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October
23
2008
5:16 pm
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I started thinking about this topic on the way to work this morning… then thought “hey, can I fit this into 140 characters or less and say something on twitter?” and then figured I needed more space and thought “maybe I can could do an utter insteadI *am* a newly designated Utterly Ambassador, after all…

But then I decided I needed to do a blog post.

YES. 

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN’S CLOTHES.

You may or may not have heard about some people crying about Sarah Palin purchasing some hundred and fifty grand worth of clothing, hair, accessories, etc over a two month period.  There’s plenty of discussion, talk, opinion and hyperbole out there for you to choose from, so I thought I’d not bore you by repeating all those points of view here.

Instead, I give you FRESH, new whalltabulous thinking!

1st Point – it’s not taxpayer funded

Ok, I lied. This point isn’t actually unique.  A lot of places have pointed out that this $150K is fron the Republican National Committee, NOT funded by tax rolls.  However, I think it worthy to point this fact out because I still get the creepy feeling when I hear the stories on the radio or read about it online; the journalists do not try to make that clear.  I suspect they are trying to play on people’s class envy strings and crass “Look at them! They don’t deserve better than you! You need to hate them!!!” attitude.

2nd Point – it’s GOP money paying more taxes

$150,000.  That’s a lot of dough.  Assuming 8% sales tax, that’s $12,000 taken from Republican pockets and put where?  RIGHT BACK into the tax system.  I would think the Democrats would LOVE this!  These high-end department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus supposedly rake in all the BIG BUCKS, so they get to tax the high profits as well, so that’s another 5-digits of income for the tax system, right?

I mean – taking money away from evil rich republicans and letting the politicians put it where they want to?  I can just hear them now… “Sounds like a dream come true!  Whoohoo!  I hope they spend a LOT of money on stuff like this instead of the campaign in Florida or Indiana or more advertisments!”  Can’t you? 

3rd point – it helps the economy

Once again, it’s money from Republicans that helped pay for these goods, and in order for there to be goods, there are some things that have to be there first.  Buying these goods helping people have work to make the goods, ship the goods, sell the goods, borrow the goods the night before for a night out on the town with the price tag still on.  They’re indirectly helping the economy with such a big purchase.

4th point – clothes destined for charity

As the campaign announced, the clothes were going to be donated to charity after they were used, in accordance with rules regarding campaign expenditures for long-term benefit to the candidates.  So once again, it’s GOP money helping out the poor, disadvantaged folk who are living in poverty without their Coach purses and Gucci cat collars.

There are probably other salient points out there worth investigating, but these four are enough for my fingers today. 

Maybe even after all these benefits are to be gained, there are still those in the mdia that weigh them against the envy factor in the news and think it still better to yell out loud the private business of a presidential candidate, in the hopes to drum up additional partisan hatred and vitriol.

Makes me wonder why they changed their mind from back in the Clinton years.  I mean, back THEN, the private business of a presidential candidate was off limits….

And lo, the people did comment thus:

27 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    The issue for me wasn’t that it was funded by whomever. The issue for me was that this “average hockey mom” spent that sum of money on clothes, charity or no. We’re facing one of the greatest economic challenges of our lifetime, and the candidate who goes around pretended to be an average woman spends more on clothes in one month than most people do in a lifetime. It’s not about the money to me, it’s about presenting yourself one way then acting totally different.

    Amanda´s last blog post..Love Of Mine

  2. Sybil Law says:

    I just didn’t care about the clothes. Still don’t. 🙂

    Sybil Law´s last blog post..A Post!

  3. Sue says:

    Hrm. Wasn’t McCain a co-founder-something-or-other for Campaign Finance reform? And doesn’t section 313 prohibit the purchase of clothing? Anyway… why Saks Fifth Avenue? Why not shop at Macy’s or otherwise. If she was going to spend 150K, she could have gone all out and did the whole bargain thing (with coupons!) that most of us moms have to do to manage. I mean, get more for your money, right? hahaha

    Sue´s last blog post..Birthday Blues

  4. Poppy says:

    And…. I’m sorry, you want me to what? Disagree with you? Agree with you? Which is it?

