elderly gentleman”? Wow, James, very partisan, aren’t you?

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  27. Kathy says:

    I do, however, own a pair of chocolate suede Ferragamo bit loafers (perhaps Nirvanas, but I’m not positive) that I bought last summer in Florence for substantially less than $520.

    Ferragamo shoes are made in Italy, are they not? So you’re telling us you can afford to travel to Italy to get a bargain on Ferragamo shoes?

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  28. anjin-san says:

    It is interesting to note how quick some of the folks who had an aneurysm over Edward’s haircut are to dismiss this as trivial. Hoisted by their own petard, I would say.

    As anyone who gets out much knows, rich folks buy expensive things. That the GOP was so work up about the haircut is in line with their policy of making mountains out of molehills to keep the dialog off of serious issues.

    I don’t have any problem with nice shoes. Some of McCain’s sports coats are pretty scary though…

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  29. not ocb says:

    OCB (ol’ Cranky Bastard) should concentrate on his MAC lessons, History and Geography. His GAFFES are as big as lies that he tells. He is obviously suffering from CRS (Can’t Remember Sh**) aka Alzheimer?s He should go lay down somewhere.

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  30. DL says:

    If I were as rich as these presidential contenders (who purport to speak for the common man)I’d still buy the same shoes – Cabela’s with designer camo of course.

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  31. James Joyner says:

    “elderly gentleman”? Wow, James, very partisan, aren’t you?

    I’ve backed McCain since well before the first voting in Iowa. But, dude, he’s over 70. And I mention that because I imagine he’s even more prone than the rest of us to having his feet hurt from standing around for hours a day in dress shoes.

    So you’re telling us you can afford to travel to Italy to get a bargain on Ferragamo shoes?

    Going to Italy, alas, is much more expensive now than two years ago because jet fuel has doubled in price and the dollar is even weaker against the Euro. Even before that, the only thing I can imagine to make it worth traveling to Europe for bargains, giving the offsetting costs of said travel, is if you wanted to buy a car (Saab and the German manufacturers were known for this) there and ship it back. That apparently saves more money than it costs to travel and have a short vacation.

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  32. Kirk Muse says:

    John McCain has lived a life of privilege most of his life. First as the son and grandson of four-star U. S. Navy Admirals and now the husband of a woman with a net worth of more than $100 million.

    John & Cindy McCain own eight private homes. Eight multi-million dollar private homes.

    Just like you and me.

    And John McCain calls Obama an elitist.

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  33. Bob says:

    Although I like McCain, I think that he shows poor judgement in wearing Italian shoes when there are shoes being manufactured by US workers, such as select styles of Allen Edmonds, made in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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  34. TJ Yazzie says:

    James, wheres your pic of you wearing your chocolate suede Ferragamo bit loafers? Nothing like looking at a handsome pair of loafers on a suited guy. Besides, if he’s wearing those loafers everywhere, would that mean that it might be the only pair he has? He has my vote.

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