Conservatives Bemoan Chelsea’s Big Fat Liberal Wedding

Something strange is going on here: Conservatives don’t like money.

That’s the message I’m getting from the extreme distaste some conservative critics have shown for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Forget about Rush Limbaugh’s $54 million Gulfstream jet, Mitt Romney’s $42 million donation to his own presidential campaign, John McCain’s seven or eight houses, the RNC’s vacations in Hawaii — the real source of outrage is Chelsea’s big fat Liberal wedding, and its estimated price tag of $2-3 million.  For shame! Never mind President George W. Bush once joking at a dinner about “the haves and the have-mores….Some people call you the elite. I call you my base” — apparently, it’s now completely uncool to have money and spend it.

Over at Newsbusters, Kyle Drennan was outraged that guests of the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding would be perching on porcelain port-a-potties, and was shocked — shocked! — that a segment on the CBS Early Show “did not raise any questions about the over-the-top extravagance of the affair, which is estimated to cost a few million dollars.” At Wizbang, the Clinton-wedding price tag was tut-tutted disapprovingly, and Chelsea was compared unflatteringly to Jenna Bush, whose private wedding on her parents’ ranch in Crawford was apparently a model of fiscal restraint.

It’s a strange double standard. I wrote about it earlier today at AOL:

Estimates for the Crawford wedding seem to be at $100,000, though I can’t find an official, confirmed source and I have to say that sounds more than a bit low (I do know that the Bushes saved on the cost of renting a property because they own their ranch!). By contrast — and it’s a contrast lots of critics have made (some abhorrently so) — Chelsea’s nuptials are estimated at $2 million, at least. (If that – the wedding details have been kept strictly private, and that may well be an inflated estimate.) Never mind that the median price of an American wedding is apparently $17,500 – way less than Chelsea’s nups, but probably representing a much greater percentage of financial resources for the families involved.

…The Clintons are rich. So are the Bushes. So are a lot of people in the higher echelons of the government. Senators! Congresspeople! Mitt Romney! Meg Whitman! Rich people have more money, and thus seem to spend it in wild disproportion to the rest of society. Romney spent an estimated $42-million of his own money on his 2008 presidential bid; now his name is on the shortlist of potential GOP nominees for 2012. Is spending $2 million to pay local businesses to put on your event so much worse than spending ten times as much on high-priced Beltway consultants? Rich people spend money differently, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats. But it’s amazing how the double-standard is applied depending on who is outraged by what.

Of all of it, it’s the Romney stat that gets me. $42 million! Of his own money! That’s not for a private, family event, either — that’s in a public election campaign, arguably where there are more pressing concerns implicated. I’m not saying that Romney shouldn’t be able to donate to his own campaign – like Hillary Clinton did! – I’m saying that there’s something wildly off here in all of the hand-wringing over Chelsea’s wedding costs. Let’s just find a standard and stick to it, okay? Because otherwise, it all amounts to not much more than what you might find in a porcelain port-a-potty.

p.s. To all those people nonplussed that Chelsea is being treated as special – well, sorry, but she is special. Politico’s Glenn Thrush wondered on Twitter about all the hype, asking if “meritocratically, isn’t she basically a 30y/o hedge funder headed to grad school?” Um, no. Perhaps a writer for POLITICO might grasp that. Gail Collins had it right: “Chelsea has been a national public figure against her will since she was 12, and in all that time she has never embarrassed her family — or us.” But let’s look at the flip side – that people feel entitled to write crap like this: “Chelsea Clinton is an ugly duckling who turned not into a beautiful swan, but a somewhat cute chick. Is this why she is sparing no expense for her wedding?” (Wrist slap for you, Robert Paul Reyes.) Yep. Not just some average 30 year old. Let her have her not-just-average wedding.

Outraged By The Cost of Chelsea’s Wedding? Just Chill [AOL News]
Is Chelsea Clinton Setting a Bad Example? [WSJ]
Breaking News on CBS ‘Early Show’: Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding Will Have Porcelain Port-a-Potties! [Newsbusters]

Photo of Chelsea Clinton via CityFile.

Chelsea Clinton Is Getting Married: A Short History (SLIDESHOW)

Chelsea Clinton is getting married this weekend, something which has lead me to wonder whether Chelsea Clinton’s wedding is the new Shark Week. How else to explain the level of attention being devoted to a woman whose major public achievement has been managing to stay out of the harsh spotlight that has been focused on her family for the past 20 years. To be clear, all things considered, this was no small achievement.

Michael Wolff thinks all the hoopla is part of the nation’s buyer’s remorse over President Barack Obama: “Hillary is the do-over and if-only choice. That’s the wedding dynamic: This is the official celebration of the once and future Clintons.”