    I already tweeted about this to Britt that, because I want to dress just like Sarah Palin, her clothing expenditures are, in fact, relevant to me. I need to know how much change I gotta drop for the Thriller jacket.

    Poppy´s last blog post..I want a recount!

  5. Karl says:

    Yeah, I’m with Amanda here. It’s not the clothes per se, it’s the fact that she’s trying to relate to Joe Six Pack and Joe the Plumber, and then spends $150,000 on clothes. That doesn’t help her relate to the common folks.

    Karl´s last blog post..I Have No Candidate

  6. Michelle says:

    Then again she could have bought those clothes here in Oregon, no sales tax so no help to the tax system.

    NEXT??

    Michelle´s last blog post..I walked in on the middle of a conversation this a.m. …

  7. Who gives a —-, who gives a —-

    Class envy, plain and simple. It wasn’t ridiculous for Edwards to get $400 haircuts. And Kerry wasn’t an elitist. Same old double standards we always get.

  8. martymankins says:

    I’m in the hypocrisy camp on this one. I don’t expect Ms. Palin to go shopping at Goodwill or KMart, but it seems odd that her and McCain call Obama an elitest and drop the “worth millions”.

    Personally, if someone gave me $150,000, you can bet it wouldn’t be spent on clothes. I’m thinking gadgets and a cool car would be in order.

    martymankins´s last blog post..Scooter Sunday #27

  9. Dave2 says:

    Personally, I think this is a no-win scenario for Sarah Palin, and sympathize with her for having to ride a double-edged sword that cuts so deep. You just know… KNOW… that if she were instead wearing off-the-rack clothing from Target that she would be positively shredded in the press for her appearance. In all honesty, I think that the massive expense was money well-spent… by looking like new hotness, it detracts from the fact that she doesn’t ever really SAY anything, and lives from sound-bite to sound-bite.

    Hey, Joe-Sixpack can dream, can’t he?

    Dave2´s last blog post..Unfortunate

  10. marilyn says:

    I do recall a lot of hoopla about that haircut, but really, I don’t care what Palin wears. It just isn’t an issue to me. I don’t like her politics, but I suspect I’d feel that way no matter who McCain picked.

    marilyn´s last blog post..Something Completely Different

  11. Why does everyone keep saying that Sarah went out and bought these clothes? One of the key points, which I was so happy you pointed out, is that she didn’t go out and buy these things herself. They were provided for her by the Republican National Committee.

    She herself has said the public would be surprised (after being made to think she’s a clothes snob) where she buys clothes for herself and her family.

    And yes, with $400 haircuts and other extravagances on the left, this is really a non-issue. Has anyone looked into how much Hilary spent on her clothes?

    I’m so tired of the media ripping this woman to pieces. It’s beyond ridiculous now.

  12. dmarks says:

    I bet Obama’s greek temple in Denver cost more. So which is worse? Spending money on clothes, or spending money building a temporary temple for annointation as a deity-on-earth?

  13. dmarks says:

    The only dollar figure I’ve been able to find on Obama’s temple is 6 million dollars. Seems high.

    dmarks´s last blog post..Free Taco!

  14. Miss Britt says:

    I HATE that this is an issue for people. It’s stupid. The only people who should give a rat’s BEHIND are the people who donated to the McCain campaign. I imagine if *I* had donated to that campaign and was getting outspent 10 to 1 by the competition, I’d be pretty pissed that my donations were used on clothing.

    Not only that – but whoever did the shopping should have been fired. Sarah Palin could have been sexed up for far, far less than $150k. Seriously.

    Not only THAT – but are female politicians not worth more to a ticket than how HOT they can be made to look?

    This entire thing is ridiculous.

    As a nation, this shouldn’t even be a blip on the radar right now.

