Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Said, THIS Is What Draws Outrage?

From Politico:

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.

Marc Ambinder reports that it's Republicans who are registering the most disgust with this story.

RNC donors and at least one RNC staff member have e-mailed me tonight to share their utter  (and not-for-attribution) disgust at the expenditures. [...]

The Democrats are going to have a lot more fun with this than is prudent, but the heat for this story will come from Republicans who cannot understand how their party would do something this stupid ... particularly (and, it must be said, viewed retroactively) during the collapse of the financial system and the probable beginning of a recession.

But perhaps the more telling expression of outrage came from a viewer of Morning Joe this morning whose criticism focused more on Sarah Palin's hypocrisy:

This is from Pat in Ohio. She says, "Mika, I'm a woman and for Sarah Palin to say she's an average everyday woman like me while she's wearing $12,000 suits is utter nonesense and pure B.S."

Pat's anger carried over to poor Mika who had defended the expenditure:

"And for you to sit there and say there is nothing wrong with the campaign spending $150,000 on wardrobe for three months is truly offensive. What, they couldn't spend $300 for a  nice suit? Maybe you need to come down to earth and realize that the majority of women don't make $150,000 a year and we resent it when you tell us our $300 suits aren't professional enough."

Snap. Jed has the video:

The amazing thing to me is that anyone actually bought into this idea of Sarah Palin as everywoman. Her whole "Joe sixpack" thing was so clearly a cynical ploy to appeal to the real "Joe sixpacks" who value that connection with the plain speakin' politicians. The fact that the RNC would spend so heavily on Palin's wardrobe reveals the hollowness of this image, both because it implies that Palin was merely an actress in need of a costume (duh!) and because it pulls back the curtain on Palin's every woman facade.

On a larger level, this lays bare the hollowness and cynicism with which The Republican Party regularly exploits the fears and values of the white working class for electoral gain. Is this story, of all things, beginning to wake people up to this?

Tags: RNC, Sarah Palin, wardrobe (all tags)

Comments

43 Comments

This doesn't surprise me

Republicans only care about "character issues", of which this is definitely one. Not understanding basic policy issues or even the Constitutional role of the VP doesn't even show up as a blip on the radar.

by s5 2008-10-22 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: This doesn't surprise me

From the NY Times:

"The Republican National Committee confirmed the reimbursements to Mr. Larson, but said that the clothing bought for Ms. Palin and her family would eventually be given to charity. Mr. Larson did not return messages left for him today at his business in Minnesota."

I guess they mean charity auction cause if I go to 6th and San Julian on Skid Row in Downtown LA and see someone wearing a pink chiffron gown, I'm gonna post a pic.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-10-22 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done

I can accept the principle of appearance being important in politics, women's clothing costing more than men's, and so forth, but the sheer dollar amount is just way beyond the bounds of reasonableness.

If she wore a new outfit every single day - and seriously, you can give the same stump speech at every single stop, but you can't wear the same outfit twice or the world will end? - that would be roughly $2,500 of clothing every single day.

Then again, with the state of the economy, it's nice to know that someone is doing their part to prop up the struggling retail sector.  Sarah Palin is a one-woman stimulus package, and no Rich Lowry, that's not how I mean it.

by Steve M 2008-10-22 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done

Great post!  Thanks for the laugh.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-22 12:59PM | 0 recs
Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Said

Yea! You can impune a serving U.S. Senator patriotism, suggest there are speacial places that have REAL Americans! Lie about being found guilty of Offical misconduct and abuse of power, Lie about  a bridge to know where, consort and encourage AN ORGANIZATION that advocates Alaska independence, NO PROBLEM. But buy some fancy designer outfits now that an outrage! Repiglicans what can I say?

by eddieb 2008-10-22 12:06PM | 0 recs
ITS ELITIST!

by sepulvedaj3 2008-10-22 12:19PM | 0 recs
Funny, I have to laugh at this...

It's about the ONLY sympathy my girlfriend has shown towards Palin...

"I think she has to look good, you know...."

It's that shopping gene thing!

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:06PM | 0 recs
i think its more

that the GOP made it OK to fling poo at john edwards for a $400 haircut that they got into this mode that they are now faced to defend because now its "one of them" doing it. And the hypocrisy is so fuckin ridiculous that they cant even stomach it.

Its not the spending, its that they made fun of and used firepower against this before and now its a bitter pill to swallow. Too bitter in some cases because its more than the suit, its the fact that the GOP is so shallow and disgusting that some of the holdouts are now adding to the backlash.

Remember, there wasnt a lot of this when Cindy wore a house (or the cost of a house) at the RNC. But it was her money. John Edwards even repaid the campaign. But now the precious palin does it too?

