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Fiscal responsibility? Elitism?

The McCain/Palin campaign spent $150k of contributor dollars (or was that public financing dollars?) to spruce up Sarah Palin's wardrobe for the campaign.

$150,000. That's "pay off the mortgage" money for folks outside California. It's half our mortgage.

Palin's make-up artist is the highest-paid member of the McCain/Palin campaign staff, coming in at over $22k for the first two weeks of October.

$22,000. That's "replace a crappy old car" money with change left over.

I understand that Palin has to look good for the camera; it wouldn't do for a former beauty queen to repeat Nixon's mistake of 1960. This, though, is irresponsibility on a grand scale (by "little peoples'" standards). It's so far beyond John Edwards' $400 haircuts and Hilary Clinton's $3,000 beautician visits it's not funny, and it's all for less than 8 weeks of the end of the campaign.

Yet some people trust these candidates with their tax money.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
howeird
Oct. 24th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
You are criticizing the opposition for throwing away campign money? You should be encouraging them. If I had your tailoring skilz, I'd be calling up the RNC and selling them on a red white and blue silk kimono for Sarah with matching ones for the girls, hand made for only $20k each. Donkeys optional.
:-)
moonpuppy61
Oct. 24th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
With $150K I could pay off my mortgage and start to renovate my kitchen or bathroom.

Just goes to show that its not easy being pretty or cheap to be pretty either.

Still at $22K I should hope that she gets some decent prosthetics, better then a Bajorian nose bump.

Wait, didn't Broadway have a musical that spoke about this.. "Let the people adore me, so Christian Dior me, from my head to my toes" - Evita.
kevin_standlee
Oct. 24th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
"Rainbow High" from Evita was exactly what I thought of the first time I saw this story.
shipofools999
Oct. 24th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
But Wait! All of the new wardrobe will be donated to charity after the election is over, no matter who wins. This is some of the justification for spending that amount on her and her family.

To me that means that if she were to be VP, she will have to go and spend it all again to be outfitted for her job. Who's money will that be (she asks rhetorically)?
shipofools999
Oct. 24th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, I forgot to mention, people whose job centers around fashion (image consultants, stylistas, etc.) say that the money is well spent and was appropriate.

Personally, I think she could have had the clothes custom made for her for less money and the quality would be at least the same or higher.
ladycelia
Oct. 24th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Given that she requested (and GOT!) a per diem for time spent in her own home...well, you to the math.
madoc62
Oct. 24th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Folks,

$150K for clothes? Wow. I'd be some kinda stylin' fool if I managed to spend 1/100th of that on clothing in a year.

But then, I'm not getting up in front of national TV cameras every day either.

I wonder how much Obama spends on clothing? Or Biden? Or Hillary? Or any other politician at a similar level?

Has anyone asked Obama about his choices in clothing or is this a question only fitting for _female_ candidates? I don't seem to recall Hillary getting roasted over her changes in styles and outfits as her campaign went on. Double standard here? Oh gosh! Heaven forbid!

And where has that $150K come from? It doesn't seem to be money from the McCain/Palin campaign but rather from the Republican National Committee. So, perhaps it's not "public campaign money" being used after all. The stories about this aren't clear on the point yet.

I'd have a caution in running with this one to far. It might turn out to be yet another bit of "astroturfing" directed at Palin which turns out to be false or grossly inflated. In the end, such attacks on her have wound up serving her more than her attackers.

Madoc
bovil
Oct. 24th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
And where has that $150K come from? It doesn't seem to be money from the McCain/Palin campaign but rather from the Republican National Committee. So, perhaps it's not "public campaign money" being used after all. The stories about this aren't clear on the point yet.

It's still contributor dollars.

Has anyone asked Obama about his choices in clothing or is this a question only fitting for _female_ candidates? I don't seem to recall Hillary getting roasted over her changes in styles and outfits as her campaign went on. Double standard here? Oh gosh! Heaven forbid!

