The so-called “media” and Democrats are on the warpath.
They are pushing for Kellyanne Conway to be sanctioned over comments she made promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.
But the dirty little secret is Michelle Obama committed the same violations.
In a Fox interview, Kellyanne Conway blurted out that people should go out and buy items from Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.
Her comments were in response to Nordstrom dropping Ivanka’s brand.
Conway’s remarks appeared to run afoul of federal law.
The Washington Examiner reported:
“Experts immediately argued that Conway’s self-admitted “free commercial” for Trump’s clothing line violated a federal ethics law prohibiting federal employees from using their public office to make endorsements of products.
The statute in question states, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations.”
In an interview with NPR, law professor Kathleen Clark explained, “The broader rule is that government employees shouldn’t use public office for private gain. They shouldn’t use it for their own personal private gain or for somebody else’s private gain.”
While Conway’s remarks may not have been as thoughtful as one would like, the media blew this up as if it were the biggest scandal in political history.
Conway’s remarks were a throwaway line about a brand of clothing.
The statute in question exists so federal employees can’t be seen as having conflicts of interests by endorsing products for benefit in exchange for political access or favors.
The entire affair was completely overblown.
But the media glossed over the fact Michelle Obama would routinely boost the sales of fashion designers, some of whom were major Democratic supporters.
The Examiner also reports:
“In an interview with Vogue, First Lady Michelle Obama explicitly acknowledged that one of the questions she considered when choosing fashion designers was, “Can I give them a boost?”
According to Vogue, Obama remarked, “There are definitely designers that I love, people I love to work with. And who they are as people matters. Are they good people? Do they treat their staff well? Do they treat my staff well? Are they young? Can I give them a boost?”
The implication here, of course, is that Michelle Obama deliberately exploited her position as first lady to “boost” the sales of private businesses.
Consider for instance Michelle Obama’s much-celebrated decision to repeatedly sport clothing from J. Crew over the course of her time in the White House. In light of her comments to Vogue, the fact that J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler donated $35,000 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2012, according to FEC records, and the fact that J. Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons (also an Obama donor) explicitly credited the first lady with a “huge lift” in sales, ethics crusaders targeting Conway should be equally upset with the actions of Obama.
No, Obama did not go on television and urge Americans to buy the products of specific designers. She didn’t have to. Her impact on fashion designers’ bottom lines was well-documented. According to the Huffington Post, a 2010 study by the Harvard Business Review found that “Obama’s wardrobe created $2.7 billion in value for 29 brands worn over the course of 189 public appearances from November 2008 to December 2009.”
Her ability to create sales spikes was a widely-accepted fact.”
Of course, the media skips over any improprieties committed by Michelle Obama.
She is their number two hero behind Barack Obama.
But the double standard isn’t going unnoticed.