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Sarah Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe Malfunction?

Republican VP candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin at a campaign rally in Carson, California on October 4, 2008. Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times. Sarah Palin, small-town hockey mom and everywoman? More like Sarah Palin, pampered princess. Jeanne Cummings at Politico reports that the RNC’s monthly financial disclosure reports reveal that the Republican National Committee has spent tens of thousands of dollars on the vice presidential candidate's wardrobe and accessories since she was nominated, including $150,000 in September alone.

So it seems you can take the girl out of the beauty pageant, but you can’t take the beauty pageant out of the girl.

Palin's clothes came from retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York, and expenses included nearly $5,000 for hair and makeup. Maybe this is actually her one-woman economic stimulus plan. Lord knows the retail sector needs it.

Still, voters must find it unfathomable for Palin, who has been presented as a woman “like us,” to spend that kind of money on clothes in these difficult financial times, to see her speaking so passionately about Joe the Plumber while plumbing campaign coffers for Valentino jackets and pencil skirts. And yet, they’ve eaten it up, tittering on chat sites about Palin’s Kawasaki eyeglass frames and her Naughty Monkey red peep-toe pumps. (See our earlier take on Gov. Palin's style here.)

Palin’s spokewoman is saying this is much ado about nothing, that we should be talking about more important issues. But can you imagine the outcry if it were revealed that Hilary Clinton’s rainbow of pantsuits was paid for by campaign contributions? Or if college kids’ $50 checks to the Biden/Obama campaign were putting those men in $5,000 custom suits? (Obama’s suits are by Hart Schaffner Marx out of Chicago, and cost in the $1,500 range.)

In Palin’s defense, being a woman in the public eye has its own kind of pressures. And it’s unlikely she has been stepping off the campaign trail to join the ladies who lunch for shopping sprees at Neimans. Instead, she is probably working with a wardrobe stylist, who brings her things to try on and choose from. But the issue of clothing and hair expenses has always been a land mine for politicians (John Edwards' $400 haircuts), and someone should have been sensitive to that.

You also have to wonder how it feels, as a woman, to have everyone know that you really have been dressed up and trotted out like a beauty queen for the American public to wag their tongues at. Caribou Barbie indeed.

-- Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

Photo: Republican VP candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin at a campaign rally in Carson, California on October 4, 2008. Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times.

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I’m not angry, I’m jealous. This is the American dream at work. Palin’s life before entering the political theater in Alaska was at best mediocre. Most people that went to school with her don’t even remember her. She was just another hardworking nobody like so many of us. She doesn’t have an Ivy League education, but went to a regular college. Hell, she didn’t even think about getting into politics at the time. It was not her life’s ambition. Now she has raised herself from obscurity to within a heartbeat of the highest office in the land. She did this not by marrying into or being born into the right family or political connections, but by hard work. I personally find her story inspiring. It just goes to show that with hard work you can achieve anything. Only a person blinded by bias wouldn’t be able to appreciate what she’s done.

I agree with Joe the Whiner.

This is all Obama's fault, and anyone who disagrees is a liberal elite media socialist anti American terrorist!

But boy the McCain-Palin posters are out in numbers about this one, aren't they!

I especially like the ones who criticize the topic, and suggest we should be talking about real issues. As if this isn't what the Republicans have been trying to do for weeks - change the subject to anything besides the economy.

Well, I hate to have to remind the Palin supporters, but this is about the economy, about spending someone's campaign donations. Either it came from someone's hard earned pay, or maybe they were just using donations from wall street profiteers...?

Can we please all agree that the campaign this year has to be a referendum on civility. Someone should be able to write about this, and give an opinion, without being subject to personal and hate filled attacks. That is not the country I love, we need civil discourse and mutual understanding, now more than ever.

As airheaded and inept as I think Sarah Palin is, this story seems more like media vultures looking for something to pick at. You want a story, LA Times? Talk about how Palin STILL has no idea what a vice president does, or how all this "muslim socialist communist" talk is damaging both her and McCain's image because it looks like they're clawing for a foothold against Obama, or how she's actually a drain on McCain.

