When Ann Romney wore a designer T-shirt for a TV interview in May, the media made sure to highlight the price.
“Ann Romney’s $990 T-shirt Is Indicative of a Tone-Deaf Campaign,” blared a Washington Post web headline online. “Designer of Ann Romney’s $1K Shirt Says It’s Off the Rack,” reported ABC News. “Ann Romney’s $990 shirt — Worth It?” asked Politico. In June, the media were still buzzing over the shirt. “Her look was rarely more of-the-moment than on ‘CBS This Morning’ last month, when Mrs. Romney worea $990 Reed Krakoff blouse emblazoned with an exotic bird that winged its way toward her right breast,” wrote the New York Times. “That turnout provoked criticism, with viewers chiding Mrs. Romney as insensitive to the economic struggles of ordinary Americans and, for that matter, to the prickly issue of her husband’s personal wealth.”
In contrast, Michelle Obama’s designer duds for the inauguration have drawn little speculation over their price. (Some of the pieces were custom-made, so it’s impossible to know exactly how much they cost.) Google “Michelle Obama inauguration outfit price” and the most relevant result is from Enstarz — a tabloid-looking website I’ve never encountered before — that estimates one outfit worn by the first lady was about $10,000. No one else in the media, it seems, is curious about how much Mrs. Obama spent.