[Updated] Palin's Clothes Waaaay more than $150,000. And SHE bought 'em, you betcha!

I humbly dedicate this diary to the tireless Nancy K.  I pray that she continues to treat us to her delightfully droll tales of the fantastic brilliance of Sarah Palin, Genius Woman Politician.  For more on the extent of her spectacular genius may I direct you all to vcalzone video-clip treat of the day: http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/11/5/2123 54/732

Now for my little dose of consumer Palinology, I turn to Newsweek's "How He Did It, 2008," the latest installment in NEWSWEEK's Special Election Project, which was first published in 1984. As in the previous editions, "How He Did It, 2008" is an inside, behind-the-scenes account of the presidential election produced by a special team of reporters working for more than a year on an embargoed basis and detached from the weekly magazine and Newsweek.com. Everything the project team learns is kept confidential until the day after the polls close.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/11/5/2123 54/732 This diary is sticking just to the content on Sarah, Superstar of Republican base.

As you all know, stunning Sarah got spiffed up some for her swell gig as Vanna White to McCain's Bob Barker.  We've all heard how she was shocked, shocked! by the cost of the threads.  The poor gal really wanted to wear her own jeans and elk skins.  

Well, not so much as it turns out.  Join me after the jump for "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and Sarah in a towel!

NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family--clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

A Palin aide said: "Governor Palin was not directing staffers to put anything on their personal credit cards, and anything that staffers put on their credit cards has been reimbursed, like an expense. Nasty and false accusations following a defeat say more about the person who made them than they do about Governor Palin."

 McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.

Other shocking (and very disturbing) Sara revelations in the Newsweek project include:

* The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. "Why would they try to make people hate us?" Michelle asked a top campaign aide.

* Palin launched her attack on Obama's association with William Ayers, the former Weather Underground bomber, before the campaign had finalized a plan to raise the issue. McCain's advisers were working on a strategy that they hoped to unveil the following week, but McCain had not signed off on it, and top adviser Mark Salter was resisting.

* At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys' club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. "I'll be just a minute," she said.

I'm guessing this is is still but the tip of the iceberg.  

And Nate has something that might be interesting as well...  http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/w hat-in-hell-happened-in-alaska.html

Update [2008-11-6 3:39:3 by January 20]: Elisabeth Bumiller has a comprehensive prelim on the Palin/McCain dust-up & brouhaha featuring everybody's bestest pal, the pit poodle of punditry, Bill Kristol @ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/us/politics/06mccain.html?hp

Tags: Sarah Palin (all tags)



Re: Palin's Clothes Waaaay more than $150,000. An
hey jan,
just for kicks- could you post how much all of the other candidates spent on clothes?
thanks - much appreciated!
by canadian gal 2008-11-05 05:46PM | 0 recs
The others

Well the other candidates spend their own money on their clothes so I don't see how the amount matters in any way.  Barack's suits retail for $700 - $800.  If you want to figure on the high-end and add another $700 for shoes, socks, shirt, tie & cufflinks, I guess $1,500 is quite possible.  So he'd only need to wear 100 complete outfits over a period of two months to get into the bottom end of Sarah's league.  

But I really don't see how it matters unless the DNC is paying for his clothes.

by January 20 2008-11-05 05:58PM | 0 recs

I'm sure over at redstate, you know the people who actually donated are screaming bloody murder over this.  funny how all the outrage about this issue comes from democrats with the rnc funding as the reason.

btw I'm still hoping to hear what biden and mccain's clothing budget was.  not snark, seriously.

by canadian gal 2008-11-05 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

You seem to think that I have some rundown on their personal expenses.  

by January 20 2008-11-05 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

no.  I'm simply hoping you'll get that you are (and many others) imposing a double standard.  btw this has nothing to do with politics, just sexism.

and ps- most fashion writers do not think that dressing and styling a fleece wearin, gun totin woman into a vp candidate is mucho dinero.  if I wasn't on my phone I would link some articles.

by canadian gal 2008-11-05 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

Cut, paste, link to your heart's content.  


by January 20 2008-11-05 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

I can't from my phone.  google Toronto star for starters.

by canadian gal 2008-11-05 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

The issue is not the clothes, the issue is that she shopped at extraordinarily expensive stores with insane markups as soon as she got the opportunity on the McCain campaign's dime. Can you possibly imagine what she would have done had she been Vice-President? President? Here's a hint, as governor for less than two years, she sent her entire family and friends on numerous plane trips, paid herself to live at her house, got her husband's contractor friends jobs building up the governor's mansion and much more.

