Thursday, October 23, 2008

Help! I Need a Wardrobe Bailout

All you guys salivating over the $150,000 wardrobe expense, please pipe down. Wall Street already got its bailout and Main Street will soon get its very own. Why are you all bitey about Ms. Palin’s Fifth Avenue bailout? You, GO, girl! There’s nothing more satisfying than spending other people’s money, while helping them, also.

While we’re on this subject, I have a confession to make. I am running for Secretary of State (no, not of Idaho, dummy!) of the United States! Yup, I want to be the 67th, Secretary of State of this great nation of ours. It’s a VERY important job as you may already know. But if I were to have a chance to swing this job my way (they’re now floating John Kerry and Christopher Dodd as possible candidates, what's with that?), I need some new duds immediately. Just some straight talk here - I need your help. Below are the top ten reasons why I need my own wardrobe bailout:

Wardrobe Bailout – Diplopundit’s Top Ten

1. I need a second U.S. passport
Well, I have to look my best when I try to convince the Passport Office why I need a second passport in another name. My two-prong strategy works whether a Democrat or a Republican lands in the White House. A blue passport with my first name (and blings) will be used if Obama wins and the red passport with my second name (and blings) will be used if McCain wins. In any case, I need a sober Tahiri Bow-Jacket Skirtsuit ($498) to portray the image of a legitimate traveler at the Passport Office.

2. I need a traveling pantsuit
In the lead up to the selection, I will travel to friendly (blue) countries, as well as countries (red) that want to like, bomb us (if State is not making red passports yet, it will soon). Keeping it slick is the name of the game but I need to show some results – a demonstration of my track record as coalition builder even among our worst enemies (especially when they start dropping Bill Richardson or Joe Lieberman’s name).
I simply cannot do all this important traveling around in some old velour threads. I need a Tahari Three-Piece Pantsuit (Sale $349), with pink jacket and khaki pants in stretch canvas, suited with a khaki knit tank. I promise a jaw-dropping fabulousness with this duds, despite jet lag and being stuck in tiny economy seats (I will adhere with Fly-America, to show my future employees at the State Department that if you can do it, I can do it, too).

3. Now about Russia (aka: Putin)
The problem with State is it has never deployed its charm offensive. When I become SecState 67, I will bring that mavericky strategy to Moscow. But what I really need right now is something that would serve me well at dinner, dance and judo or jujutsu. Oh, and I don’t need a $2,500 silk shantung Valentino jacket, silly.
I think this Heidi Weisel Cupcake Dress with Cashmere Fox-Cuff Cardigan ($4,800) would be perfect for my Putin meeting. The Cardigan (black, jewel neckline; open front, three-quarter sleeves; dyed fox (Finland) fur-trim cuffs; pure cashmere) would be appropriate since it’s really cold in Moscow (and just in case we go hunting instead of dinner, also). And the Cupcake Dress (black bodice; black/white plaid skirt; ballerina neckline; short sleeves; tie waist; gored skirt; cashmere/silk) would be great for dinner or dance with the skirt allowing freedom of leg movement. After dinner and dance, I’d look deeply into Putin’s eyes and tell him “Lay off, Georgia, and nobody gets hurt.” And if he doesn’t - I can assure you there’ll be some good combat sport and perhaps, even blood.

4. Pyongyang’s Dear Leader Needs a Break
He might be a vain, paranoid, cognac-guzzling wingnut who favors a trademarked bouffant hairstyle (need to appear taller than 5ft 3in) but after I’ve worked on him, he’ll be our own wingnut. What Ambassador Christopher Hill doesn’t get is that Kim Jong Il is a deeply misunderstood screwball: 1) Dear Leader needs luv; the last few years have not been kind to him – he lost his wife and his three (four?) mistresses; 2) Dear Leader is in the wrong profession; he is a misunderstood artist who writes operas and musicals; 3) Dear Leader is crazy about Hollywood; he owns a collection of more than 20,000 video tapes, loves Friday the 13th, Rambo, James Bond, the Godzilla series, and anything that has Elizabeth Taylor in it, and finally, 4) Dear Leader like any normal 67 year old is worried about growing bald.
I have a simple remedy for our Korean Peninsula problem but first, I need this Valentino Red Oragami Front Dress ($3,750) for my important meeting with the Great Leader. The entire package (V-neckline, front ruffle and bow detail, sleeveless, pure silk) in red, plus a cute Manolo Blahnik Red Braided Patent Sandal ($685) would signal that I’m in charge and on top of my game.

