Cindy McCain goes crazy for patriotic lapel pins

, McCain lets her lapels do the talking. She gets her flair from  Ann Hand, the go-to, Washington-based jeweler known for kitting out spouses of politicos (Karl Rove's wife Darby and Colin Powell's wife, Alma) and Capitol Hill players such as Madeleine Albright.

Ap2492_2 Her best seller is the "Liberty Eagle," which Hillary Rodham Clinton famously wore on her lapel in 1998, when she defended her husband's indiscretions on the "Today" show. The $150 gold-plated pin depicts an ornery-looking eagle perched protectively on a pearl. Betty Ford, Barbara Bush and Tipper Gore have all worn the bird, which has come to be known as the "Hillary pin."

In 2000, Cindy McCain sported the "Liberty Eagle" when her husband won the New Hampshire Republican primary and pundits wondered why she chose an accessory associated with a feisty female Democrat. The eagle pin hasn't been spotted since.

Nowadays, McCain smartly alternates between her crystal "USMC" and "NAVY" pins -- both pay tribute to her two sons' chosen military branches. There's also her "Blue Star" pin, which is traditionally worn by kin of soldiers in active duty. She sometimes sneaks this one onto the collar of a turtleneck. Then there's her blinged-out rhinestone "McCAIN 2008" flair.

"Most people wear just one," Hand says of the $45 brooches McCain favors. "But it's a very personal decision."

Apparently, it can be a difficult one too. In March, on a visit to the White House, McCain sported three pins at once. Was she excessive or indecisive? Either way

Politics & Style
06/20/2008 21:49

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