Its like running into a brick wall and joe six pack is tired of trying to drive around or climb over the same walls he was used by the GOP to build.

Shit, meet the fan.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-10-22 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

The amazing thing to me is that anyone actually bought into this idea of Sarah Palin as everywoman.

Same with Dubya.  He puts on this aw shucks I'm just a good ole boy from Texas act, but come on, he went to Yale.  His family's from Connecticut.

It's all just an act for Republicans.

Except for Huckabee, that guy isn't faking.

by Skaje 2008-10-22 12:11PM | 0 recs
isnt huck

more frightening because he isnt faking?

by sepulvedaj3 2008-10-22 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things

Bush said to go shopping!

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-10-22 12:12PM | 0 recs
I'm Sympathetic Here

I'm sympathetic here for the Palins because the GOP essentially came to them at the last minute and said, "Accept the VP position."

Being a governor with a number of mouths to feed, I don't see how she would have the clothing expense budget of say a Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton.

I guess people are smarting not at the fact that the RNC expensed the Palins' wardrobe but the total cost. Okay, that I concede. If they were trying to make her look good, they went too far and spent way too much money.

But I disagree with those who think that she should have paid for her all own clothes on her own.

Poor thing. I'm being to feel sorry for her. I kinda knew the sh*t would eventually hit the fan with her after a while...

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-10-22 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm Sympathetic Here

I don't know about you but if I donated to the RNC and then found out that money went to dress Palin and not to electing McCain or House/Senate members, I'd be pissed beyond belief.

What did she wear as governor?  Why wasn't that good enough?

by auboy2006 2008-10-22 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm Sympathetic Here

If I donated to the DNC and found that monies were used for suits for Biden (let's say), I'm not sure how I'd feel.

It would depend on the cost.

If they spent $35,000 on 7 suits, I would feel a little used, yes, but I would also say what the hell I donated the money I could care less.

But I wouldn't donated anymore money.

So maybe the RNC donating peeps are feelin' a bit used.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-10-22 12:39PM | 0 recs
I actually find the flying her kids around...

On the state of Alaska tab MORE offensive.

This is RNC money, they can do whatever they hell they like...

It also shows just how out of touch most of America is.

And, the pundits, feigning outrage about this?

I wonder how much Kati Couric or Chris Matthews' wife spends on clothes per year?

Shoot, that is probably Cindy McCain's regular monthly outlay for clothes?

These are the dirty little secrets the Republicans don't want the base to know.

Just HOW rich their elite rulers are.

Just HOW great the distance is between them and their masters.

That is why they wrapped W in this sheen of "rancher cowboy" to sell him to the knuckledraggers that bought his everyman act.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:20PM | 0 recs
but does couric

spend her wardrobe on cbs' tab? or matthews on nbc's? Does cindy spend from McCain's election funds?

This is only made worse because they used donations for the campaign to dress somneone

by sepulvedaj3 2008-10-22 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: but does couric

Interesting question.

My answer is, for Couric, maybe?

Because, if I was negotiating Courics contract, I MIGHT have put in an expense rider for clothes.

BTW, it's all a write-off for these folks, you know.  

Expenses on their taxes.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:27PM | 0 recs
A bit off topic here

But, it turns out that a percentage of Fortune 500 CEO's have a rider in their contracts that the corporation pays for the income taxes as an expense item.

Yes, there are VERY different rules for the rich.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:30PM | 0 recs
"Poor Mika"

That woman has been getting more and more annoying with her "Sarah Palin is a mom just like me so she must be great!" bullshit.

by Bush Bites 2008-10-22 12:30PM | 0 recs
of all the stories...

Yes, this one would hit home to most Americans because EVERYONE can understand the cost of clothing, their salaries, their pocketbooks/wallets.  It is plain hypocrisy that doesn't require a whole lot of analysis and in depth thinking or pundit spin.  The Rethugs have gone after "average" Americans with their main street, apple pie image, "pro America", patriotic picture painting, and THIS STORY is the slap in the face to all of it.

Don't get me wrong.  I think it is all bullshit, and I posted the story last night.  But I saw it for what it was--an easy, not too hard to think about story, that would make it's way to the late night news for ratings.  

Believe me, I care more about our military being in harm's way or my husband being shipped off to Iraq, but the reality is, as much as it disgusts me, not many people want to hear about that.  At this point with two weeks left, I'm all about "whatever it takes."  If it helps bring Palin down and McCain with her, then there's a greater chance our military gets out of that middle eastern quagmire.

by NavyBlueWife 2008-10-22 12:32PM | 0 recs
Kind of funny, tho.

Usually this stuff comes out to bite us--Clinton and Edwards haircuts, for example.

