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Expensive Wardrobe Goes Against McCain-Palin Story Line

Post fashion editor Robin Givhan weighs in online today on the contretemps over the Republican National Committee's expenditures on Sarah Palin's wardrobe (for a photo gallery on Palin's new outfits, click here). Givhan writes:

If politicos weren't so snide and dismissive of fashionistas, the McCain-Palin campaign wouldn't be in the awkward position of having to explain the $150,000 tab for shopping trips, hairstyling and beauty makeovers for Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

How do you sell someone as a no-frills hockey mom who sold the state plane, fired the official cook and turned down travel per diems for her family and then try to explain wardrobing her in clothes from Neiman Marcus -- a store occasionally referred to by aggrieved, frugal shoppers as Needless Markup? How do you, in barely two months, lavish her with fashion swag worthy of a starlet and valued at more than her annual governor's salary of $125,000?

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By Web Politics Editor  |  October 22, 2008; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Sarah Palin , Today at The Post , analysis  
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Sarah Palin's rhetoric reflects Bushie philosophy and policy to a greater extent than does McCain's own speechifying.

The fact that a couple of polls show McCain a close second seems to bolster the argument that he could have overcome the Bush albatross had he not chosen Palin.

With only 13 days out, it seems highly unlikely -- but if Palin suddenly felt a need to recuse herself from the race "for family reasons," McCain might be able to regain some lost support -- especially if he chose a mainstream Republican as her replacement, someone like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty.

The Alaska investigations into her expense accounting and the Troopergate affair could supply McCain the rationale to make a dramatic last-minute pivot. A VP shocker also could serve as cover for more covert efforts to swing the vote; some analysts would attribute a last-minute McCain surge to the Palin dumping, and not to "irregularities" in the voting process.




Posted by: scrivener50 | October 23, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS ALL VERY CRUCIAL- HOW ABOUT A BLOG ON-IS OBAMA THE 2ND COMING OF CARTER? (when you include Ebayers, Obama's 2% of small businesses make over 250k comment is valid - when you consider small businesses that EMPLOY PEOPLE it is far OFF! So, get your resume in order!)

Ralph Reilan- IBD Today-

Obama gets to his reassuring 98% figure by lumping firms with no employees, the majority of small businesses, with small businesses that have 50 or 100 employees. Census data show that 79% of all American companies, counting both large and small firms, have no employees.

Similarly, the SBA's Office of Advocacy reports that 52% of small businesses in the U.S. economy are home-based — that is, not exactly the heavy-hitters when it comes to job creation.

As the New York Times reported regarding the makeup of the nation's 27 million small businesses: "According to figures compiled by the Small Business Administration, there are fewer than six million small businesses that actually have employees. The rest are so-called non-employer firms that report income from hobbies or freelance work done by their registered owners, earning as little as $1,000 a year."

By treating a lemonade stand the same as a home builder with 100 employees, Obama can get away with saying that 98% of small businesses in America won't be hit by his proposed increases in income taxes.

He's telling the 59 million employees in the small-business sector there's almost no chance, specifically a 2% chance, that their jobs or incomes will be negatively affected by his proposed tax hikes and policies to "spread the wealth around." In fact, Obama's proposed tax hike on incomes over $250,000 is precisely aimed at the small businesses that are generating the highest revenues and hiring the most workers.

"Two-thirds of small business profits are earned in households making more than $250,000 per year," reports Americans for Tax Reform. "In 2006, $473 billion of the $706 billion of small business profits was earned in households Obama has said he would raise taxes on."

Obama's proposed increases in income taxes and Social Security taxes would shift the bulk of the profits in the small-business sector to the federal coffers, reports Americans for Tax Reform:

"The tax rate on the lion's share of small business income could reach 54.9% under a President Obama. The individual top rate will climb from 35% to 39.6% and the Social Security/Medicare tax rate could climb from 2.9% to 15.3%. Put those together and you get 54.9%."

By increasing costs, Obama's higher business taxes would have the direct effect of increasing layoffs and raising prices. His proposed 54.9% tax rate would be the highest since the Carter administration, when the nation's unemployment and inflation rates peaked, respectively, at 7.6% and 13.5%.

Posted by: thecannula | October 23, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Somebody had better read their toll posting scripts, Rupert Murdoch even apologized for the false New York Post story. Get on message trolls!

Posted by: wes1155 | October 23, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

WP failed to report on Michelle Obama's "afternoon snack" of Iranian caviar to the tune of $447.00 which was most certainly billed to the campaign. Meanwhile, Obama's half brother survives on $1 a month and lives in a hut in Kenya. Comrade Balz should interview the brother.

