Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe

Yesterday, Rupert Murdoch's tabloid the New York Post -- the same rag that trumpeted Dick Gephardt as Kerry's veep choice in 2004 -- had to eat its words regarding the false story about Michelle Obama's lobster dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. The bogus story was immediately repeated by hacks like Limbaugh and Hannity who still haven't issued a retraction.

Meanwhile, we now discover who's the real big spender:

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.

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission's long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.
A McCain campaign spokeswoman later claimed the clothes will go to charity after the campaign, but even Republicans off the record were disgusted by the extravagant spending:

There is already an attempt to blame the media -- as in, the liberal media would have looked askance at Palin if she wasn't clad in Neiman Marcus, but this won't wash...

This sort of spending is without precedent -- the closest approximation for any campaign I've ever covered is make-up expenses for television interviews and commercial shoots...

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 etroactively) during the collapse of the financial system and the probable beginning of a recession.
When you spend $150,000 of donors' money on clothes in just one month while presenting her as your "average hockey mom" and "maverick reformer" who will clean up wasteful spending in Washington, when you do this during real economic hardship for most Americans, and when you do this while your minions bash your opponent's wife for a lobster dinner she didn't even have, then stupidity, insensitivity and hypocrisy is more like it.

More at Memeorandum.

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posted at 9:23:00 AM by Wonky Muse

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