Palin's $150K Shopping Spree

Posted: Oct 22, 2008 8:33 AM
Recent campaign finance records shows the Republican National Committee has paid more than $150,000 in clothing expenses for Sarah Palin since last month.

Media is reporting major purchases were made from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York and Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis.

I understand Sarah Palin needs to look good and probably didn't have a closet full of prime time suits in stock before she got picked, but this does seem extravagant.

It would be helpful if the Palin shopping spree stories were accompanied with information about what typical candidates spend on hair and makeup while campaigning for president.

We know what John Edwards paid for a haircut, but Hillary Clinton certainly spent thousands more than he did on her own highlights and professional traveling make up artists. We have no idea what her rainbow of pantsuits were worth. Barack Obama wears famously stylish suits. His wife is pretty well-dressed, too.

The bottom line is that the candidates do need to look good. The question how much  campaign cash should candidates use to make themselves look good. They can spend however much they want legally, but would donors be happy their candidates are using the cash for clothes? To some degree the answer is yes, but it's up to them to determine if $150K is too much or too little to outfit their new VP.

Update:Barack Obama spent at least $1,500 on his convention suit according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He ordered a custom made worsted worsted wool two-button suit from the high-end men's suit retailer Hartmax for the occassion. That same suit off the rack, meaning NOT custom made, is priced at $1,500.

The colorful Thakoon wrap dresses (here) Mrs. Obama has worn, and was applauded for wearing to her husband's convention speech, are priced around $1250 each. Mrs. Obama's favorite Chicago designer Maria Pinto, who crafted Michelle's convention speech dress (here), charges anywhere from $900-$5,000 for her dresses. Other Pinto pieces, like shirts and accessories, start at $300 each.

The black Azzedine Alaia belt Mrs. Obama wore over her purple Mario Pinto sheath dress (here) when she gave her husband the infamous "fist bump" retails for $635, according to various fashion spreads. Fashion designer Nina Garcia called the belt a "wardrobe essential" earlier this year for the NY Post.

But John McCain's denim vest with the family photo sweatshirt underneath? PRICELESS!!