If Obama wins this election it will not be on his own merits, it will be because the media (both newspaper and telivision) have protected him, covered for him, left out important facts about him they don't want revealed, all the while dragging McCain and Palin unfairly through the mud. This is such unfair reporting by the media, everybody knows it and yet nothing can be done about it. So sad. If the media would do thier REAL job by reporting the facts, instead of campaining for Obama, McCain would be winning by a landslide on his own merits, his proven experience, and on the much better direction he would move this country in. It is so obvious who the better leader would be and that is certainly NOT OBAMA but the media will continue to shame themselves to the very end in order to win this election for him. But I am confident that when people actually go in to vote in private, without the risk of being labled a "racist", they will do the right thing and vote for McCain/Palin. McCain/Palin '08!!!!

People please stop making Palin out to being the victim here. Since she first revealed that she was ignorant of what happens outside of Alaska, some of America has been defending her. It is to the point now that if anything is brought up about her, it is a personal attack. If McCain does win, are we going to attack every country that has something negative to say about her?

What should be taken from this report is that in a time of economic crisis, the RNC is wasting money away on pointless things. Someone mentioned Michelle Obama... they did a outfit price comparison between her and Cindy McCain when they spoke at their respective conventions. Cindy's earrings along cost more than Michelle Obama's entire outfit, which was from Target might I add.

Also, the reporter did mention the cost of Obama's suits. Read the article again and see.

As for Joe the plumber...McCain made this guy a star, or lack there of. Funny though... saw him on Fox News and he mentioned that he was from Alaska and received one of those $1,200 checks from the Govenor. He doesn't even know what a Socialist is, but has the nerve to call someone one.

It doesn't matter who wins on Nov 4th because everything is so jacked up now that we won't be able to see a real change for at least 10+ years.

For all you Republican turn coats that dislike Pres Bush so much now, where were you 4 years ago when things started turning south? You stood by your man then and now you're a bunch of hyprocrites today

Aren't her 15 minutes up yet?

LA Times has loss my respect of a newspaper. This is totally not a free country at all. Who says there is no censorship. Our newspapers today are so bias in their news that it is not the papers for the people or of the people or by the people. It is just a paper giving the owner's or editors political views - nothing else. That is why I will never subscribe to LA Times at all. Comparing the nation newspaper, I would say the NY Times does a better job. USA Today is not bad but too summaries. I would rather go with Times, Life etc magazines or read some news papers from overseas via internet. The newspapers from England seems to be more independent than newspapers in America.

Are you nuts? Show me one woman or man ... in the media eye for intellectual or political reasons ... who doesn't spend large sums of money on clothing, make-up, and general personal appearance.
Do you think Obama buys his suits at Target? Does Biden get his footwear at Penny's.
You are from LA for God's sakes! Your paper, more than any other should understand "image".
Your paper just showed your hand in a very stupid way. I will never buy your paper again ... unless you can prove to me that this article appeared in the "Comics Section".

God, you got to love this whole ''socialism thing' that so many people seem scared to death of.. Well what is socialism when you get right down to it. Um lets about welfare, medicaid, tax breaks for corprations that don't need them, pork barrel projects for citizens that don't need them. True capitalism is an American myth;we already have a socialist system

Sarah enough already. Go home.

She's just spreading the wealth. That's something that even Obama would approve of.

It should be more important to report stuff like Obama's total lack of judgment for being even remotely associated with scum like Ayers and Wright. He only denounced them as friends after his association to them was exposed for all to see. Then the liberals began to make excuses for his lack of judgement. How can it be that a Socialist/Marxist like Obama might be elected to the Presidency here in the USA?
Our forefathers must be rolling over in their graves right now.


And how much is Jackie O'bama spending on her clothes?

The problem here isn't how much she spent, it's that it's tax payer money, and donate money intended for a campaign.
Why didn't she buy her own clothes? And why are they buying her husband and bay clothes?
Also, if you figure she's on the trails for 60 days, that's $2500 a day for clothes, a bit extreme even for a beauty queen.
And I read her hair and makeup artist was $13,500 in September. For that updo and all that blush?
People are losing their homes and jobs. She sells herslef as "one of US, a hockey mom who shops at WalMart.'
I have not been a McSame/Palin supporter, but this is really a slap to those who beleived her lies.
Not to mention McCain and the other Repubs really eed the money this year!

