Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe Malfunction


Politico broke the story that Sarah Palin used campaign money to buy clothing, cosmetics, and stylists. The whole campaign process, in regards to money, is utterly disgusting. We are a visual people, and we require our presidential candidates to look good. When they spend money to make themselves look good, then we are supposed to be upset. But we were the ones that expected them to look good in the first place.

It is not like she could not have bought herself a new wardrobe. The Sarah Palin Truth Squad (I don't know how trustworthy a place that calls themselves the "truth squad" can be but they were the only source I could find) reported on the 2007 earnings of the Palins:

The Palins’ assets seem enviable: a half-million-dollar home on a lake with a float-plane at the dock, two vacation retreats, commercial-fishing rights worth an estimated $50,000 or more and an income last year of at least $230,000. That compares to a median income of $64,333 for Alaskans and $50,740 for Americans in 2007, according to the Census Bureau.

Palin was not destitute and in need of the campaign to buy herself a new wardrobe, but does that mean that she should have incurred a personal expense to spruce up her wardrobe for the campaign trail.

A woman has it a little tougher than a man on the campaign trail. She can't just put on the same suit day after day. I cannot find a firm source, but Obama's suits cost around $1,500 each, and he owns multiples of them. Women's clothing is typically much more expensive than men's clothing. Also, she needs a new outfit for every appearance. Okay, she doesn't really "need" a new outfit for every appearance, but it is part of our disgusting materialistic culture that women do not reuse dresses used on big occasions. If we had the honest numbers, I bet the Obama family has spent about as much on their clothing, stylists, and the like while on the campaign trail.

The Telegraph stated, "Federal campaign finance law prohibits the use of campaign funds for personal use, which it defines as any expense 'that would exist irrespective of the candidate's campaign or duties as a federal officeholder'."

Honestly, she would not have had this expense if she was not running for President. She would have continued to governor Alaska, live in her three houses, and find herself comfortable in her Alaskan wardrobe. $150,000 in expenses is a little extreme. A $295 pacifier is really extreme, but it is expected that her and her family look good on the trail. What makes a baby look better than a $295 pacifier? Some are talking about her having to pay taxes on these clothes, but they seem to be the uniform of the job rather than a personal indulgence. She did not even shop for her own clothes. What kind of woman indulges on clothes by sending staffers out to get them? Not doing her own clothes shopping should infuriate women more than the cost of clothes. What an outrage! Not doing her own shopping.

Waste is normal business in a presidential campaign (and the government for that matter). The Democratic National Convention cost over $100 million dollars to pull off. Now, the Democratic news outlets are trying to say it is a sham that Palin spent $150,000 on clothes. A good post at the Weekly Standard talks about $140,000 in stage construction and other expenses related to the convention. The whole system is a sham, not just Palin's clothing.

What is most disgusting is that this has become a focus of the campaign. Thank you Politico. Good, solid, meaningful investigative reporting. In a time when the stock market is crashing, unemployment is going up, gas is at $3.00/gallon, our education is failing, our health care is inferior for a developed nation, and we are in two wars with other international situations, we get a story about a candidates wardrobe. We do not need this distraction.

In the end, Palin is not making us pay a dime for her new wardrobe unless you donated to the RNC. This money came from RNC coffers that was to be used on campaigns. Someone who might be losing a tight Senate or House race might have a reason to have grief over the $150,000 clothing expenditure because it is money the RNC cannot spend on their campaign, but it is not a surprise that there is waste in the administration of the RNC. They, after all, are half of our wasteful government. We live in a culture of waste and this story is just one of the symptoms.