    Miss Britt´s last blog post..Why you should probably not invite me to your Passion Party

  15. ajooja says:

    Do you really think the media left Clinton’s personal life alone? That’s ridiculous!

    Face it. Your people got caught doing something that was politically stupid.

    It’s probably worse than John Edwards’ $400 haircut but it’s not as bad as getting a head job from an intern. It’s not as bad as lying about WMDs. It’s not as bad as a lot of things.

    But it’s not good.

    Palin deserves to get pummeled by the press for her bafoonish behavior.

  16. Amanda says:

    Really good post whall and really relevant to what is being discussed in my class about gender and bias. You already made the pointys I would have so let me bring about this point. Why is it that women are ripped for their clothes but not men? This same thing happened with Hillary. But let’s look at Obama suits. Those are some nice suits and they are not cheap. But he is expected to wear suits like that. Women, however, are scrutinized about the size, neck line, inch of heel, and cost. We are supposed to deffeminize ourselves in order to fit our culture’s expectations for a politician. I sincerely hope that changes.

    She is still a “hockey mom”…just because her party bought those things for her doesn’t change that. She obviously is not going to come to a debate wearing sweats and a tee.

    Amanda´s last blog post..College life

  17. Amanda says:

    I feel like she can’t win. If she had done bargain shopping people would have said she was unqualified to be candidate because she was not as sophisticated as say Biden.

    Amanda´s last blog post..College life

  18. Robin says:

    Now if there is only a way for the GOP to give me a new wardrobe, I’ll have to master my plan.

  19. When you are a politician you have to “totally look the part” so who cares? To buy a sports coat at JC Penney’s is at least $150. To buy an entire suit from a “regular” store, you’re looking at at least $300. You really don’t think Obama, Biden and McCain are wearing suits from Macy’s do you?

    Sheila (Charm School Reject)´s last blog post..Time Flies When You’re Freaking Out

  20. Miss Britt says:

    Um, excuse me? People? *raising my hand*

    Is Macy’s like Goodwill for you upper class folk and I’m the last one to know? I thought Macy’s was a pretty fine establishment!

    Least, I sho did think it seemed purdy fancy on my last trip into town.

    Miss Britt´s last blog post..Why you should probably not invite me to your Passion Party

  21. @ Miss Britt : I thought the same thing when I saw that too but figured I’d just go with it. The first time I ever went to Macy’s I choked when I saw how far my $100 gift card was gonna go. (Which was not very far – a tee shirt and a couple of pairs of panties. lol) But it’s more of a “high class for the middle class” kind of place.

    Sheila (Charm School Reject)´s last blog post..Time Flies When You’re Freaking Out

  22. Poppy says:

    There’s a Macy’s in the mall back in Vermont. Case closed.

    Poppy´s last blog post..I know we’re in a hurry, but…

  23. Ren says:

    The year-old upscale “The Domain” shopping area here in Austin has a Macy’s, and every time I browse the stores there and then end up going to the Macy’s it feels a bit like slumming. The prices there are simply not up to the outrageous level of the Neiman Marcus at the other end, or any of the fancy specialty shops in the middle.

    I was there with my kids shopping for a present for their mother, who had more than hinted that she wanted something from Tiffany’s. While there, I tried to find something from the kids as well and they decided they wanted to buy her a cross pendant. Tiffany’s simply had nothing at all anywhere near their price range of $50-60 and I finally convinced them that we needed to look elsewhere. The crosses at Neiman Marcus turned out to be even more expensive than what Tiffany’s had, and the few other specialty shops we browsed on the way to Macy’s were no better When we finally got to Macy’s, not only did they have crosses in their price range, they had them significantly lower than that and their selection was a couple of orders of magnitude larger.

    I’ve commented to others before that I’m surprised they even let Macy’s have a store at The Domain. I’ve bought clothes there without feeling like I was totally getting ripped off. At any other clothing store there I feel like I owe rent just for looking at their clothes!