Sure, Palin talks out of both sides of her mouth, but that is no different then Hollywood actors and actresses that have somehow become the spokespeople of economics and politics in America. I want to hear from Palin as much as I want hear from some 6-figure-per-year star that's trying to relate to hard-working middle and upper middle class people. It's the extremists and loudest yellers that unfortunately rule America...

honey, you spent 150,000 on THAT. You could have saved a pretty penny and looked better picking over a salvation army. not my sister.
Obama/Biden ~ honesty matters

""I knew Fox and MSNBC were polluted left wingers but getting to LA Times is just demeaning. """

FOX is left winger????? Wow!! Say it ain't so, Joe!

Any numbers on how much was spent on the obnoxiously extravagant hollywood set erected for the DNC? Just wondering...

I may just be echoing the sentiments of all the other comments, but who really cares. Is that a lot of money to spend on clothes? Yes. Do I care if she wear designer suits if in light of the dismay our country is in? No. No one wants to talk about issues (including Obama and McCain) they'd rather sling mud. Boo to the media, Boo to our political campaign system and Boo to me for waisting time reading and responding to this garbage.

PS: I don't know anyone who owns a $1,500 suit so Obama doesn't exactly have "Joe-six-pack's" wardrobe either.

Hahaha. I love that first comment. Now redumblicans are calling the media socialists...way to lend yourselves to the sheeple stereotype ;-).

I'm loving it. What was your reaction, by the way, to the Edwards $400 haircut? I bet you had a few things to say.

"It's hypocrisy that pisses people off. "
Great statement!
- That is just one reason why more people have registered to vote this past year... and even more get out and vote Republicans out of offices on local, state, and federal levels.

Republicans.... It's not too late! You can still join a winning team. Vote for Obama!

Obama raised 150million dollars in Sept 08 alone. Where is all this money coming from? Youre telling me they dont expect favors(usury)from this guy. The media is so biased they are not journalists anymore but shills of the capitalist pigs who made all of donations in the first place. YOU ALL MAKE ME SICK.

and the Obama campaign thinks the McCain campaign is out of ideas? BTW, did you all get the memo that the clothes will be auctioned off after the campaign and donated to charity? Another mountain made out of a molehill. these kind of reports leave me thinking the dems are feeling a li'l bit scared. I dont believe in polls cooked up by the liberal msm.

Meg wrote: "....but I am not an idiot, or a socialist, or whatever the epithet-of-the-day is now. We need to pull ourselves together."

I agree. For this democracy to work, we need to be civil, otherwise we could be moving towards civil war!

Who cares what they spend on clothes.. they want to dress well and be presentable to the public. I wouldnt vote for a candiate who dresses like a homeless person begging for change on the street. Fact of the matter is, thats how much clothes cost now adays. I think a tabloid as prestiguous as the LA Times should have at least SOME better coverage on the candiates than their war drobe expenses.

What does this have to do with running our country?

The same as William Ayers does.


What a colassal piece of GARBAGE journalism!!!! Honestly - you couldn't think of anything better to write about???

Sheesh - no wonder no one takes the mainstream media seriously!!

Which are you? conservative or liberal?

I'm both or neither, it depends on my mood or what is important to me at the time.

Obama makes more sense at the time, unless you are making over $200,000 a year. Or was that $250,000 a year?

As a Democrat voting for Obama in 2008, here is my take.

Number 1, I don't care what Sarah Palin wears on the campaign trail but I must say that I think she looks very well put together from a fashion point of view. I don't think you can campaign for VP wearing something off the rack from JCPenny's in today's world. I thought Hillary was also very stunning and beautifully put together and her appearance and clothes were ridiculed on a regular basis by petty little neo-con pundits. Not Republicans, mind you. I put the neo-cons in their own little classless group.

