Sunday, May 04, 2008

Is she kidding? (Please tell me she's kidding.)

So, the latest New Jersey political circus is the three-ring divorce suit between former governor and self-proclaimed gay American Jim McGreevey and his estranged wife, Dina Matos.

For the record, I was shocked by his proclamation four years ago. I'd always thought he was Canadian. In all seriousness, anyone who'd had any view into the state's political community knew it all along. Nobody really cared, and certainly few thought it was reason to resign. We all knew that it was more about the shady political dealings of his friends, and that they were coming dangerously close to his doorstep. And we didn't like him because he had a sense of entitlement that led him to honestly believe that, for example, he was right for spending state money on personal things like having his parents accompany him on an official/sightseeing tour of Ireland.

Apparently Dina got the entitlement in the custody battle. She's suing him for upwards of $10,000 or more per month in alimony and child support, stating that she wanted to maintain the lifestyle of a first lady, which he'd taken away from her by resigning and maintaining a private life with a wealthy gentleman friend. They both claim to be broke, though both Jim and Dina wrote tell-all books and did high-profile promotional tours, visiting Oprah, Jon Stewart and Larry King, among others.

This whole thing smells weird. I understand she's angry, though I find it incredulous that she could have been the only person in New Jersey who didn't know he was gay. I understand why she wants to put the screws to him. But for five figures a month?

She justifies the sum by stating it cost her that much to maintain the first lady image when Jimbo was governor. Apparently she did so many public appearances that she'd have to change her outfit three times a day as not to be seen in the same clothes twice. As if there is so much media interest in New Jersey's first lady that anyone would notice. And as if there's so much interest in her as a private citizen that she has to uphold that image. Hey, lady -- Talbots makes good quality, classically-styled clothes. Keep wearing the ones you have.

Maybe she's suing the wrong party. I guess we should all be happy she's not looking to get a state salary as official clothes horse. Then again, maybe more of us should have gone out to buy those books, instead of surreptitiously reading them at Barnes & Noble and putting them back on the shelf. Perhpas if they'd made a little more money there, they wouldn't be bothering us with all this silliness.

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