RNC spent $150K to clothe Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is taking some serious heat over what she wears. No, not for the excess of pantsuits or those crazy glasses people just can’t get enough of – but for the cost of them. Politico.com recently discovered that the Republican National Committee has shelled out more than $150,000 on Palin’s wardrobe. At first McCain’s office wouldn’t answer any questions about the matter, but eventually gave in with some line about how it was all going to be donated to charity anyway.

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August. According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74. The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September. The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission’s long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs. Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.

[From Politico]

After a few hours Spokeswoman Maria Comella changed her tune, using the classic, “there are so many more important things to talk about” line before talking about what she didn’t want to talk about. It was a half-assed attempt to try to make everyone else look shallow and petty for wanting to know how campaign dollars are spent instead so she wouldn’t look evasive.

“With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses,” said spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. “It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.”

[From Politico]

Thanks, that was really useful. Politico goes over several other candidates that have been given a hard time for spending campaign money on clothing and haircuts in the past. The only prominent politician that isn’t on that list is Barack Obama – he hasn’t billed any clothing or similar items to his campaign. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, billed some things from fancy baby store Pacifier, as well as $295 at Steiniauf & Stroller Inc. I’m sure the baby’s hair had to look good on T.V.

Here’s Sarah Palin in New York carrying her baby boy Trig on Saturday. Images thanks to Bauer-Griffin.

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60 Responses to “RNC spent $150K to clothe Sarah Palin”

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  1. Mr. T says:

    Pure republican bashing. Get a life. Let’s hear more about his holiness, lord obama. I hear he craps gold nuggets.

  2. Lore says:

    She looks good and maybe at any other time it would not bother many people for the candidate of a major election to spend that much, but now with the daily dose of negative economic news it does seem excessive. It should be included in the cost of advertising though, because it is.

  3. Berry says:

    They have to get her nice clothes since she doesn’t have much going on upstairs.

  4. Kaiser says:

    It is a *huge* deal – Republicans in down-ticket, cash-strapped races are starting to complain about “why spend money on Oscar de la Renta suits for Caribou Barbie when we’re going to lose twenty more seats in the House?”

    Add to that the rolling scandals with what Gov. Palin is charging the state of Alaska for travel expenses – not just her travel, but her children’s travel.

    Oh, and all of those Republicans snarking about John Edwards’ $400 haircut – God, do I love it when $4000 highlights & haircut chickens come home to roost.

  5. Bodhi says:

    Wow, that seriously undercuts her “Jane Sixpack” image, doesn’t it? So much for her being the every-woman. Those are some steller bots, though

    It isn’t Republican bashing in the slightest. Its calling out hypocrisy. But Republicans should be used to that by know.

  6. daisy424 says:

    That is alot of $$ 😯

    Thanks for the link JayBird;
    In 2000, Democrat Al Gore took heat for changing his clothing hues. And in 2006, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was ribbed for two hair styling sessions that cost about $3,000.

    Then, there was Democrat John Edwards’ $400 hair cuts in 2007 and Republican McCain’s $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes this year.

    Looks like the baby is going to lose his sock in the header picture.

  7. gj says:

    And she looks hot in all of the clothes.

  8. elisha says:

    As the most non-partisan individual on the planet… I can honestly say I don’t give a crap about this.

  9. ER says:

    Oh, look at her baby. He’s so sweet! I simply can’t get enough of her or her family. They’re great!!!

  10. Codzilla says:

    Look at the little boo in his overalls! Hard to imagine mine were ever that small and sleepy.

  11. Syko says:

    First time I’ve seen her actually hold her baby. Usually she has him palmed off on one of her daughters.

    I don’t see it as Republican bashing at all. This woman throws other people’s money around like confetti, spends a fortune on clothes, and still can’t give a straight answer to a direct question because she is obviously not bright or well-informed. She also is a bigot and a racist. Go on, elect her. I’ve got friends in Canada or France that will take me in.

  12. breederina says:

    2 kaiser : yep those “$4000 highlight and haircut chickens ” have certainly come home to roost and laid a few eggs along the way. thanks for the 😀 k!

    It’s a big deal because it’s campaign money. Let her spend her own money to get from KMart to couture not the $50 bucks some cash strapped misled yokel sent the GOP. On second thought what the heck serves them right.

  13. Linda says:

    So it is true….the devil really does wear Prada!!! 😛

  14. MissMara says:

    😆 LOL @ Linda!