Number 2 - Hillary and Sarah will be over-scrutinized as women in the public eye. All other women in the public eye are racked over the coals for bad fashion choices. Don't beleive me, check out or any of the tabloids. Men can look like slobs and be sexy (Matthew McConaghy) but God help the woman who is not always looking her best.

Number 3 - Times are tough but I'm much more concerned with the recent executive retreat put on by AIG with taxpayer money than this. We need to focus on making the banks we are bailing out be more fiscally conservative. If you donated to a campaign you should know that they spend money on an array of things and you just have to trust the judgement of your candidate. I did not and would not contribute to Palin or McCain so I don't worry about how they spend their contributions.

Number 4 - I do remember when conservative pundits made a big deal about haircuts and such and it made the news. I also see that many of them here are bringing that up as well. In many ways I feel like this sad little group feels entitled to deluge our news with insignificant crap but are scandalized when Dems point out the same behaviors lie within their camps too. Seriously, if feels like a carnival funhouse sometimes.

I think it's time that we as Americans focus on rebuilding our economy, get out of Iraq or change the current policy so that it is profitable for our government not our corporations, fix the credit system, reform insurance, pump money into education, and kill outsourcing. Those are the issues that face the Average Jane and Joe and anything else is just a means of making some people feel superior to others or giving the government the right to micromanage our minds and bodies.

I'm voting for Obama in 2008 and I will expect him to focus on the serious issues listed above. When Obama wins I will not sit around picking at Sarah Palin's fashion choices and so I see no need to do that now.

The responses are funnier than the article, which is pretty funny itself. It seems that the Republicans think there is nothing unusual about spending $150,000 on a month's supply of clothes, while the Democrats are scratching their heads wondering how anyone manages to spend that much on clothes, period, let alone in a month.

Wow that was a real loss of time to even consider reading this.
Someone even made the comment about this being note worthy because she's not spending her own personal money.... WHO IS?
I personally agree with those in saying that maybe they should look into the spending of all instead of simply singling her out. Let's be honest about it, this is simply a petty attack to say that she's not using funds correctly when we ALL (no matter which side you stand on) know that all 4 are using this money for the exact same thing so.... GET OVER IT.

When Obama (likely anyway) becomes president this won't even be an issue. (Guess they didn't figure that SNL was doing enough to destroy her image huh?)


(Registered Dem*)

This woman is all about getting what she can for herself and her family - on the government's dime. We may not know what (and if) Sarah reads, but we sure are finding out plenty about her integrity!!

To clarify, this is not about how much she spends on clothes. It's about the fact they used campain contributions to pay for them.

It makes me very sad to think that this close to the election, the media chooses to report about the amount spent on clothing for a vice-presidential candidate. Ultimately, what difference does it make? None.

We should be outraged that neither candidate has come up with a viable solution for our current economic crisis or an end to the war in the Middle East.

I wonder why all these people defending Palin because she is a woman didn't support Hillary... I guess because Hillary didn't try to relate to hockey moms and Joe six-packs she wasn't qualified to run this country. Also, the article stated that "Obama’s suits are by Hart Schaffner Marx out of Chicago, and cost in the $1,500 range", and I'm pretty sure that Obama doesn't wear Naughty Monkey red peep-toe pumps. Or, maybe he does - that's not my business. I really wish that campains were about what the candidates plan to do to better the situation of this country and it's citizens instead of being about bashing the other candidates. I feel like elections should be decided by a score board instead of a voting booth. Then Palin would be more qualified.

If she was really concerned about the economy, she would be buying clothes from Walmart like Barak and Joe!

Let's ask Ms. Obama what just one of her designer outfits cost. Oh..wait...that might be racist. Let's just wait until the Socialists are elected so they can spread the wealth and the low lifes can all wear designer clothes compliments of those of you who work for a living.


I am sure you are a brilliant liberal thinker. However, it is clear that social pressure to be politically correct has destroyed all debate in the media and oppressed the majority of peoples ability to have diversity of thought and opinion.

This has led to more and more people being UNABLE to see through idiotic articles like this. It makes AMERICANS, who believe in the notion that the republic requires a free and honest exchange of ideas to prosper, very VERY upset.