Posted by: Bytheway | October 23, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Has anybody reviewed Sen. Obama’s campaign expenses related to Sen. Obama and his wife? Why not? What about Mr. Axelrod? Could the Washington Post check it out?

Posted by: Wiel | October 22, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

$150,000 is that it ,Ithink she looks like a million bucks!!!!!!!!! serious though ,so are we saying Hussein Osama shops at walmart?yea any way .Since you asked for my opinion I say a smart american votes for the canidate that the media is NOT trying to push down your throat but hey thats just me ,you vote for the closet muslim,socialist,liberal who hangs with felons,bombers,and racist if ya want to GOD HELP US

Posted by: jszcoffey | October 22, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama spent over $150,000 on greek columns for a 30 minute speech. Give me a break. Let's see how much Obama and Michelle spent on clothes, etc. Oh that's right it was listed improperly by his campaign, just like his $800,000 donation to Acorn. O

Posted by: terichatfield | October 22, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"Our economy is structurally sound for the long term"
-George W Bush - Feb 11, 2008

"The American people can remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system"
-Henry Paulson - Sept 15, 2008

"The economy is fundamentally sound"
-Herbert Hoover - October, 1931

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong"
-John McCain - Sept 15, 2008

*McCain* does not have the ability to fix this economic crisis. After declaring the fundamentals of the economy strong, McCain created a political circus in Washington by mucking up bailout negotiations; a deplorable campaign stunt, considering he and his political cronies helped cause the current meltdown.

It was McCain and his economic adviser Phil Gramm who pushed for the deregulation that helped lead to the banking crisis, and it was McCain's crony Rick Davis who had deep lobbyist ties to Freddie Mac. Don't be fooled by McCain's economic grandstanding because the reality is his policies and principles will only exacerbate our financial hardships.

McCain is being deceitful with his sudden populist message and support for regulation; his economic policies favor our nation's wealthy elite.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

25 Better Ways To Spend $150,000 Than Buying A Campaign Wardrobe for Palin


Posted by: dmwhipp | October 22, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the truth is that her clothes would make a better VP than she would.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 22, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

wwhtpd What would joe the plumber do?

Posted by: r4147824 | October 22, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

SHE'S A CELEBRITY! What do ya expect?!

Best SNL appearance of all the candidates. Got her own doll. Republican men like bright shiny objects like her. She inspires women with abnormally low self-esteem.

I can't wait to see her on Dancing with the Stars!

PALIN=BUSH IN A SKIRT (no pun or sexism intended)

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 22, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

And the R's accuse the D's of self-aggrandizement.

13 days ... and counting.
01/20/09. End of an Error.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 22, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

In a twisted sort of way I almost want McCain to win this election because four more years worth of failed Bush/McCain policies would for all intents and purposes be the end of the Republican party as we know it today. They would become the 4th party gadflies that they deserve to be.

The only question is, would this country survive it?

You people out there who live in economic downtrodden states like Ohio, West Virgina and Pa etc, if you are stupid enough to vote for McCain you will deserve every single bit of economic hardship that a McCain presidency will give you.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Palin is trying to compete against Cindy McCain in the BEST DRESSED category. Only difference is that Palin is using campaign finance money which is illegal. That's why the McCain campaign rushed out a talking memo stating that Palin's $150,000 fashion spree will be donated after the campaign is over. YEAH RIGHT?!

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 22, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

WOW! $150,000 spent on clothes for Palin and a couple of family members in 5 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 22, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Why, of course... Sarah gets a $150,000 makeover. That shows us how she's a "Real American." I can hear all the working-class people cheering already.
Since Palin can't say or do anything intelligent, I can understand her obsession with looking good. Maybe the RNC wants to pay for her to get some liposuction? What she really needs is a brain transplant or 9 months of 24/7 ECT.
The GOP runs campaigns based on the premise that only image matters, & any issue of substance is merely an inconvenience to be ignored. Such an enlightened bunch!

Posted by: DoctorB | October 22, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA'S ECONOMIC TROUBLES! McCain in April 08 declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and economic adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, is back with the McCain campaign full time again.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay. McCain doesn't understand our tanking economy because it doesn't affect him.

The $100 Million Man
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

The Anheuser-Busch Windfall
While John McCain played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This is not the McCain campaign, this is standard procedure for Ms Palin. She did the same thing with herself and her children charging Alaska for them when they were not a part of an offical state function and staying in NY for 5 days and charging the state when the conference was only 5 hours.

Palin is nothing more than a political hack with lipstick, very expensive lipstick.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 22, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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