  15. Murmur says:

    I’m sure there are hypocrites in both parties. However, this is an example of Republicans being HUGE hypocrites.

    And $150K for clothes in this economy? Nice example to set.

  16. geronimo says:

    Loving the ‘haircut chickens’, kaiser. :mrgreen:

  17. journey says:

    and as huge a deal as $150,000 to outfit caribou barbie is, that’s about the cost of ONE of cindy mccain’s outfits. hard as they try to pretend that they care about the struggling joe six packs of this country, the truth is they don’t give a dam. they’re liars and grifters, read the body language analysis on them.

  18. Kristin says:

    Wow. Seems like that money could have gone to something more useful.

  19. kate says:

    i don’t care too much about this. i am much more concerned about mc cain’s ludicrous health plan, proposed spending freeze, letting returning veterans teach in public schools (without that pesky certification), etc. let’s concentrate on the issues, people.

  20. vdantev says:

    You can’t paint a pig.

  21. Ceenitall says:

    Oh come on, who wouldn’t take $150,000 to buy new clothes if offered. I know my ass would be wearing some new high price items. In two weeks that is all she will have to show for these months, I just hope she got some warm things too, because she is going to need them when she gets back home.

  22. lanette says:

    her gear doesn’t look like it costs that much…

    please i would have sent her broke ass to walmart—with the rest of the joe and jane 6 packs. 😯

  23. snappyfish says:

    First off, nothing this woman has worn has been high fashion, so this devil hasn’t worn Prada (no slight intended to Linda as that was a cute comment)

    What is so eggregious is that McCain, the man of 9 homes and 13 cars has been carping about Money every since Obama out fund raised him. He is trying to make the man of college loans and 1 house and 1 car the elitist when he is a silver spoon baby.

    So…after all the bitching about money to turn around and spend this kind of coin on this ridiculous woman, who has NO business on a national ticket, is beyond the pale.

    With the economy in the hole it is in, much to the help of McCain and the deregulation gang on capital hill, spending 150K on highlights and pantsuits is just absurd.

    Loved the haircut chicken home to roost comment from Kaiser. It was classic. Kudos

  24. JaundiceMachine says:

    And I thought it was outrageous that my local Goodwill started charging 3.99 for a t-shirt.

    I suppose when you factor in for inflation though, her wardrobe costs are very relatable to Joe Sixpacks and Jill Franzias everywhere. 🙄

  25. Kaiser says:

    Thanks for the shout-outs, Sappy, Geronimo & Bree! 😆

    Journey – One thing I’ll give Cindy McCain – her grossly expensive clothing is paid for by her beer inheritance, not by donations to the McCain campaign or RNC.

  26. Chamalla says:

    While it does seem like a lot of money, people would be up in arms if she dressed like a shlub, too. I think there is a lot of damned if you do, damned if you don’t facing every candidate, and in such a volatile political culture everything any candidate does is going to piss off half the country.

    Clothes aren’t cheap, and we Americans expect our celebs (be they performers or politicians) to look a certain way. Look at how we all act in here, picking over every flaw or mistake we perceive stars of making ad nauseum – we’re an extremely judgmental society, and it seems to me that we’re getting worse every year. This site is one of the more civilized I’ve visited, and even we get really catty about famous people or at each other.

    I dunno, I just think we’d all be better off if we spent half the energy hoisting others up as we do tearing them down.

    /rant. Maybe I need more coffee…. I just miss “nice.”

  27. Bodhi says:

    I understand what you’re getting at, Chamella, & I agree. But what (I think) most people’s problem with this is that HER money wasn’t spent. The RNC spent money raised from donations from “some cash strapped misled yokel” (Good one Bree!)

    Like Kaiser said, Cindy’s outfits are SICK expensive, but she pays for them herself. And I bet she bought Johnny Boy’s Ferragamo shoes, too.

    Its just another example of hypocrisy from the RNC.

  28. stellapurdy says:

    No one should be surprised by this. Their whole campaign is based on smoke and mirrors. Why wouldn’t they spackle and paint her up to create a diversion from the fact that she’s as dumb as a shoe?

  29. aspen says:

    About her clothing…seriously, the woman normally does her work in jeans and boots. I’m sure the same people who told her to say the same 10 things over and over no matter what she was asked spent the money on her clothing. She mostly likely had very little to do with the purchases or the choices in clothing.