  24. dmarks says:

    @ajooja: “Do you really think the media left Clinton’s personal life alone? That’s ridiculous!”
    They did, pretty much. The Paula Jones sexual harassment case, Monica, etc were not “private” and were usually covered in regulations/rules against sexual harassment by the boss, behavior in the office, etc. A matter of government employee relations on-the-job that was not “personal”.

    dmarks´s last blog post..Maybe my only Brad Pitt post ever

  25. dmarks says:

    and “It’s not as bad as lying about WMDs” They did find them in Iraq. The only liars are those who said that there were none.

    dmarks´s last blog post..Maybe my only Brad Pitt post ever

  26. Faiqa says:

    Honestly, I posted a link on Twitter for this story because I thought it was funny. Funny that this matters, at all. I’m not going to even *address* the issue of whether this would be happening if S.P. were a man…I just hope, whall, that you can figure out where that red jacket is being donated, so I can get my hands on it.

    Faiqa´s last blog post..The ‘Resolutions’ Will Be Televised. On the Internet. Ahem.

  27. whall says:

    Amanda, I’d be ok with that criticism if it were fair; ie, the same critical eye should be focused on all the candidates and I don’t notice the same critique on Obama, Biden or McCain’s wardrobe. I agree however, that it’s an action that is out of sync with who she is, and that’s why I thought it ok given that it was donations from the party to help her “play the part” of a 24/7 politician who needs to always look fantastic.

    Sybil Law, I care that you didn’t.

    Sue, hmm, I’d not heard of section 313 so I looked it up. Seems that it only covers clothing if the items are converted to personal use, and since she’s not going to keep the clothes, it doesn’t apply. But I agree that it was a bad move to spend THAT much and make it THAT obvious.

    Poppy, she is the stylish one out of the four.

    Karl the writer, agreed to a point. But it still would have been more fair to disclosed the clothing budget of Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Hillary, etc so people don’t compare THEIR clothing choices with Palin’s and instead would compare OTHER candidate’s clothing choices, which would be more objective.

    Michelle, didn’t think of that. But does Oregon have income tax? AHA! (I just like saying AHA!)

    Nobody, definitely agree with the double standard aspect. It’s one thing to gawk at someone’s spending habits but it’s another to only gawk at the Republican’s spending habits.

    martymankins, I’m whall, and I approve your choice of where to spend $150K.

    Dave2, you are so right. It *is* a no-win situation for her. Good point!

    marilyn, I appreciate your honesty.

    BlondeBlogger, to ridiculous… and beyond!

    dmarks, good point! I bet the $6m amount is also including the donations to ACORN to get fake people to vote. /SLAM! 🙂

    Miss Britt, great points, especially the one about females being hot. i LOVE hot females.

    Wait, was there more that you said? I was only listening to you because you’re, uh, you know. HOT. I have a calendar coming that says so.

    ajooja, yes. yes I do. They did until they were forced to treat it as a criminal case. Ken Starr was vilified everywhere he turned. It’s the media’s trick – ignore the subject at hand and target the accuser. My hairstylist’s coworker gabbed on and on about how Monica Lewinsky “owed the country an apology.” Same thing with Joe the Plumber – HE’s the target now, not Obama’s answer to his tough question.

    But I agree it was politically stupid.

    Amanda, great point about coming to a debate wearing sweats and a tee. She’d just be demonized for “dumbing down for America” or something equally stupid.

    Robin, they will, if McCain gets elected and we get a slightly less left congress. Wanna know how? Tax cuts.

    Sheila, yup. wait, I mean “yup” as I agree with you, not “yep” in answer to your question.

    Miss Britt, I think I’ll let Ren, Sheila, and Poppy answer that in a few comments…

    dmarks, great counter points. How much of the media really investigated Hillary or Bill’s financial exploits? And who but conservative media uncovers Obama’s ties with Tony Resco? Or questions Obama’s visit to Pakistan when he was 20 years old?

    Faiqa, good point about the sexism inherent in the coverage. And I promise if I get my hands on the jacket, I’ll make a blog contest and I’ll pull the strings so you can win.

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