Palin’s $150k Wardrobe, Compliments of the RNC

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So much for hockey mom and Joe six-pack, huh? Sarah Palin’s wardrobe bill, Politico reports, has come to a cool $150,000 since she arrived on the national scene in late August, and the Republican National Committee has graciously picked up the tab. Working out to an average cost of about $2200 per day on the campaign trail from the RNC convention through election day, Palin’s designer duds cost more per day than many people’s monthly mortgage payments.

McCain campaign spokesperson Tracey Schmitt was apparently unfazed by the $75,000 Nieman Marcus bill, the $50,000 Saks bill, the $5,000 September cosmetics and hair bill, and the assorted other few thousand dollar bills–small change–at a Macy’s and Barney’s here and there: “With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses.” (When legal issues about the reported arrangement were raised, the campaign issued a statement saying of course Palin won’t keep the clothes when the campaign is all over–which is a shame from a purely aesthetic standpoint at least given the seemingly custom tailoring.)

But I’m not sure the McCain campaign has laid the groundwork for quickly neutralizing this story. After all, it was McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis who said just a few weeks ago on national television that as far as the McCain campaign is concerned, “this election is not about issues,” but character. And it’s not unreasonable to note that one hundred fifty thousand dollars spent on Palin’s wardrobe in six weeks does say something about not just her expensive tastes but her character, and suggests something of a disconnect between who Sarah Palin says she is (ordinary small town hockey mom who will come to Washington to fight the entrenched interests) and who she actually seems to be (here’s my Visa bill, can you take care of it?). Seriously, did the RNC put the Saks buyer on retainer? I’m having a hard time getting my head around 150 $1000 clothing item purchases in fewer than 60 days. This may call for some investigative journalism shoe-leather so to speak by Vogue.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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