Saks is not a store that you shop at to look fashionable, it is a store you shop at because you are a sucker who will spend insane amounts of money without caring.

I'm sorry if you see this as sexist, but if it were a man buying these kinds of clothes for his whole family, it would absolutely be an issue. It certainly was in Minnesota, and over a far lesser amount.

How have you not come around on this in all this time? Are you so obsessed with sexism that you cannot think rationally about someone completely corrupt and more ignorant than your typical college freshman?

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

Thanks vcalzone!

I was just going to ignore CG until she noticed this boldface bit in the above story:  

and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband.
 I'm dying to hear how her husband's clothes are my sexism.  

Of course this is not the first time I've been called a sexist by this commenter.  My last offense was equally appalling, as you can see from the endless examples of rampant sexism in all my diaries.  

by January 20 2008-11-05 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

please do ignore me.  as I will you from now on.  as to your past incruminations, I have no recollection of you other than a general idea that you were a pretty decent person and pretty funny.  I guess my memory failed me. ciao amigo.

by canadian gal 2008-11-05 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Right.

I still enjoy your posts, CG. You just baffle me on this one subject is all.

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 07:39PM | 0 recs
You are aware

that at least $40k of that was for Todd, not Sarah, aren't you?

by JJE 2008-11-05 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: You are aware

That was featured in boldface in my original post.  I pointed it out in my reply.  Alas it doesn't support the charge that I'm just a sexist pig so it remains ignored.  

by January 20 2008-11-05 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes Waaaay more than $150,000. An

Start here.  Much more than I spend at Goodwill, but nothing like $150k.

by username 2008-11-05 06:01PM | 0 recs

Excellent link.  Though I better cover my ass and note that Michelle wore a designer dress last night.  I don't recall the name, but it was an American designer.  I would expect it was less frugal than her usual attire.  Then again, she can afford to splurge for a... ahem, special occasion.

by January 20 2008-11-05 06:06PM | 0 recs
John Edwards spent $400 on a haircut

Or so I was told.

by JJE 2008-11-05 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards spent $400 on a haircut

Yes he did, and even by his supporters, it was considered pretty damn excessive. When Palin spends enough to pay the gross yearly salary of four people making miniumum wage for a couple of suits, it gets defended. So clearly you can see what a sexist double standard we have.

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards spent $400 on a haircut

It astonishes me that self-proclaimed feminists would defend someone who spent the equivalent of her family's net worth on designer clothes because that person was a woman. I can't believe anyone still has this image of Jane Jetson taking George's wallet to go to the mall. It's vanity, and in an elected official, it's an extraordinarily dangerous character trait.

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 07:20PM | 0 recs
This is the argument

(1) Some women are criticized for paying too much attention to much on clothes and other items related to appearance.

(2) This is often due to the sexist attitude that women care more about frivolities than serious issues.

(3) Sarah Palin is being criticized for spending too much on clothes.

Conclusion: criticizing Sarah Palin for spending too much on clothes arises from a sexist attitude.

A good example of the fallacy of accident.

by JJE 2008-11-05 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: This is the argument

Excellent example.  

But the tremendous excess is minor compared to the dishonesty.  Palin did interviews about the clothes (I think it was with Hannity) and explained the she had no idea about the cost or quantity of the clothing.  She claimed these were never asked for, and were stowed- untouched, in the belly of her plane.  She went on to make such comments about them in her campaign stops - in her stump speeches.  So, if this report is true, she's been lying.  And if she was involved in procuring these clothes in any way, they almost certainly count as income on which she will be obliged to pay taxes.  It doesn't matter if she keeps them or not, in order for her to escape liability for taxes they must never be in her possession, they must be treated as theatrical wardrobe.  The tax laws were in regards to this were analyzed and reported by Tapper, Ambinder & countless others when the wardrobe story first came to light.

Of course we don't know all the details yet but Newsweek isn't exactly the National Examiner, and they have been doing these "How He Did It" features with extraordinary access for 24 years.

