Politico broke the story. "RNC shells out $150K for Palin fashion." And everyone piled on. Ambinder (Atlantic) said "Republicans Disgusted." Koppelman (Salon) snarked "How real Americans dress." Tayor Marsh reminds us that Cindy McCain spent twice that for a single outfit. dday called her a "Welfare Queen." Josh_Painter (Redstate) brushes it off as a bargain—the money didn't just buy outfits for the Gov, but for her whole family. Pandagon calculates that John Edwards could have had a $400 haircut every week for 7.2 years. L.A. Times calls it a "$150,000 Wardrobe Malfunction" and a "one-woman economic stimulus plan."
I say, knock it off. Back in the fifties, Nixon kept his place on the ticket by telling the TV audience that his wife, "doesn't have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat, and I always tell her she'd look good in anything."
But TV was black and white back then. And generally fuzzy. Today, we're in a world of color and HD. I say, let Palin dress for success.
Here's the most delicious irony of it all. The official McCain response to the flap:
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."Aren't these the folks who said “If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose”? Now that they want to talk about the economy, they're stuck with the visual dissonance of a hockey mom in couturier fashion. Oops.—Tracey Schmitt, McCain spokesperson.
Mickeleh's Take: Back in burlesque, they used the phrase "talking woman" to mean a female who could actually deliver lines in a sketch. Talking women were rare in the genre. Most women in burlesque were hired strictly for their looks. Palin may have started out at the Republican Convention with great reviews as a talking woman, but lately the more she says, the less voters think of her. Yesterday's polls say she's an even bigger drag on McCain than Bush. So Palin's a washout as a talking woman. Still, the outfits are fabulous. She wears them well. Don't begrudge.