Fate of Palin's Wardrobe Is Unknown
It's been nearly a year since Sarah Palin's wardrobe flap began -- and the mystery of the missing designer duds still hasn't been solved.
Who can forget the drama last year when the GOP spent $150,000 on clothing -- luxury items from Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue -- shortly after the veep nominee and her family burst onto the national scene? The resulting uproar appeared to damage the hockey mom's populist image; the Republican National Committee quickly said that one-third of the wardrobe had been returned unworn and pledged that everything else (including the $2,500 ivory Valentino jacket Palin wore during her convention acceptance speech) would be donated to a charity after the election.
To her credit, Palin went back to Alaska, packed up the clothes in boxes and shipped them to the RNC in Washington. And then ... nothing.
In January, an unidentified RNC source said that the clothes were sitting in garbage bags at party headquarters, news that officials swiftly denied. Follow-up calls about a donation were not returned.
By May, the RNC's Gail Gitcho asserted that Palin's wardrobe had been given to charity, but she refused to provide any details. We took another stab in June: RNC Chairman Michael Steele -- who's big on accountability -- told us he'd close the book by proving that the donation, in fact, had taken place as promised.
Think officials would be thrilled to share and put this behind them? Think again.
Calls to the RNC on Tuesday ended with the same-old same-old: Gitcho once again claimed the clothes were donated to charity. Okay, we asked: When, where and how were the charities selected? What was the estimated value of the gift? And just for kicks -- got any documentation you can show us?
Her response: "The clothes were donated to charity before Steele was elected chairman." She said there was "no more to add" to "ensure the privacy" of the charitable organizations.
Hmmm. Maybe the RNC really donated the items. Or lost them. Or some intern taking out the trash hit pay dirt. Or ... the mystery continues.
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