Friday, March 14, 2008

Detroit's Mayor has Nowhere to Go

The New York Time's Nick Bunkley notes today there is increasing pressure on Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to resign (

With Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace and near immediate resignation earlier this week, many Detroit media folks have suggested Kilpatrick should follow Spitzer's example. What I haven't seen written is the reality that the Mayor has nowhere to go. He's burned almost all of his business connection bridges in Detroit; he never worked as an attorney, and even if he had, his law license is in jeopardy; he doesn't come from a wealthy family; his wife doesn't currently bring in a second income; his lovely home (the Manoogian Mansion), expensive cars and an immense security detail are paid for by the City; and his social and business calendar are filled with exciting, star-studded local, national and international travel and events also paid for by the City.

I think the Mayor should resign. But would I resign if I were him? He's already given up his dignity and credibility, but I don't think anything shy of a legal order can pry him away from his current life of luxury.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On Hermes Scarves and Soon-To-Be Governor Patterson

Was that an Hermes scarf Silda was wearing at her husband's resignation press conference today? (If so, definitely not an Ann Taylor purchase!) My generous brother, Peter, bestows that ultimate fashion accessory on his dear sisters for their 50th birthday. For once, I wish I was older! Until then, I'll have to borrow from my three (much older) sisters. In the meantime, I suspect Silda will be avoiding the press conference scene for awhile. (BTW, Detroit's first lady Carlita Kilpatrick's outfit at last night's state of the city address must have tumbled out of John Travolta's closet from Saturday Night Fever: white suit and black ruffled shirt. Thankfully, she never made any famous disco dance poses.)

Kudos to new New York Governor David Patterson! Not for being the first black governor of New York, as the media consistently point out, but for his amazing accomplishments as a man who is blind. My dear friend and client, Cynthia Kidder, founder of Band of Angels (, has taught me so much about viewing people with physical and cognitive impairments. "Focus on the sameness, not the differences!" Accordingly, Mr. Patterson should be held to the same high standards that a governor role commands. That doesn't mean we can't celebrate his accomplishments, though.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hmmm...What to Wear to a Public Humiliation?

I did a double take yesterday when I received a WSJ news blast that New York Governor and famed corruption crusading former NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was being investigated for soliciting a prostitute. (Kwame Kilpatrick thanks you for the breather, Mr. Spitzer.) Watching the press conference with Mr. Spitzer's cloaked apology, I couldn't help but feel pain for his attractive wife, Silda.

Public apologies over real or alleged marital infidelities seem to be all the rage these days. So much so that it appears high profile, married women may need a public humiliation outfit in their closet - just in case. Makes me recall an interview a few years back with the CEO of Ann Taylor (one of my favorite stores). She said while Ann Taylor Loft customers might ask, "What do I feel like wearing today?" Ann Taylor shoppers are more concerned with having the appropriate attire. They ask "Who am I meeting with today?" Can't you just envision a woman explaining to the Ann Taylor sales clerk that she needs an outfit that complements a type of public death? Funereal but not necessarily black; stylish but not too trendy. Something that looks good on TV and You Tube but will also garner sympathy and perhaps even a few compliments from fashion writers.

With her black slacks, teal blue jacket and pearls, Ms. Spitzer ( I think she dropped the Mrs. yesterday) can say mission accomplished.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Michelle Obama and Jackie O

A recent Newsweek cover has a picture of Michelle Obama in a lovely, sleeveless purple sheath. I thought it was interesting, though, that she would be photographed in a sleeveless dress, especially in February (knowing that Illinois' winter has been no kinder than Michigan's). Alas, Ms. Obama's handlers must be doing their homework. Last weekend's Saturday Wall Street Journal did a favorable fashion piece comparing Michelle Obama to Jackie O. Sure enough, in photo comparisons between Michelle and Jackie, Jackie is featured in a sleeveless dress almost identical to the one Michelle is wearing in Newsweek. Coincidence? O no.