And in addition to the probably dishonesty is the definite hypocrisy.  But I won't even bother to go into that right now.  

by January 20 2008-11-05 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes Waaaay more than $150,000. An

CG, there isn't a candidate under the sun, male or female, who wouldn't be getting skewered for this.  I mean we JUST went through the 400 dollar haircut, and that didn't come close to this story and the venality that it suggests.

I think you're confusing it with criticizing her over her clothes.  That's not what it is - it's the fact that she spent six figures of volunteer money on personal items.

Pretend that instead of clothes, she added another wing to her house.  Do you see why it's a big deal?

by Jess81 2008-11-05 08:07PM | 0 recs
Please Note

* I may deign to dive-bomb this diary and drop replies to comments.  My replies might be polite and could possibly be on topic, and may have something to do with an alternative reality universe.

by January 20 2008-11-05 05:51PM | 0 recs
When McCain chose his veep,"Hockey Mom"
She strutted like Queen of the Prom
And charged huge trousseaux
On other folks' dough,
While her poll numbers dropped like a bomb.
by urban shocker 2008-11-05 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes

I won't defend Palin's views and issues, but it is clear that the McCain campaign is trying to blame her for the loss of the McCain election and even for the republican losses down the line.  At this point, I won't believe anything more about her clothing bills, since it is funny that that is the obsession of people and the "insiders" rather than the really disturbing issues she and Mccain pushed.  The reason why they pick the clothing instead of the campaign to focus on is because they can't disown what the republican party is, and the issues that are failing for them.  So, instead they pick Palin's wardrobe and can use her as a scapegoat because she is just a silly woman, and it is easy to use that to downgrade her seriousness.

We should be pointing out to the republican party that their failure and McCain's failure, lies entirely on McCain's shoulders and on the trail the republicans have left over the last 8 plus years.  McCain picked her and now he has to deal with whatever the results are.  But it is just so much simpler to make her into somekind of a silly, stupid woman, who is obsessed with clothing, jewelry, and appearance.

Why don't we consider not being a part of it?

by Scotch 2008-11-05 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes

See, I see this as a whole bunch of horrified and angry campaign operatives finally free to speak the truth. Maybe it's purely sabotage, but I doubt it.

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes

Also, we don't point it out because we want them to have a civil war. And one is coming.

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes

I think it would be more effective for the public to see the reality of the GOP's failures and the real culprits, rather than focus on one person as being what brought it down.  Shine a light on the reality of the failures of the party, the fact that McCain was all the party had to offer, and he is responsible for his own demise.  We can't stop the civil war, it's already started to drive them apart, but they should be made to take responsibility full on and not weasel their way out of it by destroying a person who they used to begin with.  The public shouldn't be made to ignore the reality and the pathetic failure that is the republican message, with attention diverted to some stupid shallow story based on fabricated information.  The real story is very involved and runs deep.  It's about time they had to own up to it in public.

by Scotch 2008-11-05 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes

You're assuming the information is fabricated. Which is probably incorrect. Given what we know now, the longer that Sarah Palin is made to be the face of the Republican party, the better off we'll be. And the only way that will happen is if we allow her to become a scapegoat. She thrives on being attacked. It is her game. Let her play it.

by vcalzone 2008-11-05 07:37PM | 0 recs
You're missing it

if there's an ism here, and there isn't, it's classism: "Wasilla hillbillies try to take the RNC for a ride as soon as they get a credit card."

by JJE 2008-11-05 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: You're missing it

But they're not poor, they made something like $150,000 last year (plus the per diem, plus the travel allowances to be able to take their kids wherever they wanted, etc).  They own their own plane and at least one vacation house.  These people are rich.

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-11-06 06:01AM | 0 recs

I said that there wasn't really any -ism, but if there was one, it's more classism than sexism.  It's not really about how much wealth you have, but whether you're one of the "right people".  For instance, the Clintons were rich when they came into the WH, but that didn't keep people from trashing them as classless hicks who had no business there.

by JJE 2008-11-06 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin's Clothes


I thought she looked great, by the way. Leave her off. Let the GOP rip itself appart over her. No need for us to even go there.

by carrieboberry 2008-11-06 05:28AM | 0 recs


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