5. Strategic rapprochement with Iran
We need a grand bargain; they need something from us, and we need something from them, period. Not talking to the enemy is childish, people. Plus, the favorite writer of the Neocons has just penned a dire scenario of what a war with Iran in the Gulf would look like (very messy not high-tech, airborne surgical attack as some would claim). My negotiations would be based on mutual interests and respect (not with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, good grief!) with the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei who has command of the armed forces and the power to declare war and peace (also the power to duct-taped Ahmadinejad's runaway mouth). He has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons so this is not a hopeless engagement.
For my meeting with the Supreme Leader, I picked this Andy The-Anh Cowl-Back Gown ($1,085). It’s polyester/spandex but does have a bateau neckline and long sleeves which covers most of me. The cowl back is a problem 'cuz it shows lots of back skin but this is such a gorgeous amethyst velvet, I just can’t help myself. Iranian law requires women to wear loose-fitting coats or cloaks in public, as well as a head-scarf that covers the hair, so chances are, I’d be wearing something else over this, anyway.

6. What to do with Hugo Chavez
The problem with this administration’s approach with Hugo the Gladiator is our failure to invite him to polite and elite company. Hugo was born to working folks in a mud hut. He was in military school at 17 and has never left. Imagine that. We have not helped him get over these resentments. He is a great brawler, and not even our best diplomats could outshout or outbrawl him (FSI has yet to write a training module for that). We need a softer approach.
Despite talks of radically altering the economic and cultural landscape of Venezuela, I just know that what he really wants is to be president for life. We can go back to 1) appeasement of dictators, 2) using bright orange carrots, or 3) have a grand fiesta. For this engagement, I need this Oscar de la Renta Lace Dress ($4,990). It is caribbean teal with red lace overlay, strapless sweetheart neckline and a pleated skirt, which screams, “let’s party like we’re teenagers again.” Oh, yes, I’d shamelessly dangle an invitation to the Lincoln bedroom, too; he’d pretend he’s not interested but trust me, he is.

7. One last dance with Old Fidel
It’s time for a new strategy in Cuba. Look, the guy is 82 and waiting to exhale. He once wrote and expressed admiration for President Roosevelt. Also, he reportedly has an estimated net worth of $550 million. Now, I say we tap into that 12 year old boy’s old feelings again and help him spend his money. I think a Valentino Red Optic Print Dress ($695) would be great for my meeting with the octogenarian leader. The dress is purple with multicolor optic print, bateau neckline, sheer long sleeves, cuffed in viscose. Unless there’s a hurricane, this would be appropriate for Cuba’s hot and sunny weather. Oh, he’ll come around to my strategy, most of his old buddies are now dead. Besides, every old bastard comes around when death is a season away (no offense intended).

