Someone needs to remind Sarah Palin that chief on the Republican talking points memo are the words: “reigning in spending.” By now everyone who pays any attention to the news has heard of Palin’s outrageous $150,000 fashion tab at the RNC’s expense (read the sickening breakdown of expenses here). It seems as though her smugness at recent campaign rallies may be tempered with a serious dose of reality: most Americans are not so stupid to see past this one. There are so many angles to this story that I hardly know where to begin…
First, the obvious one: with all the talk of Joe-six packs, and Walmart hockey-moms, Palin’s splurges are hardly becoming of the “every-woman” or “girl-next-door” image the McCain campaign has cultivated. How much can one actually buy at a single spree for $75,000???? The LA Times blog attempted to load up an imaginary shopping cart with a gazillion designer suits and precious jewels on Neiman Marcus’ online store in the exact amount Palin spent. Read the gory details here.
Second, and also plainly obvious: How can the governing of this country and its deep economic crisis be left in the hands of someone with the spending habits of a millionaire? How can anyone who claims to be concerned about the state of the economy justify splurging so much cash on something so frivolous? Granted, it was not on the tax-payer’s tab, but still, the sheer act of dropping SO much money (it would take me 4 years to earn $150,000!!!!) must make one nauseous while families are scrounging pennies to buy baby formula at Wal-mart for their children in these hard times (and, some Republican donors are asking for their money back). This just further points to Republican hypocrisy in light of all the claims made about Barack Obama being too elitist and out of touch with average Americans.
Third, the McCain campaign has made a fuss about Obama’s forsaking of public financing of his campaign (a fact that is actually worth criticizing), but his VP’s fashion expenses are barely legal themselves.
Fourth, the McCain-Palin spokesperson, Tracey Schmitt had the audacity to respond to the findings with the following statement: “With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses.” Imagine if it was revealed that the DNC had spent over $150,000 on dressing Michelle Obama up! I’m sure the Republicans would put the story aside and instead discuss serious issues. Issues like Bill Ayers, socialism fantasies, Jeremiah Wright, arabic-sounding middle names, and more. Certainly not issues like the US economy and how fat cats made and spent billions while the middle class vaporized. That wouldn’t do. Schmitt had the audacity to add, “It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.” Yeah right.
Fifth, this story revealed that Palin is indeed the perfect choice for John McCain, who, with his wife owns more homes than he can count and defines “rich” in America as someone making more than $5 million a year.
Sixth, even though some of the $150,000 was spent on Todd Palin and the Palin children, the vast majority of it was to clothe and primp Sarah Palin. What does that say about how the Republican National Committee views its female candidates? Would Palin not have been electable were she to campaign in her more down-to-earth pre-VP garb? The Republicans have banked on Palin’s so-called “hotness factor” and proved it with the willingness to splurge on designer clothing for their model VP, even as they accuse the media of sexism. Peddling Palin in all her primped up glory seems to have worked – within days of her announcement as VP candidate, buttons in various shades of girly pink sporting “hottest VP, coolest state” popped up.
There are still 13 days left before the election. Will more Republican hypocrisies rise to the surface before then? More importantly, will Republican voters start to see the mountains of evidence undermining their party’s representation of average Americans?