October 26, 2008, - 2:25 pm

FLASHBACK: Schlussel Wrote About Sarah Palin Clothing Expenses First, But Clothes Were Not Palin’s Move

By Debbie Schlussel
While I was away this past week in observance of the last of the Jewish holidays, the biggest campaign flap in the news was the $150,000 the Republican National Committee spent on exorbitant designer clothes (and hair and make-up) for Sarah Palin, her family (husband Todd got expensive designer suits), and future BabyDaddy Levi Johnson (also got a suit).
Remember, you already heard about this story a a week earlier on this site, when I wrote about how $10,000 alone was spent on Palin’s Republican National Convention wardrobe.
But while the issue has been used against her, that’s not the issue. It wasn’t her decision to buy these clothes, it was the McCain campaign’s decision. They underestimated America, believing that we’d judge Palin and family poorly if they dressed like the average middle Americans they are.


Sarah Palin in Red Leather Designer Jacket

Wrong. We’d admire that, and it would give the McCain campaign another point to make when the liberal media ultimately denigrated her average American wardrobe, as they predictably would have. Like a lot of us who aren’t wealthy, the Wall Street Journal early on reported that Palin bought clothes for herself and her family at upscale second-hand stores. And she also bought fashionable shoes from youthful line “Naughty Monkey”, which–while designed for 20-somethings–were inexpensive but hip. Both of these choices are economics-based and were good omens for the kinds of spending choices she’d continue to make. But the McCain campaign took those away, deciding in an elitist way that the Palin clan needed to look “expensive” and “polished” instead of middle American.
And, as I pointed out when I wrote about the clothes a while ago, they spent money that could have gone for ads in states where McCain is borderline. Buying designer duds from “Needless Markup” (Neiman Marcus) when you’ve accepted public-funding limits on your Presidential campaign but your opponent hasn’t, is bad strategy. And, again, not a Palin move, but a Team McCain misstep.
It came back to bite ’em with a half-week of negative stories against the campaign.
Remember, you heard it here first.

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12 Responses

I think there’s plenty of blame to go around here. Certainly the elitists running the McCain campaign, and also the media, pouncing on something that is relatively inconsequential — who knows what is being spent on Obama. At least we know that the money from Palin didn’t come from terrorists or other enemies of this country.

c f on October 26, 2008 at 4:56 pm

This just drives me nuts! Common sense would tell you NOT to go around spending tens of thousands of dollars on clothing, but these “in the Beltway” experts – whose existence seems to be restricted to running campaigns – all think they know better and that we’re just here to be manipulated. Richard Nixon didn’t use the “good, Republican cloth coat” line because the mood struck him: it was because more Republicans relate to cloth coats than the silk jackets.

gmartinz on October 26, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Much of the problems Sarah Palin has had is she’s been underused by the McCain people. She’s the campaign’s biggest draw and that’s why they are at all competitive in the polls. She doesn’t pretend to be more than she is as a person and I think that’s what people like about her. If McCain can’t take her the way she is, that’s a reflection on him and not on her. She’s definitely energized the GOP base. McCain would not even have a prayer had someone else been picked for the ticket.

NormanF on October 26, 2008 at 6:17 pm

If Lorne Michaels if SBK can be won over by her and begrudgingly admit that she is greatly underestimated, than obviously SOMETHING is being wasted. I must admit that the clothes were expensive but carefully chosen to present her as serious and businesslike. They were rather conservative ‘image clothes’ so I must say I am torn both ways about this issue.

poetcomic1 on October 26, 2008 at 7:04 pm

The flap over the RNC purchasing clothes for Sarah Palin is just a bunch nonsense, and frankly nobodies business. Like “Joe the plumber’s” demonizing, the FUBAR MSM think they made another case against a clean God, country,and family loving woman. I say BS. November 4, 2008, Sarah Palin will be our new VP, and John McCain will president won over illegal-alien Oblahblah!

Jackson Pearson on October 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Does The Obama campaign pay for Obama’s custom-made suits, or are they an illegal campaign contribution (websearch “Marvin Mandel” and “W. Dale Hess”)??

chsw on October 26, 2008 at 9:19 pm

If people think it wasn’t right for the Republicans to spend so much for clothes for Palin, wait till they see what they pay for clothes, bling bling and gettin the hair and nails did for all kinds of people if Obama gets into office.
Obama will make Detroit’s corruption look like a tin pan operation.

Ron Taylor on October 26, 2008 at 11:44 pm

There’s another wasted opportunity to address a substantive issue down the drain.
How about an exhaustive 10 day series of expose articles about who pays for John McCain’s socks?

bobdog1 on October 27, 2008 at 11:29 am

What?!!! Are you kidding me? Obama has received how much money for his presidential campaign? $600,000 million dollars and more alone. So money from Saudi Arabia. And they want whine about Governor Palin and her family wearing $150,000 dollars worth of clothing. Or are just complaining because she look so great in it?
Not only is the Obama camp jealous. But most hyprocritcal!
Governor Palin you look great! keep on with your bad self! Lol! The Obama camp are Soooo jealous!

dannygirl on October 27, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I think this story has gotten totally overblown. OK she buys at fine stores. This is a 20 second soundbite that has now become an issue in the debate. Does it show she is a hypocrite? You might be right. You were making a point about the McCain campaign. You didnt cause all this overblown coverage, but when Huffington Post put it up 2 days later early morning it was full speed ahead on all networks. It became a Hatefest Buffet for the liberals. But should it take up 3 to 4 days of new coverage? Now she is a “diva”, now she has gone “rogue”? Now that KING HUSSEIN COBRA-MA has the lead, the media will now turn to issues that wont decide the race. Just run out the clock strategy. I think Michelle Obama needs a bag over her face because all I see is Aunt Esther when she talks.
Countdown to the national self-induced emasculation continues T minus 8 days. Barney Frank said to reduce the military by 25%. Sounds like they got the scissors ready.

californiascreaming on October 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

As Michelle Malkin notes, nobody ever called the recent Republican Party “bright” (the party of stupid, in fact). Yeah, okay, what Gov. Palin wears, how she does her hair, etc., is a tiny pimple on the country’s butt right now, especially compared to Obama’s millions, his lying, his blatant Marxism, his idiot V-P nominee–the 24/7 human gaffe machine–the foreign campaign contributions, all the old PLO connections and current Islamonazi influences, ad nauseum, but why try to “change” Gov. Palin who would do perfectly fine with real people, real Americans, dressed pretty much as she usually dresses, does her hair, etc.? Why hand the Dhimmicrats an “issue” on a silver platter, in the closing days of a tight election?
You can bet it’s the RINO’s who wanted this, required this, not the precious few conservatives left in the Party of Stupid . . .

theendisnear on October 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Look, anyone who isn’t attributing this, at least in part, to the new sexism (definition: when liberal males & females mock and insult Conservative females)is missing an important point! So, big deal folks, that an attractive & fit woman wears some expensive clothes – while that’s certainly not a great financial decision with McCain’s small budget – remember the aspiration to have nice stuff is a positive, motivating aspect of the capitalist system.
But ask yourself why don’t we hear about B. Hussein Obama’s expensive clothes. How much has the socialist Messiah spent on himself – while he plans to redistrubte our hard-earned money?
& How much did he spend on his “jet plane” trips to Hawaii this summer and again last week (& Oh the Carbon footprint of it all!)?
Also: I liked Palin’s response, on interview, that she was the only candidate who was not a millionaire and so needed clothes which were then provided for her.

crazycatkids on October 28, 2008 at 9:30 am

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