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Fate of Palin's Wardrobe Is Unknown

Sarah Palin speaks during the 2008 Republican National Convention. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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.

By The Reliable Source  |  August 12, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Such is the way of most "big" stories - after a while nothing really gets done, no one cares and the rich and powerful continue to do crap like this and refuse to do the right thing - which is to live fair and ethical lives for the benefit of all.

Posted by: cmecyclist | August 12, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I am so tired of your liberal rag called a newspaper.

I just cancelled my subscription.

Being a Democrat, and a woman, I have no idea why you self-absorbed idiots continue to write about Palin's wardrobe. If this is so newsworthy, please give equal time and press to what the men wore during the campaign, and who paid for their wardrobe. Better yet, start covering all the fees the First Family is racking up with their travels.

Personally, I am glad Palin looked so damn good on the campaign trail. I guess it is a bitter pill to see a woman and mother, in her 40s, who is a size 2.

Jealousy, plain and simple.

Posted by: jovigal1959 | August 12, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

This is just beyond belief!! The jealousy over Sarah Palin will never end nor will the vicious attacks. Has anyone explored who bought hillary clinton's suits that cost $6K each?? Who is dressing that hideous michelle obama? Of course, the difference is Sarah looks like a pretty doll and hillary and michelle are both butt ugly. They have HUGE rear ends and are just not attractive women, so I guess this fuels the obsession with Sarah. Get a life!!!!!!

Posted by: somberjules | August 12, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Wow - haters. For your info, we loyal fans of Amy and Rox have continually asked them to keep an eye on this story and Clinton and Obama pay for their own clothes. It's not being treated as a "big" story - fyi big stories would be much longer and better placed than a short blurb on the Reliable Source blog.

Posted by: Lizka | August 12, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

NO hater here..just sick of the liberal rag. Amy and Rox seem to have the vendetta going.

I want a full invoice/coverage of everybody else's wardrobes, including the men, who were on the campaign trail.


Posted by: jovigal1959 | August 12, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps it's not so much that WaPo is a liberal rag or that Amy and Rox have some vendetta, but that you "loyal fans" just need to get a life.

Posted by: RambleOn | August 12, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

If "loyal fans" need to get a life, what do you need? Why are you on this site if you are not interested? And why do you need to talk about what women politicians look like or is that why you like Palin? The issue is the party paying for the candidates outrageously priced clothing with donated money and claiming they would donate them to charity, not what the clothes were or what Palin looks like in them. If they did donate them, how would the charities not want the publicity? Like Goodwill or whoever doesn't want people to flock to their stores to try to buy Palin's clothes? Get real, if the clothes were really donated they would be happy to tell where. They are probably now in the closets of people who work at the RNC.

Posted by: jstoltman | August 12, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It may be August, but do you know how lazy and boring this story is?
This was a legal campaign expenditure. They're under no more obligation to release details of the disposal than they are to tell you what they did with leftover food, bunting, office supplies, or other campaign materials.
No matter how the RNC disposed of the clothing, somebody would have had something snotty to say about it. The story should be allowed to die a natural death.

If you're looking for interesting material, why don't you tell us the financial details of the Obama wardrobe? Most of us have no idea of the cost of those designer duds, other than the reported $540 tennis shoes and some J. Crew catalogue purchases.
The WaPo had a field day about Nancy Reagan borrowing clothes or being given deep discounts. Is Mrs. Obama paying full price for all of her designer clothes? Especially those made just for her?
Conspicuous consumption in hard times might make a much more interesting story than beating this old dead horse.

Posted by: parkbench | August 12, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The issue isn't Palin at all. As noted by Roxanne and Amy, Palin packed up the clothes and sent them back to the Republican Party in Washington. The questions now are: who received the clothes and when, and why is the GOP refusing to divulge this information. I would think numerous charities would love these clothes to sell in their thrift stores or even to auction on Ebay. Cannot understand why the Republicans refuse to give details about the donation.

Posted by: drslate | August 14, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

And as with all things the Post reports....


Posted by: LiberalismEquals911 | August 17, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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