I’m Hillary Clinton, and I approved this message

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

That’s good to know, Hillary, because the message I’m referring to shows two huge points about you: You know nothing about the global economy and have less than nothing in common with the rest of us. It also shows us one important thing about Donald Trump and his narcissism: Every time someone criticizes something about him in the public eye, his only response is that what he’s done is to say just how wonderful it, or he, is.

Although Hillary’s people believe the message is devastating to Donald Trump and his silly message of making America great again (you know, with jobs, economic growth and “what not” that he says is the best, greatest or something — all things the government can’t and won’t ever provide), the truth of the ad is in the underlying message.

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial by now. David Letterman is interviewing Donald Trump about his clothing line being sold at Macy’s at the time (Now I don’t know if the line is still in stores, because even if I was shopping at Macy’s, I would never buy something from Donald Trump. But that’s me), and Letterman keeps commenting about how the shirts and ties are not made in America, but rather overseas. As someone who spent years buying for private and chain store men’s retail, two things struck me immediately.

The first is that Trump is clueless when it comes to thinking on his feet when responding to criticism. In the ad, all Trump can do is sit there with either a smug, arrogant look on his face or, even sillier, say something along the intellectual line of, “They are wonderful shirts,” which in and of itself is a not a bad thing for this simple reason: The vast majority of the men in the United States can’t afford $75 shirts. But Trump never said that. And it frightens me that he couldn’t come up with it, particularly in a situation where the two men doing the interview have a collective shirt value pushing $500 or more with just the ones they were wearing at the time.

How much better would the interview have gone if Trump simply would have said, “You know, Dave, I designed my clothing line to be affordable so that people could have a dress shirt, tie or even a suit should they desire to wear one. And you know better than anyone that kind of apparel can’t be manufactured affordably in our country. They have to come from overseas.” Then he should have asked Letterman about his Ralph Lauren Black Label suit he was wearing that cost more than $2,000 at the time (Yes, I know the retail price since I worked for Polo/Ralph Lauren in the 1990s, AND the company made a — as Donald would say YUUUUGE — deal about who wore its suits) as a contrast to making affordable clothing for the masses.

But he didn’t.

Before we get to Hillary, kindly note that my 20-plus years of working men’s clothing — from $10 polyester shirts in the 1970’s to $5,000 suits in the 1990s — gives me this one understanding today: 90 percent to
95 percent of men’s clothing sold in the United States comes from overseas. It simply can’t be made here affordably or in a way stores could make a profit and stay in business. And yes, that includes David Letterman’s cherished line of Polo/Ralph Lauren — along with almost every piece of clothing from every brand name we all shop every day.

This brings us to Hillary, who obviously has no idea just what a global economy entails. The main gist of the Hillary ad is to somehow say that Donald Trump took the jobs of making the shirts and ties from his clothing line overseas to save money and make more money for himself and his company. You know, that evil profit thing. I hate to break it to you Hillary fans, those jobs don’t exist in our economy any longer. Gone are the days of $12 to $15 men’s apparel made in the good ol’ USofA. They went out with the leisure suit, which I’m ashamed to say I helped foist on the all-American male in my first job.

Before I moved here in 2000, my final job was in buying at one of the top men’s stores in the country, and it was impossible to find a dress shirt made in America that could retail under $50 to $60 or a tie for under $50. It was just the reality. And to man who makes 25,000 a year who’d like to put on a shirt and tie for an interview to help make his family’s life better, being able to buy a shirt and tie combo for 30 bucks is a very big deal.

But for someone like Hillary Clinton — who I would bet the farm hasn’t shopped for herself in decades — $18 shirts and $10 ties are for the little people. And now she’s telling us we need to manufacture them here so they’re unaffordable to average Americans? All this kind of thinking will do is cost us jobs and inflate the price of literally EVERYTHING we consume —because you’d be doubling to tripling (at a minimum) the cost of everyday items families need.

For the record Hillary: Your $12,500 Armani jacket? Yeah, it too is made overseas. I wonder how many good-paying American jobs that created?