I suspect it has more to do with the nation’s weariness over political stories involving the economy, race, war, and Tea Parties. Sometimes it’s just nice to see someone happy. And when that person is someone you have, even from a great distance, watched grow up, even better. Chelsea is set to get married this weekend in Rhinebeck, New York. In case you have missed any of the pertinent details, here is a short history.

Chelsea and Her Parents (1 of 8)

This may be why everyone is so interested in Chelsea, she's been in the national spotlight since she was a sweet, awkward young pre-teen. In the tumultuous Clinton years that followed often felt like she was the one redeeming quality about her parents.

Chelsea Clinton Wedding To Close Airspace Over Rhinebeck, NY

Think you’re important? Oh, really? Have your parties ever caused the FAA to declare the skies above your house a no-fly zone? No? Then you’re clearly not as cool as Chelsea Clinton, who weds this Saturday, July 31st to Mark Mezvinsky (who may or may not be distantly related to Amar’e Stoudemire but not Mel Gibson).

The daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton may not be having the Obamas to her nuptials, but there will be plenty of VIPs in the house. That’s not just according to everyone kvelling over the guest list — that’s according to the FAA, which posted a NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) citing that reason for closing the airspace over Rhinebeck, NY from July 31, 2010 at 1900 UTC to August 01, 2010 at 0730 UTC. What it means: any flights in the zone have to be legit, with their flight plans pre-filed, under positive control (of flight controllers), pre-identified and in a pre-designated place.

First noted by blogger Brian Williams (yes, that Brian Williams, on his NBC “Daily Nightly” blog), the FAA has posted a ‘TFR’ (Temporary Flight Restriction) at latitude: 41º56′42″N, longitude: 73º55′51″W, for a radius of 1.5 nautical mile. After all, as Williams notes, there will be a former President and the current Secretary of State in attendance, and likely “a wedding party understandably anxious to avoid aerial photography.” (This also means that Politics Daily’s Andrew Cohen won’t be able to hire a plane to skywrite his love for Chelsea over the ceremony.)

It should be noted that the last time we wrote about FAA airspace closure for such reasons was back in September, when President Obama spoke at the memorial service for Walter Cronkite. This NOTAM seem a lot more restrictive, though that one was over New York City, where presumably there’s more traffic than over Rhinebeck. But for this TFR, that would probably not be true this weekend, so thank you, FAA, for giving Chelsea & Mark their privacy! Unless Barbra Streisand starts live-tweeting. Dare to dream.

It’s Official: Rhinebeck, New York Is Designated A No-fly Zone [Daily Nightly]
0/4317 NOTAM Details [FAA]

0/5100 NOTAM Details – flight restrictions over BP Oil Spill [FAA]

Images via Google News and FAA

Journolist Members Trash Keith Olbermann as Misogynist, Pompous

The Daily Caller has published the latest of its Daily Journolist Leaks, and this time, the supposed liberal cabal is eating one of their own. Countdown host Keith Olbermann is the subject of this installment, in which the J-listers trash him as “sexist” and “misogynist,” mainly over his treatment of Carrie Prejean and Hillary Clinton. While I disagree with the Daily Caller’s publication of the emails, and their petulant handling thereof, this round also illustrates what angers me about Journolist and Olbermann.

First of all, the contents of Journolist were intended to be private and off-the-record. While Daily Caller may have a fig leaf on the off-the-record thing if the emails were leaked by a 3rd party (a mighty big IF when you consider that a Daily Caller reporter was on Journolist), that doesn’t make it right.

The Olbermann emails center around his treatment of Carrie Prejean, and of then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Some highlights:

The Nation’s Katha Pollitt began the group’s rant. “He and Michael Musto did this whole long riff about beauty contestant Carrie “opposite marriage” Prejean’s breast implants, stupidity, breast implants, tacky clothes, earrings, breast implants. They went on and on about how she was “part plastic” and pathetic.  You’d think they were celibate vegans who spent their lives zen meditating.  It was just a whole TV humiliation of her, and it made me feel sorry for her, which wasn’t easy,” Pollitt said.

…Julian Zelizer, a Princeton professor and CNN contributor, said Olbermann’s root problem is his misogyny. “I can’t take him anytime. I think to write off his mysogyny as limited to Musto is just not accurate. That very much defined much of how he talked about Clinton as well as others.”

What pisses me off here is that I have consistently, respectfully, and fairly pointed out that Olbermann’s series of sexually-charged attacks against Prejean were unacceptable, and were undermining his otherwise excellent work. My Mediaite colleague, Rachel Sklar, also called Olbermann out during the 2008 campaign for his comments about Hillary Clinton, comments for which he apologized.