8. The Axis of Evil Plus
Good old John Bolton. As if the Axis of Evil was not enough, he had to propose an expanded Axis of Evil with Cuba, Libya and Syria as players. So, at a distant chance that he might become McCain’s Chief of Something, I probably should mention Libya (sorry, I’m not up for discussion about Syria today). Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi is the longest serving head of government (since 1969 when I was like, 2 years old). He was born into a peasant family, but went to a university and graduated with high grades (what did I say about wanting to be leader for life, huh?). He is not immune to the charm strategy. He was once wrapped around a little finger by the Iron Butterfly, when she negotiated to stop Libya's backing of the separatist Moro National Liberation Front in the Philippines. You should know that he also gave her oil at a low, friendship price. Gee, very nice of him, huh? He’s now 66, and he needs a lot of attention after having been an international pariah for decades (skin, eyebrows, you know, the works). Like Kim Jong Il, he is presumably also worried about that hair stuff. No problemo. My guiding principle is that every problem is an opportunity. To demonstrate that I am not a big spender, I am ready to reuse the Andy The-Anh Cowl-Back Gown ($1,085) in Tripoli after I used it in Iran. But hey, you never know with these old dictators. So as fail-safe strategy, I still would like to buy this Heidi Weisel Strapless Dress ($1,995) (red, sweetheart neckline, pleated trumpet skirt, silk faille). This would show that I’m not only dead serious but also fun.

9. Afghnistan, Pakistan and all the –stans
What to wear, oh, what to wear there? Should I go ethnic here? I really am not looking forward to wearing a burqa. There’s a Ralph Lauren Black Label Cashmere Beaded-Neck Gown ($1,798) that's to die for; I could use it to shock and awe my hosts. Never mind whether I can use this there or not, ok? Bottom line - I need one black gown for after hour-fun. Now for photo-ops and actual work, I would like this Dolce & Gabbana Double Breasted-Skirtsuit ($3,895). Since I intend to use this for my working trips in all the –stans in South Central Asia, this should be a bargain.

10. Iraq, oh, Iraq of Dreams!
Joe Klein wrote today about a meeting between General Petraeus and Senator Obama in Baghdad last July, “the Senator from Illinois had laid down his marker: if elected President, he would be in charge.” May I remind you that if I am so blessed to be appointed the 67th Secretary of State who is four heartbeats away from the presidency, I will be in charge of the largest embassy in the world, also (plus some 250+ embassies and consulates). I absolutely dig that Neiman Marcus Exclusive Taffeta Skirtsuit ($398) because it screams “I have arrived, baby.” Gotta get that. I also need shoes, bags, shiny accessories, hair and make-up, and sparkles also, and perhaps even one big item - like a Gulfstream G650. I mean really, do I have to fly on a reconfigured 757 when I become Secretary of State? I'll explain all the details later and my next wish list right after I get the keys to the 7th Floor.

In closing, I just want to tell you that in some elite parts of the world, the ruling leaders and dictators would not even give me a minute, much less time to negotiate about this or that if they thought I bought my clothes off the rack at Walmart (can you image how Hu Jintao would react if he sees that my clothes were made in Guangzhou?). As I confront our many challenges in various hot spots around the world, it is extremely important to look like the champion of the less than blessed countries around the globe, to appear strong and competent, and most especially, to not look like we're, you know, broke. "Spend, baby, spend!" is my new mantra in this disastrous new world. But first, I need your help to get me to the 7th Floor.

To all the smart FS02s-FS04s in the Foreign Service out there, here’s a deal for you. If you help me become 67th, I will take care of you, guys. Lots of positions up for grabs right now. You never know when you might get picked to be Undersecretary of Blahs, Official Spokesman, or Ambassadors to Nowhere. Leap-frog your careers! Skip the promotion boards! Support the right candidate! Support my wardrobe bailout! And don’t forget - VOTE, er, lobby for Diplopundit to be the 67th Secretary of State! Campaign (appointment) pledge will follow, I think. Contact Senator McCain here and Senator Obama here.


T. Greer said...

Ah, no Robert Gates? The guys has diplomatic history AND is the only guy in Washington who has the grit (and evil stare) to get State the money it needs.

Can't you please add him to the poll?

~T. Greer, voting fro Bill Richardson if you can't...

DS said...

Hi TG - sorry can't tweak the poll after voting has started.

I think he would be great for State but if he is asked to stay by the next administration, I suspect that it would be to continue the work he has been doing at DOD. He seems to be enjoying high approval from both sides of the aisle, so I can't imagine him being shifted to another department to start anew. Of course, this is more tea-leaves reading on my part.