You may have heard by now that the RNC has dropped some major coin on revamping Ms. Sarah’s look (and apparently that of her fam, too). Jeanne Cummings at Politico reports that they’ve paid $150,000 to high end department stores, including Neiman Marcus (at least $75k) and Saks Fifth Avenue (at least $49k). The Politico also reports that the RNC spent $4,716.49 on hair and make-up … just in September. Wanna bet that’s more than Joe the Plumber has spent at the barber in his lifetime?
There are several angles we could explore on this:
1. The RNC is walking the edge of legality on this one. FEC rules prohibit these kinds of expenditures. Now that they’ve been called on them, they’ve issued this statement from spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt, courtesy of the same Politico piece:
With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.
I have to call bullshit here. Would “all of the important issues facing the country right now” include such pressing topics as Bill Ayers? Including whether or not Colin Powell’s endorsement was racially based? With “all of the important issues facing the country right now,” it would seem that McCain would want to define himself instead of trying to redefine Obama over and over and over again. Silly me.
2. The expenditures provide a rather glaring contrast between the two campaigns. As Politico reports:
A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.
You’ll recall that Michelle Obama shops at the Gap and White House / Black Market, where she purchased the $100 dress she wore for her appearance on The View. Now, I’m not suggesting that Michelle doesn’t buy designer, but the DNC doesn’t do it for her. And then, of course, there’s this famous pic of Barack:
Surely he’s gotten some new shoes by now. But they clearly weren’t paid for by the DNC.
3. Even if it were legal for the RNC to remake its candidate to be more marketable (and its absolutely not … no spending of campaign money on items for personal use allowed), it ought to be completely out of bounds to spend campaign cash … especially publically financed campaign cash, I should think … on members of the candidate’s family:
The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail.
An additional $4,902.45 was spent in early September at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.
4. Final question for Palin: Is this how “real Americans” shop?