Remember the hue and cry raised over John Edward’s $400 haircut? Well, for those of you who want that “just an ordinary hockey mom” look, it’s not as casual as it looks. It took nearly five thousand dollars to pretty Sarah up in September, and that’s only hair and makeup. The Republican National Committee shows a $130,000 shopping spree, financed by a campaign advisor, for the Palin family. I don’t begrudge them new duds but it does make Sarah not quite as in touch with the average person as she contends. There are no trips to WalMart or KMart on the list, don’t ya know. When was the last time the average voter spent $75K at Neiman Marcus and $40K at Saks Fifth Avenue (plus sizable chunks at Bloomingdales, Barney’s and Macy’s) all in one day??? Yeah, they really share our pain over the economy, don’t they???
The expenditures were listed on the R.N.C.’s monthly financial disclosure forms.
Those forms also documented $4,716.49 on hair and makeup in September, expenses that were not incurred in August.
On the campaign trail, Ms. Palin is always impeccably turned out, sometime changing jackets, high heels and hairstyles twice or three times a day.
When asked for comment, Alex Conant, a spokesman for the R.N.C., said only: “The R.N.C. does not discuss expenses as it relates to strategy.”
The full shopping list for Ms. Palin and her family, according to records of the Federal Election Commission, looks like this:
• $75,062.63 spent at Neiman Marcus on Sept. 10.
• $41,850.72 to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York on Sept. 10.
• $7,575.02 to Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis on Sept. 10.
• $5,102.71 to Bloomingdale’s in New York on Sept. 10.
• $789.72 to Barney’s New York on Sept. 10.
• Charges of $4,396.94 and $512.92 at Macy’s in Minneapolis on Sept. 10.
• $4,537.85 to Macy’s in Minneapolis on Sept. 22.
• $349.50 to Lord & Taylor in New York on Sept. 25.
• $4,902.08 to Atelier New York, a men’s clothing boutique, on Sept. 10.
• Two separate charges of $98 to Pacifier, a high-end baby store in Minneapolis, on Sept. 10 and Sept. 25.
• $98.50 to Steinlauf & Stoller, a sewing supply store, in New York on Sept. 25.
• $133 to the Gap in Minneapolis on Sept. 25.
The money for the clothing came out of the budget of the Republican National Committee’s co-ordinated campaign fund, not the McCain campaign, an an important legal distinction, said Kenneth Gross, a campaign finance expert at Skadden Arps in Washington.
Had the money come from the McCain campaign, it would be a conversion of campaign funds into personal use, which is prohibited. The same rule does not apply to money from party committees.