    As to her travel “expenses,” she saved the state of Alaska and ridiculous amount of money by getting rid of the luxury accommodations that were provided by the state for her and her family. $20,000 in flight and hotel receipts is chump change…and I wonder very much if those upset about her taking her minor children with her as she works were upset when Hillary spent twice that much in one summer on carting Chelsea around with her from the White House.

    Stop bitching about this kind of stuff. It just isn’t important.

  30. hello says:

    Is anyone else bothered by that fact that her skirt is above her knees and she isn’t wearing nylons? I think it’s typically okay, but not if you’re a politician. Some jobs have very little room for trendiness.

  31. stellapurdy says:

    @ Aspen, I think there is a big difference between expenses for the first lady and her daughter and forging expense reports to bilk cash from her constituents in Alaska over travel expenses.

  32. Bodhi says:

    Yeah, but Hilary didn’t/doesn’t tout herself as Mrs. Joe Six Pack…

  33. prissa says:

    Syko, can I come with? 😛

  34. James says:

    Send her to white house!

    She is ready for Washington all right because she knows about corruption.

  35. GrnMtGirl says:

    I think this spending is completely outrageous. First off, this is not her money. Secondly, $75,000.00 on one shopping trip – that would pay off half, I repeat, half of my mortgage! Finally – this is blatantly against the rules. If McCain/Palin can’t follow simple campaign rules then what should we expect of them if they were to make it into office?

  36. Dingles says:

    Seems like they should’ve used that money for something a little more useful, like say, a Masters degree for her? You know…something that may make her a slightly less ridiculous contender for the White House? Lipstick on a pig, indeed.

  37. Blahblahblahblah says:

    She should have hired Stacy & Clinton. They could have outfitted her for 5 grand.

  38. Caroline says:


    I’d agree with you, but when she was Mayor of Wasilla, she promised during her campaign that she would take a salary cut to save the town money. She took a $3-4K cut, but couldn’t handle all of the responsibilities of the job, so she hired and “assistant” — actually, it was a City Manager at a cost of $40-50K annually. She also took budget funds to redecorate her office — twice. While governor, she also hired an “assistant” who babysits the kids at the State’s expense. There’s more, too, but I don’t have the time or the room to type. She’s not the “fiscal reformer” she touts herself to be.

  39. Sunnyjyl says:

    I don’t begrudge her a “parting gift”, so long as she IS departing soon.

  40. tigerlille says:

    Aw shucks!

    The ironic foot note to all this is that Sarah’s entire wardrobe bill to the RNC probably doesn’t exceed the cost of one of Cindy McCain’s ensembles (including accessories). Of course I assume that Cindy pays for her own clothing, being a multi millionaire, but maybe I am being naive.

    So why didn’t the subject of all the
    ‘vacations’ that Sarah Palin takes with her daughters and bills to the state of Alaska get much mainstream media exposure?

  41. spoonman says:

    This woman could be President? If McCain wins and dies, boy are we all really in trouble…

    Figures this power hungry abusing whore will take anything she can get. Her explaination she was going to give her clothes to charity is really smart-NOT!!!

    Why don’t you just tell the truth that you were going to give you Jimmy Chu’s to your daughters as official reps of the Govs office. hahaha

    Do you think she will fraudulently write off her children s travel and then try to cook the accounting books to show they were used in an official capacity anymore???

    What about using her husband to do her dirty work and go after relatives and have them fired???

    Maybe she will have her list of banned books accepted when she gets more power???

    And by the way dumb bitch-the Vice President only oversee’s the Senate in times when there is a tie break vote needed. Your simpleton answer to the third grader shows you know nothing and don’t have a clue of what the Vice President does. You show by your answers in the debate you really have no clue about politics.

    BTW-next time someone asks you about the Supreme court rulings or what newspaper you read come up with an answer dumb shit.

    Clap clap! Thats for thinking on your feet you dumb bitch!!!

  42. stellapurdy says:

    One last thing, some of the money went to buy clothes for her family too. I guess they needed a new wardrobe too, you betcha

  43. Cowbell says:

    Talk about money going to something more useful. How about that 604 million dollars Obama raised. I bet that money would help a lot of middle class workers… ya know considering he’s concerned with being fair and spreading the wealth.
    Send me some cash Bama!

  44. ER says:

    It’s been sooo hard to bite my tongue on this site because everyone is so liberal, but I try to respect other opinions. All I can say is, if/when Obama gets into the Whitehouse I can’t wait to see how fast his devout followers start turning on him. It’s going to be rich indeed!