The caviar thing didn't happen. New York Post had to run a correction after getting bad info. Guess you should get your news from sources other than Rush.

"Are you kidding me, is that all you got today. Where she gets her clothes, you are really reaching. Is it OK that Obamas wife eats Iranian caviarto celebrate and nothing is said. Or Biden saying we are going to have a crisis in the first 6 months of Barrack Hussains term and again nothing is said. You libral news iddiots are never going to learn. The plumber asks a question to the all mighty Barrack and he is chastised and riddiculed but all you have to say is Palin gets nice suits. You are a bunch of libral people with blinders on, if he gets in you will regret it and be saying I didn't vote for him. Please get real."

So Barrack spends a half a billion on his campaign and all we can report is the $150K spent on clothes by the VP nominee for the Republicans.

Why don't we see the cost for food, hotels, clothing and hair/makeup for the Democrats?? Oh, that's right, the LA times is a contributor of Obama's....

Their are bigger issues then this and the fact that this moron of a writer wrote this proves that point.... all you want to do is make her look back but you need to attack the issues not the person...that is how you will win voters to your cause....or its business like usual.... moron...

Ok, to be fair how much has the DNC paid for Obama's wardwrobe to look good?

And for that matter who cares what was paid for her wardwrobe, what does that have to do with being electable?

I thought you Dem's only wanted to talk about the issues??

Please stop worrying about Palin's clothing getting in the way of her campaign... her mouth does a fine job of it.

Maybe some of you should exercise your Republican intellect and look up the difference between what journalism and blogging is. Oh wait I forgot, intellect and Republican is an oxymoron.

Get a grip, kids. To those bashing the journalist and the paper for minimizing the campaign in this article (pat, Kathy, matt and Aubrey), look under the covers. This is a STYLE AND FASHION column and the article was written by an LA FASHION CRITIC. Get over it.

And, tommyg, all word processing software comes complete with a spell-checker. Try running your comments through spell-check before displaying your illiteracy to the world. You are the epitome of the far-right wing, Christian militia that continues to attempt to force their personal views and agenda on the rest of the world. Thankfully it appears that the rest of the world has finally had enough of your ilk.

Palin was, and is, the absolute best pick for V.P. that McCain could have made. The game was over when she was announced. The Obama campaign has not bothered to take her on as a worthy opponent, freeing their time to address the issues. She can continue to sling her uninformed mud and religious, self-righteous blather. She is not taken seriously, even by her own party, fashion notwithstanding. You go girl!!!

Let's see, I think Sarah Palin might be channeling Imelda Marcos and her shoes or Eva Perón, the "second I" that Juan Perón forged for her life as the emperor's wife and heir to the thrown.

Although Palin has become wealthy and worldly of expensive possessions on the expense accounts of the State of Alaska and RNC, she still highlights her own humble beginnings in Wasilla and calls for the impoverish common man to back the military man from Arizona who is steeped in the Washington inner-circle of power. That's really rich!

Soon there will be a theme song "Don't Cry for Me, Wasilla"

All this talk about "left-wing liberal socialist media" Funny... Fox News just posted poll results where Obama has a 9-point lead. If a well-known Repub news source can accept the fact that Obama will win, then us liberals must have operatives embedded up at the highest levels. Maybe Rupert Murdock is actually a dem, brainwashed by our "socialist liberal agenda."

Most people I run into that spout "liberal agenda" in a negative light are typically bigots, rednecks, losers, uneducated right-wing bible-thumpers. Go figure. Yeah, it sucks for you that us "socialists" are probably going to take control of the country, but whining about it won't do any good. Are you going to accept reality, or go hide in the mountains when white people are no longer in the majority?

Well defended, Republicans! It's YOUR contributions being spent in this manner, and if YOU want to donate your hard-earned money to dress up Cariboo Bimbo, then God bless you! Who are we to criticize?

IDIOTS and their money are soon parted!

And no one from the republican side said anything about John Edwards $400 hair cut right?

The Times must have a quota of one negative Palin article a day!

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