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Did Palin really need $150k for a new wardrobe?

By Jimmy Orr / October 22, 2008

Jake Turcotte


No one is saying that Sarah Palin should be required to walk around in flip flops and a hefty bag as she campaigns over the next two weeks.

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But the $150,000 price tag on to get her dudded-up for the campaign trail has left many a political observer agog at the news.

It's those guys again

The same folks that brought you the "McCain - Just how many houses do I own anyway?" mini-series back in August are at it again. Politico broke the news of the fashion spending spree yesterday.

What tipped them off?

"Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs," writes reporter Jeanne Cummings.

The money trail

According to Politico, the Republican National Committee shelled out $150,000 for clothes and accessories for Palin and some of her family.

Neiman-Marcus hit the jackpot with over $75,000 being spent there while nearly $50,000 was dropped at Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Associated Press reports that "the RNC also spent $4,902 at Atelier, a stylish men's clothing store in New York. Other purchases included a $92 romper and matching hat with ears for Palin's baby, Trig, at Pacifier, a baby store in Minneapolis."

No clothes in Alaska?

This could cause people to wonder why this was necessary. After all, clothes are a necessity in Alaska. It's cold there.

Booth Moore, LA Times fashion critic, explains that being in Palin's shoes (no pun intended) isn't easy.

"In Palin’s defense, being a woman in the public eye has its own kind of pressures," Moore writes. "And it’s unlikely she has been stepping off the campaign trail to join the ladies who lunch for shopping sprees at Neimans. Instead, she is probably working with a wardrobe stylist, who brings her things to try on and choose from. But the issue of clothing and hair expenses has always been a land mine for politicians (John Edwards' $400 haircuts), and someone should have been sensitive to that."

"You also have to wonder how it feels, as a woman, to have everyone know that you really have been dressed up and trotted out like a beauty queen for the American public to wag their tongues at. Caribou Barbie indeed," he adds.


Are people upset? Sure the blogosphere is abuzz over it. Some are fire-spittin' mad.  Others are dismissing the whole thing, saying it's much ado about nothing.

But you have to wonder if some of those who donated to the RNC might really be bothered.  After all, when donating did you expect to be outfitting Todd or did you expect that you'd be helping some Republican in a tight district race?

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