  45. Mary says:

    Obama raised money for a campaign, as did Mc and Barbie, so let’s not go there. Until campaign laws are changed and I wish they were, they have no other choice. If you want to go that route, then why doesn’t Mrs. Mc give moeny to middle class people intsted of owning all those cars and houses and getting free cell phone towers. I don’t begrudge her money, but let’s not get ridiculous.

    Palin cheated the people of Alaska and has now done the same to RNC donors (who are none too happy). They did not make contributions to dress her and her family. If she saved Alaska so much money, then she should have paid for the clothes herself or gone shopping at Walmart like she is always talking about in “real” America, you betcha!!

  46. Shay says:

    With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending $150,000 on pantsuits and blouses….

    as the quote should read if they wanted to tell the truth.

  47. what says:

    ok but seriously you cannot spent that much money on clothing. how is this possible? is your clothing made out of gold?
    she could have gotten 2 months worth of very nice and presentable outfits at a tiny portion of that amount.

  48. breederina says:

    @what: it’s very easy to spend that much on clothing if
    one shops at Saks and Neimans. Throw in alterations and a jacket can easily cost $3-4k, shoes and boots $3-8 hundred and up and so on. You’re not in Kansas or at Talbots anymore. Heck, her out dated glasses which were all the rage in 2000-2001 run about $400 for the frames alone. Even that red diaper bag looks like a brand that runs around $200 or so. So $150k is not a stretch.

  49. aspen says:

    “Dumb bitch.”

    That’s class right there.

  50. Anon says:

    I wouldn’t have thought it weird if it were a couple of thousand dollars – with all the sudden media exposure she probably did need some nice outfits. But this amount of money is just excessive – I can understand that someone who sent whatever donation they could miss is outraged that it was spent on this woman.

  51. Enonymous says:

    spoonman, I think you have some issues dude. 😯 🙄

  52. Caroline says:

    To ER:

    I’m a Republican, and I don’t approve of this. Just because people do not approve of Palin as a running mate for McCain doesn’t make them a “liberal.” It just makes them sensible and intelligent.

  53. vdantev says:

    How about that 604 million dollars Obama raised. I bet that money would help a lot of middle class workers…

    The grapes are always sour when we can’t reach them. What Obama does in no way excuses what Palin or McCain do.

  54. vdantev says:

    “Dumb bitch.”

    That’s class right there.

    Almost as much class as the GOP is showing trying to foist this parroting, clueless, phony ‘aw-shucks’ hockey mom as being suitable to be second-fiddle to the most powerful political position on earth upon the collective intellect of the American people.

  55. tigerlille says:

    Why on earth does McCain and his supporters constantly berate Obama for successfully raising $600+ million for his campaign as if it were symbolic of corruption of some kind?

    The Republicans had the same options for funding as the Democrats, and now have to live with the choices they made. Obama’s money was raised through small contributions made by ordinary people, such as myself. I support my daughter and I solely on Social Security disability payments, and we are literally in poverty. IMO, Obama’s ability to raise this money and run such a successful grass roots campaign is just another indication of his ability to govern.

    Historically, the Republican’s have almost always outspent the Democrats on political campaigns. Now that their ability to raise big money through contributions from special interest groups has been curtailed, their lack of popular support from the ordinary voting public has been revealed.

    I love it, and have no patience with McCain’s whining.

  56. Caroline says:

    To Cowbell;

    The funds raised by the Obama campaign go right back into the business community. They pay people for their services, and the products. Talk about stimulating the economy. People don’t realize that the money McCain or Obama raise doesn’t go into a piggy bank. OBama just raised more. It’s McCain’s fault that he chose the path he did. To me, it’s just another mistake in his judgment.

  57. Linda says:

    I am so sick of hearing McCain whine about the money that Obama has raise – hey John, get a clue, American citizens prefer Obama to you and are showing him their support by contributing to his campaign.

    I think if you follow this link, it will show you the REAL difference between Obama and McCain and you will see why so many people will be voting for Barack Obama come November 4th.


  58. hollz says:

    Did any one else see the picture of the 7 year old with the EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAR LV bag? why does a 7 year old NEED a bag?

  59. Tina says:

    WOW! She spent more on her 3 month wardrobe than I did on the purchase of my house which is taking 15 years to pay off if I am lucky!


    Are there REALLY Americans who buy into this load?

  60. minx says:

    do you guys remember when the GOP was OUTRAGED over Bill Clinton’s $400 haircut? BTW, I had no idea Talbots was so costly 😉