Sarah Palin’s Expensive Clothes
The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74. The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
Jim Treacher thinks all these stories are a distraction from the real issues. And, of course, they are. But these are the sort of stories that seem to resonate with voters.
Matt Yglesias wonders why these expenditures are legal, noting “this seems to open the door to candidates using party committee money as a personal slush fund.” Kevin Drum snarks that, “I’m sure that after the campaign is over the RNC plans to donate the clothing to homeless shelters in small towns around the country where they don’t have stores like Saks or Barney’s.” Really, this is no worse than Al Gore spending tens of thousands having Naomi Wolfe tell him to wear “earth tones.”
Why, precisely, it costs that kind of money to outfit Sarah Palin in a different red outfit every day, I haven’t a clue. Presumably, it’s more expensive to dress a woman — McCain and Obama are pretty much required to wear only dark suits and solid white or blue shirts — but this is expensive. Not to mention the fact that down-to-earth hockey moms — and pit bulls, for that matter — don’t shop at Saks and Neiman Marcus. Then again, they’re not typically plucked out of virtual obscurity and thrust into the national spotlight right before a national political convention, either.