I can’t speak for Rachel, but I know I got nothing but hostility from my fellow liberals, who didn’t see the use in defending Prejean, or in criticizing Olbermann. Better to let him sit there and get smelly, instead of telling him he’d stepped in it. All the while, these same folks were happily outraged about it behind the scenes. This is not strictly a liberal phenomenon, as you don’t see very many conservatives rushing to denounce Andrew Breitbart in public for smearing Shirley Sherrod, do you?

Keith Olbermann, meanwhile, frequently uses Journolisters as guests and contributors on his show, a gravy train that might now end. Aside from Dave Weigel, possibly, Olbermann has shown little desire to be disagreed with.

Gallup: Bill Clinton Now More Popular Than Barack Obama

Add this to the list of not great things that have happened to the White House this week.

Hot on the heels of calls for grown-ups to return to the White House, Drudge pegging Clinton as that grown-up, and an upsurge in speculation over a Hillary 2012 run comes a new Gallup poll saying Bill Clinton is now more popular than President Obama. Oof. Chris Cillizza at WaPo breaks it down.

More than six in ten (61 percent) of all adults see Clinton in a favorable light as compared to 52 percent who say the same of Obama. (Former President George W. Bush is, not surprisingly, at the bottom of that list with 45 percent of people viewing him in a favorable light.)

While self-identifying Democrats like both men immensely — 89 percent favorable for Clinton, 86 percent favorable for Obama — Clinton has a double digit bulge over Obama among independents and Republicans.

Obviously, President Obama is subject to a higher level of public criticism merely by dent of the fact he is in charge and, as they say, the buck stops with him. But what’s more interesting to note perhaps is how the public seems to be softening, or even forgetting, the more negative associations many have held with regards to the Clintons over the years. Those associations stuck around long enough to dog Hillary’s entire presidential campaign, however if they now are fading away — as this poll seems to suggest — it may add further grist to the idea that Hillary could make a viable 2012 run.

Did Sec. Of State Hillary Clinton Forget That Gays Can’t Get Married?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in Pakistan recently to discuss her current efforts in the region to gain government support against terrorist groups. However, thanks to a statement (or rather, lack of statement) about her daughter’s upcoming wedding, the takeaway from the extensive interview about her time in the Middle East is a short soundbite in which she seems to forget that gay Americans still can’t legally wed.

After talking at length about topics like insurgents, blacklisting possible terrorists, and how committed we are to the War in Afghanistan, Mitchell decided to end the chat on a high note and ask about Chelsea Clinton’s approaching marriage to Marc Mezvinsky, and how the mother of the bride feels about the fact that it’s an interfaith pairing – Clinton is Methodist, Mezvinsky is Jewish. Here’s what Sec. Clinton had to say:

“It says a lot about this wonderful experiment known as America, where we recognize the right that every single person has to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and over the years so many of the barriers that prevented people from getting married – crossing lines of faith or color or ethnicity – have just disappeared. Because what’s important is, are you making a responsible decision? Have you thought it through? Do you understand the consequences? And I think that, in the world that we’re in today, we need more of that.”

So if you’re a responsible American who understands the concept of consequence, you can get married, which is awesome. Wait – unless you’re gay. Sorry, I got America confused with Argentina. Clearly, many hurdles in marriage equality have been overcome in America, but coming from Clinton, who just a month ago made a powerful speech declaring that “human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all,” this statement seems a tad lacking in gay-friendly rhetoric.

Watch the clip below:

O’Reilly Factor: Hillary Will Campaign As The Adult Who Can Fix Obama’s Messes

Last night the O’Reilly Factor picked up the Hillary Clinton for President drumbeat (as predicted).

In a ‘Talking Points Commentary’ Monica Crowley highlighted a list of ways Hillary could feasibly make a run for the Oval Office in 2012. Crowley thinks that among other things Hillary knows that the nation is suffering from “buyer’s remorse” when it comes to President Obama and will “want to make it up to her.” Says Crowley:

Hillary will create the illusion that she is the more responsible choice. She’ll position herself as the adult who can fix Obama’s messes. She’ll offer herself as the safe harbor for disillusioned Dems. Oh you had your fun on that Obama joy ride and now Mama is here to clean it up.

I don’t quite see ‘Mama is here’ as being a campaign slogan Hillary would embrace but the idea behind it may not be that far off the mark. The Clintons as the grown-ups of the Dem party appears to be a growing theme. Drudge greeted former President Bill Clinton’s arrival at White House for an economic meeting on Wednesday with a blaring ‘CALLING IN THE GROWN UPS’ headline. Crowley also thinks that only a woman could depose a black president. And while there’s very little chance of any of this becoming a reality unless Obama’s poll numbers remain painfully low, one has to wonder who this speculation needles more: Obama or Sarah Palin.