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.
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.