You lack the skills to do basic research, or to remember the last few elections (or even the last few months). The busiest "reporter" on the "haircut beat" is conservative blogger Matt Drudge.

Hilary Clinton's appearance was regular "news" during the primary. Rush Limbaugh said "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?" The Guardian featured a column titled "Why does Hilary Clinton wear such bad clothes?"

You're also wrong that this kind of attention is only for female candidates.

Al Gore took hits when he changed the colors he was wearing in his campaign.

Bill Clinton, John Kerry and John Edwards each took hits for expensive haircuts (although Edwards' "expensive" haircuts would take over 7 years to total up to Palin's spending spree).

McCain took a hit for expensive Ferragamo shoes.

Investigation of Obama and DNC records show no similar spending of campaign funds on personal wardrobe.
madoc62
Oct. 24th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Andy,

All this does is drive home how irrelevant the issue is.

There's damn all as far as substance here. The money came from the RNC. Define "contributor" there. Palin says the clothes don't belong to her and she has to give them back when done. Is that normal? Is that par for the course? Is that bullshit?

Edward's $400 dollar haircuts were clearly with donations to his campaign and thus he got nailed for that. The Palin wardrobe? It's still not clear.

In today's media age appearance counts. Dick Nixon learned that to his chagrin when he decided to forgo the expensive makeup treatment that JFK got before their televised speech. As a result, Nixon looked the worse on camera and those who saw him judged him the loser. Those who only heard the debate on radio - where his visual appearance was irrelevant - judged him the winner.

So, since the all politicians have paid attention to looking good on camera.

Yeah, $150K buys a lot more of that looking good stuff than most of us will ever buy for ourselves in our lifetime. Considering how much the media has focused on every minute aspect of her and her appearance I'm hardly surprised the professionals at the RNC figured Palin was do for a make-over. Whoop-de-do.

Most of the other candidates (all of the other candidates, actually) are either multi-millionaires in their own right or have personal net worths greater than the governor of Alaska. So?

I remember the hue and cry and President Carter went so far as to actually change the side on which he parted his hair!

Sorry Andy, just not seeing the fire here.

I will admit though, that if the Democrats keep shooting off such manufactured outrage on stuff like this they'll just further alienate the potential Democrat voters who are damn tired of such incessant attacks on Palin. So, in that regard, tales like this only help the GOP.

Madoc
yourbob
Oct. 24th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Um. Edwards paid that haircut out of pocket. Not from donated moneys. Also the other candidates have to dress THEMSELVES from their own pockets.

But then, if you're someone who charges the state of Alaska should pay the governor's babysitting bill on top of her salary....
bovil
Oct. 24th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
Actually, he repaid the campaign for those haircuts. It's a sloppy case.
bovil
Oct. 24th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
The money came from the RNC. Define "contributor" there.

Are you saying the RNC has a magic money fountain? Perhaps they've got their own printing press that spits out dollars? Last I heard, individuals and businesses contributed the money that the national committees used to operate.

The RNC is subject to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Fiance Reform Act. In Sec 323.A.1, national committees are explicitly listed as being subject to the act. Sec 313.B.2 lists clothing purchases as being a prohibited conversion.

It's not about Palin's appearance. It's about McCain's appearance. It appears they're violating a law that McCain championed and has his name on it. It's about McCain & Palin's hypocrisy.
sbeckstead
Oct. 24th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Apparently there is this little problem about this McCain sponsored law (yes it passed he was sponsor and writer) that forbids spending contributor dollars on clothing!
clockworkbuddha
Oct. 25th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure most of the money went to the hidden escape jetpack she wears...you know, in case she gets asked another tough question and has to flee.

As for make-up, it's a well known fact that she's had her jaw wired shut and replaced with animatronics and microspeakers. Somewhere behind the scenes is McCain, a microphone, helium balloons, and old tapes of Catherine O'Hara (for reference).
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )