Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler is standing behind a Facebook post targeting Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for wearing thigh-high boots and a short dress.
At a Monday press conference, the 70-year-old fashion critic answered questions about his policing of Arizona’s first female senator’s outfit: a pink-and-purple dress with beige, thigh-high boots, which he published in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Zeiger posted Sinema’s image to his professional Facebook page with the quote, “What newly elected AZ Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema wore to work.” The caption reads, “Who is that Senator who accompanied new Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema (D) as the senator took the Senate floor? No one seemed to notice. You can see him in this photo and others. He represents these out-of-state senators instead of us, the people of Alabama. Can you see him? I am exploring running against him next year. Who is it?”
The commissioner’s post was an unforeseen endorsement of Sinema, 42, the country’s first openly bisexual congresswoman. Followers called him “sad, pathetic” and “insecure.” Other remarks read, “I’m a little concerned by how obsessed you are about a woman wearing thigh high boots and a mini skirt” and “Do you really belong in government? You sound like a high-schooler for which every class is DRAMA class.”
On Monday, the official explained to reporters that he was actually trying to slam an Alabama Democratic senator, his potential opponent in the 2020 Senate elections.
“In the picture, you can see Alabama Sen. Doug Jones,” Zeigler said, referring to a blurry image of Jones at the bottom of the photo. “Now, I have a collection I’m building of Doug Jones photos. … the wording of my post was Doug Jones does not represent the people of Alabama, he represents the out-of-state senators. And continue to draw that distinction.”
Zeigler said it was a mistake to post the photo ahead of his press conference. When a reporter asked if it was acceptable for Zeigler’s followers to call Sinema a “prostitute” and a “stripper,” he responded, “No it’s not,” but that it was impossible to delete every single negative comment.
The reporter asked Zeigler whether he later edited his Facebook comments and he admitted to deleting the words “Inappropriate attire.” However, according to the Alabama Political Reporter, Zeiger also deleted a sentence calling Sinema an “out-of-state looney tune.”
— De Plorabus Unum (@TedCornwell) January 27, 2019
“This was a post about Doug Jones,” repeated Zeigler. “Interestingly, it never said the words ‘she’ or ‘her’…”
Representatives from Sinema’s office did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s interview request. In an email, Zeigler reiterated to Yahoo Lifestyle that his remarks were specifically about Jones.
On Tuesday, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer John Archibald wrote on Alabama.com, “I mean, the thought of Zeigler criticizing somebody else’s fashion is like – it’s like me criticizing another dude’s wardrobe, like the poorly dressed pot calling a couture kettle inappropriate. It’s like the Penguin dishing about Catwoman’s looks, like Gilligan criticizing Mary Ann’s pies. But it would show nothing but a batty old coot revealing himself to be a batty old coot. Surprise!”
In 2003, Sinema participated in an antiwar protest wearing a pink tutu. According to PolitiFact, the future congresswoman called it “an expression of creativity and of self.”
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