Sarah Palin’s $157,745 Make-Over: Does it Pass the Smell Test?

with 3 comments

I’m going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God’s hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4. — Sarah Palin, October 20, 2008

It’s called judgment. Good judgment, to be precise. And good judgment, like class, cannot be bought. To wit: as Mayor of Wasilla, Palin inherited a balanced budget and turned it into a $22 million deficit; as Governor, she charged the state of Alaska per diem for 312 night spent at home; as Vice-Presidential candidate, she went on a $157,745 shopping spree during the month of September, alone. Those who don’t see a pattern here are either deluding themselves, or are so desperate to see Palin elected, they’ll say anything. 

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

The touted numbers quote a $2500 per day average on Palin’s wardrobe when, in fact, the tally works out to $5,258.16 per day. See, we’ve not yet received word on the October expenditures. [UPDATE, 10/24/08: The first October figures are coming in, with Sarah’s make-up artist, Amy Strozzi, reportedly being paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October, alone, which brings Sarah’s make-over tally,  to a tentative subtotal of $180,545.00 for the first six weeks of the campaign.]  Hopefully, by the time the October figures are released, Palin will be little more than a receding dot in our rearview mirror (just click the heels of those ruby slippers together and repeat after me…. ). For now, those of us in America who are in the process of losing our homes, our retirement funds, our life savings, our pensions — or who are on the verge of bankruptcy, or who can’t afford basic medical care, or who are simply struggling to put food on the table…. Well, I guess we’ll just have to content ourselves with chewing on this — bearing in mind that these are only the September expenditures.

  • Shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue: $49,425.74.
  • Shopping spree at Neiman Marcus: $75,062.63
  • Shopping spree at Macy’s: $9,447.71
  • Shopping spree at Barneys New York: $789.72
  • Shopping spree at Bloomingdales: $5,102.71
  • Hair and make-up for one month:  $4,716.49
  • Voice lessons: figures not yet released
  • Services of make-up artist, Amy Strozzi: $13,200.00
  • Cost to McCain-Palin’s self-righteous, 6-pack Joe the Plumber platform: priceless

And, besides, haven’t we already been here before? Haven’t we already suffered the beauty queens, corruption, outrageous shopping sprees, the ludicrous lying, the red-flocked wallpaper, enough shoes to sink a battleship, abuse of power, gold-plated faucets, air-conditioned dog houses, pray for money, praise the Lord and pass the buck….

Must we continually forget history, so that we may be doomed to repeat it?


 “Never dress down for the poor. They won’t respect you for it. They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars.” – Imelda Marcos

“I take Him shopping with me. I say, ‘OK, Jesus, help me find a bargain.'” — Tammy Faye Bakker

“I think God’s will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that.” — Sarah Palin, June 2008

“You can educate yourself right out of a relationship with God.” — Tammy Faye Bakker

“Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.” — Imelda Marcos

 “I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t.” — Sarah Palin, 1996, after a former councilman raised objections about the $50,000 she spent renovating the mayor’s office without approval of the city council


For those die-hard Palin supporters grumbling that Obama-Biden must have surely committed some equally gross equivalent to Sarah Palin’s September make-over (Hey, what about those Greek columns?), let’s stick to comparing apples to apples (convention expenses vs. convention expenses) and oranges to oranges (clothing & make-up expenditures vs. clothing & make-up expenditures). The Obama-Biden ticket has spent zero dollars from their campaign fund on clothes, make-up, etc. for themselves, their spouses or their children. It’s a good guess that they understand — as most American voters understand — that spending your supporters’ campaign donations on hair, clothes, make-up and other what-nots just doesn’t pass the smell test.

 A sound moral compass can tell you when something is just *not right* even when  (as is said to be the case with Sarah Palin’s $157,745 make-over) it may be technically legal. If you’re the sort who doesn’t understand such things, there’s little hope that you can be taught. And money sure as hell can’t buy it for you. 

On that note, it’s interesting, if not downright grounding, to see the comparisons (see video, below, from June 2008) with the Obama family’s approach to high fashion, frugal budgets and common sense. Again, it all goes back to judgment. Good judgment, to be precise. 



3 Responses

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  1. We’ve all seen the shots of Palin in her shiny jogging suits and foofed hair, back home. Could she really have used her own leadership skills to spend the $150,000 on clothes? Why no! The Republican leadership doesn’t trust her with shopping, any more than they do with press conferences!

    Behold, as Karl Rove’s tentacles branch out into new territory: Personal Shoppers! Rove disciple Jeff Larson made the purchases for her, as detailed in The Atlantic:

    We know why they won’t let her talk to the press. My question is…why won’t they let her buy her own clothes? Do they worry that after McCain drops dead, they’ll swear in a Madame President who’s wearing a big Walmart applique sweatshirt, perhaps featuring a moose?


    October 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm

  2. MSNBC has a video online whereby they as Palin and McCain to define elitism. Her answer: an elitist is someone who thinks they are better than others (I could have sworn that John McCain rolled his eyes a few times while she was talking). So, I guess, her wearing clothes that “Joe six pack” could never afford is acceptable and does not make her part of the elite, just as long as she does not think that she is better than others LOL.

    The hypocrisy of it all is fascinating. In the debate she was all “golly-gee-shucks” but then we discover that her handlers spent more than three times the average annual American household income in a month.


    October 23, 2008 at 5:26 pm

  3. Thanks for the link, CP, and thanks for the heads-up on the MSNBC interview, pennypincher. I’ll be sure to catch that tonight. Speaking of which, I’m amazed, via my occasional glimpses at the alphabet news, that anyone in this country would vote for Obama, as it seems that so much of the news is little more than a series of anti-Obama-Biden, pro-McCain-Palin infomercials. On top of this, you’d almost never know Joe Biden existed, if you only watched the evening news. I live for Keith and Rachel and for timely news sources, such as the Atlantic.

    Going back to Sarah and her crass spending habits (even and especially as someone else lorded over her decisions) ….

    In my ill-timed and typically long-winded post in early September, “Putting Lipstick on a Pig: McCain’s Pygmalion Complex with Sarah Palin,” (which coincided with the unforeseen lipstick on a pig flak, as — honest-go-God — I thought I’d personally invented the clever application of this phrase to Sarah Palin), I commented on the McCain campaign’s pygmalion complex with Sarah Palin.

    It seems this has been an ongoing theme throughout the campaign — reinventing every possible aspect of Sarah Palin to undo everything she’s spent her whole life becoming. Seems like it would have been a heck of a lot cheaper, not to mention a bit wiser, to have just picked a less flashy, but infinitely more qualified candidate.

    Being an Obama supporter, I hope to be infinitely happier for McCain’s choice, come November 4th, much as his foolish VP selection has caused massive outbreaks of anxiety across the country.


    October 23, 2008 at 6:36 pm

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