Nice to see Repubs getting on the bad end of this ticky tacky crap for once.

by Bush Bites 2008-10-22 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Kind of funny, tho.

Yes, this is exactly the kind of crap they salivate about...

Credit default swaps...their eyes glaze over.

$75,000 dropped at Needless Mark-up, JACKPOT Coverage!!!

I hope they find the store clerks, and ask them what she bought, etc.....

Kind of kills the socialism story when the middle class contributors to McCain's campaign are paying for shopping sprees at Neimans...

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:36PM | 0 recs
Bingo

and the GOP pumped so much energy in railing against the money of the clintons/edwards that now the poor republicans are realizing the GOP slime are a bunch of hypocrites.

I think this just helps shatter the GOP party. even if it seems so trivial and absolutely ridiculous.

The GOP of 2008 under McCain/Palin is finally exposed for what they are, power hungry assholes who walk over "joe six pack" and only appeal to them when its needed (for elections)

by sepulvedaj3 2008-10-22 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Kind of funny, tho.

Yep, imagine the crap that Hillary Clinton would have gotten, spending more than the average American's house cost, on clothes for the campaign trail, in two months, no less. The Republicans would have been all over her.

by magnoliagirl 2008-10-22 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

The Republican MSM is not interested in substantive issues.  Not usually.

by baghdadjoe 2008-10-22 12:38PM | 0 recs
But even the "empty suit" hypothesis

obscures the fact that the GOP program is Creeping Fascism.

by Paul Goodman 2008-10-22 12:39PM | 0 recs
Sarah Palin Has Done And Said, $150K shopping
Makes you wonder "What is a Republican".
For over 25 years since Reagan in his campaign against Jimmy Carter, the GOP has yelled and screamed that:
  1. Democrats are elitist snobs (no matter that the GOP is made up of people who regularly donate $hundreds of thousands of dollars-i.e. Billionaires for Bush."
  2. Democrats are cowards who will surrender the USA to an "enemy" at the first chance they get (no matter that almost all Democrat leader have military service and viturally no Republican leaders ever serve in the US military or combat roles).
  3. The Democrats are a bunch of perverts and homosexuals and the GOP are out to protect the morals of the nation (never mind that millions of Democrats have loving families with happy children who they love, nuture, and educate).
  4. Democrats engage in premartial sex, teen sex, and unprotected sex to spread STD's to the rest of the population (all of a sudden its now OK with the GOP that Ms. Palin has a pregnant teenage daughter).
  5. Democrats support terror groups (no matter that thousands of Democrats serve bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan).
NOW WE HAVE IT THAT MS. PALIN HAS GONE SHOPPING AND TURNED IN OVER $150,000 OF PURCHASES---name me any Democrats who have jobs that allow them to shop to that level at Neiman Marcus and SAKS.
These guys are disgusting.
by hddun2008 2008-10-22 12:40PM | 0 recs
Ok...

name me any Democrats who have jobs that allow them to shop to that level at Neiman Marcus and SAKS.

Barbara Streisand?

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

CAMPAIGN DRESSING

Big issue:  McCain campaign spent $150,000 on clothes for VP nominee Sarah Palin, purchased at high end stores. Big deal. How does this differ from buying campaign signs, or installing Greek style columns?  On the one hand, I'm glad to have the McCain campaign impeded by a phony issue. However, distractions such as this and the William Ayres terrorist implication and the ACORN foolishness have no place in in serious campaigns.

And, in this case, buying the clothes for Palin is clearly relevant and proper since she is mainly a  campaign decoration.

homer  www.altara.blogspot.com

by altara 2008-10-22 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

Ahh, you guys are way off on this one.

Her husband works the north slope - that is who she is and where she comes from.  

The fact that she now has the success to wear these kinds of clothes is irrelevant to Republicans - who all see themselves as future rags to riches.

This is why Republicans for the most part don't care that Obama made over $4 mil. last year.

Also, the thing about Edward's $400 haircut is that it was effeminate. (that means gay for those of you in Yuba City)

by dMarx 2008-10-22 12:45PM | 0 recs
I want to comment seriously on something missing..

From all the fun we are having with this.

Folks, we are all probably shocked at this, because for almost all of us here, that much money spent on clothes is unfathomable?

Well, here's a clue. That is chicken-feed for most of these cats.

The REAL dirty secret here they don't want the base to know is HOW RICH the rich really are, because a very high percentage of the rich are Republicans?

And, they are NOT shocked at this dollar figure in the least.

The folks that supported Bush, the corporate controllers of this corrupt regime want that fact kept secret.

This is pocket change for these criminals.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done...

I hope the Democrats wouldn't jump on this story.  As the diarist said, "This is what draws outrage?"

