The New York Times has some details on Dominique Strauss-Kahn's $3,000 Sofitel hotel suite and First Class airline ticket on Air France:
William Murray, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund, said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had paid $525 for the room, according to a Travelocity reservation receipt provided by Mr. Strauss-Kahn's office. Mr. Murray said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had stayed at the Sofitel several times before, and that the I.M.F. had not expected to reimburse him for the cost. Mr. Murray added that the I.M.F. had paid for a business-class seat on Air France for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, but that he received an upgrade.
Fair enough. But it's hard to erase first impressions. The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, echoing a point I made first here, writes:
It's almost enough to give socialism a bad name....
at the time of the reported incident on Saturday, Strauss-Kahn was resident in a $3,000-a-night luxury suite at a posh midtown Manhattan hotel. We also know that when he was taken into police custody hours later, aboard a Paris-bound jetliner that was moments from takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport, police found him comfortably ensconced in the first-class cabin.
I didn't think this was how socialists were supposed to roll.
It's worth remembering, too, that flying first class and staying in what the Times describes as a "lavish" suite (though not so lavish as the Sulzberger estate at Hillandale) isn't a crime, and shouldn't be, so long as it is done with one's own money rather than money extracted from taxpayers. A coach class, budget hotel rapist is just as bad as a first-class, luxury hotel rapist. Even so, there's something about what the European press has described as a "champagne Socialist" or "gauche caviar" that touches a nerve.