I consider it part of advertising.  You can't put a candidate up there in tattered clothes.  Their clothes should fit well and not be a distraction.

I can just imagine the water cooler talk... "OMG, did you see those rags she was wearing in the debates?"

We should leave this garbage to the "knuckledraggers" described above.  There are much more real issues to expend energy on.

by wblynch 2008-10-22 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done...

Oh, bull.
You can buy a hell of a nice wardrobe that will last for years without having to spend $150,000.
She's supposed to be a hockey mom, not Cindy McCain and her $300,000 dress, that's just vulgar.

I have no problem with people pointing out blatant hypocrisy from the McCain/Palin camp.
Though it's getting so frequent these days...

by skohayes 2008-10-22 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done...

Very true, I agree, that there are much more important issues; however, Palin and her ilk have done nothing but define her as "of the people," "a real American," whose husband "works with his hands," and this is a very concrete example of her hypocrisy. I just can't believe she is stupid enough to dress in outrageously expensive designer clothes and think that no one is going to catch on.  

by magnoliagirl 2008-10-22 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done...

I couldn't disagree with you more.  True, it seems like a trivial issue, but it really goes to show how out of touch the Republicans are, and it's a topic that can resonate with the voters.  As has been said elsewhere in this diary, lots of folks' eyes just glaze over when confronted with "real" issues, but this one hits close to home.  98% of households in the US don't even make 150,000 per year before taxes, and 99% don't have 150k after taxes.  The thought that one person can spend that much in less than 3 months on a wardrobe is disgusting.  Most families have to support their entire household for an entire year on less than half of that.

So, if that's the issue that resonates with voters, so be it.

by slynch 2008-10-22 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done...

Let me add that literally millions of folks are being tossed out of their HOMES right now for being in default on mortgages far less than that.  There's something truly wrong in this country when some folks can spend more on clothing in under three months than some people spend on their houses--and still LOSE THEM.

by slynch 2008-10-22 03:12PM | 0 recs
in all fairness

they keep coming out with new caribu barbie outfits!  plus with all the accessories, the tanning bed, the litany of guns, the douchebag husband, it's a doll lovers dream!

by Doug Tuttle 2008-10-22 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: in all fairness

"The douchebag husband"  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Still laughing over that one.

by scytherius 2008-10-22 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

I do enjoy the contrast with Michelle Obama, who has certainly worn some designer clothes, but who also is famous for wanting to wear, and pulling off, simple, "off the rack" clothes, such as the White House/Black Market dress she recently wore on The View, which cost $148. Her confidence and practicality and lack of vanity, to wear such relatively inexpensive clothes, is refreshing. And MO's inner beauty is such that she looks great no matter what she is wearing.

That said, this further exposes Palin and her handlers as complete, total, transparent hypocrites. The worst part is that I am amazed Palin's ensembles are designer clothes. They actually look, kind of, every day, and I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that they were cheap. What a waste of donors' money.

by magnoliagirl 2008-10-22 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

I don't want to be sexist, but it is nice that Michele Obama can look absolutely stunning in $100 outfits, while Sarah Palin can only pale in comparison wearing a $150,000 wardrobe.

by slynch 2008-10-22 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done ...

I am so waiting to see Tina Fey jump all over this.

The Republican rising star is actually a shooting star. Self-immolation becomes her.

by tentakles 2008-10-22 04:21PM | 0 recs
Dumb and dumber

The only connection between Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber is their anti-intellectualism.  To be subpar in the brain arena, to them, is a sign that you're one of them.

They relish their lack of sophistication, and marinate in their collective ignorance.

This is the only reason why Republicans of 2008 are still pulling 40% in the polls.  Clearly they should be polling much much lower than that.  The cynical deception (along with those who buy it hook line and sinker) is the real threat to American democracy.

by Sieglinde 2008-10-22 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Of All The Things Sarah Palin Has Done And Sai

Argee that it's ridiculous that this is an issue!

But for partly opposite reasons. I don't care what she wears. I actually like the way they have dressed her out. But still, what's really a shame is that a female candidates clothes generate so much ink and airtime in the first place.

We saw the same thing with Hillary Clinton -- except that her outfits weren't as nice. So, she was criticised for that in some quarters.

Let them wear whatever they want. This sort of criticism of a candidates wardrobe is silly. Whether they have spent too much or too little. Too many colours, not enough colours, too much cleavage, not enough etc.

One poster above noted that his girlfriend is sympathetic - "She has to look good." Yes, she does. It's because for women there is a higher standard for appearance. The men have to look good as well, but the standard isn't as high.

by carrieboberry 2008-10-23 03:46AM | 0 recs

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