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$150,000 Wardrobe for Palin May Alter Tailor-Made Image

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Eleazar1234 Sent: 10/22/2008 10:55:23 PM

Sarah Palin’s wardrobe joined the ranks of symbolic political excess on Wednesday, alongside John McCain’s multiple houses and John Edwards’s $400 haircut, as Republicans expressed fear that weeks of tailoring Ms. Palin as an average “hockey mom” would fray amid revelations that the Republican Party outfitted her with expensive clothing from high-end stores.
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Cable television, talk radio and even shows like “Access Hollywood” seemed gripped with sartorial fever after campaign finance reports confirmed that the Republican National Committee spent $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue in September for Ms. Palin and her family.

Advisers to Ms. Palin said on Wednesday that the purchases — which totaled about $150,000 and were classified as “campaign accessories” — were made on the fly after Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, was chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29 and needed new clothes to match climates across the 50 states. They emphasized, too, that Ms. Palin did not spend time on the shopping, and that other people made the decision to buy such an array of clothes.

Yet Republicans expressed consternation publicly and privately that the shopping sprees on her behalf, which were first reported by Politico, would compromise Ms. Palin’s standing as Senator McCain’s chief emissary to working-class voters whose salvos at the so-called cultural elite often delight audiences at Republican rallies.

That possibility was brought to colorful life, for instance, on “The View” on ABC, as Joy Behar, a co-host, noted the McCain campaign’s outreach to blue-collar workers — like an Ohio plumber who recently chided Senator Barack Obama over taxes — after another co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, defended the expenditures.

“I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks,” Ms. Behar said.

Advisers to Mr. Obama — as well as those of his rival in the Democratic primaries, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton — said that campaign money was never spent on personal clothing, but that potentially embarrassing purchases could be blended into advertising budgets.

Mr. Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, however, listed his infamous $400 haircut as a campaign expense, and after it was detected, he struggled to shake an elitist image in his failed Democratic presidential bid.

Such an image is unhelpful at this late stage of the general election, Republicans said, especially when many families are experiencing economic pain, and when the image applies to a candidate — Ms. Palin — who has run for office in part on her appeal as an outdoors enthusiast and former small-town mayor who scorns pretensions.

“It looks like nobody with a political antenna was working on this — just one more sign of the hapless decisions in this campaign,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican political consultant who ran President Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984. “It just undercuts Palin’s whole image as a hockey mom, a ‘one-of-us’ kind of candidate.”

Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, have been tagged as elitist by both Republicans and Democrats at times, and so much was made when she appeared on “The View” in June in a black-and-white patterned dress. Turns out it sold for $148 at an off-the-rack store.

Few Republican operatives or politicians, even those critical of the McCain-Palin campaign, were publicly criticizing the ticket on Wednesday over the clothing purchases. Some said privately that doing so would be akin to kicking a campaign while it was down.

Others said the issue was tainted with sexism, given that male politicians often spend thousands of dollars on suits.

“She had a legitimate need to purchase clothing to get her through three months of grueling campaigning in the constant spotlight of television cameras,” said William F. B. O’Reilly, a Republican consultant in New York. “No one would blink if this was a male candidate buying Brooks Brothers suits.”

Other Republicans said the focus on Ms. Palin’s clothing did not fairly reflect the challenge she faced: Neither she nor her Republican allies expected that she would be tapped as Mr. McCain’s running mate until the last minute, when she was elevated from her comfort zone in Alaska and presented to the nation as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee.

“If they hadn’t done this, ‘Saturday Night Live’ would be doing jokes where Governor Palin would be dressed in elk skin,” said Rich Galen, a Republican consultant not associated with the McCain campaign.

Party officials, who said they had discussed the matter with McCain and Palin advisers, said that all concerned wanted Ms. Palin to present herself as a fashionable-but-sensible on-the-go working mother — a multilayered sartorial strategy, in other words, that has yielded an array of well-cut jackets and skirts, suitable for the different seasons and state climates.

Nicolle Wallace, a top adviser to Mr. McCain, described the clothes as a wardrobe necessary for an extraordinary circumstance and said the clothing would be given to charity at the conclusion of the campaign.

More than $130,000 of the charges used to outfit Ms. Palin and her family were initially footed by Jeff Larson, a prominent Republican consultant in Minneapolis whose firm has been tied to the onslaught of negative robocalls from Mr. McCain’s campaign on Mr. Obama. Mr. Larson was also the chief executive of the local host committee for the Republican National Convention, in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Federal Election Commission records showed Mr. Larson was reimbursed by the Republican National Committee for charges at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Barneys New York and Atelier New York, a men’s clothing store.

If Ms. Palin chose to keep the clothes after the campaign is over, the $150,000 would have to be taxed as income. I.R.S. rules allow for employees to deduct the cost of uniforms worn for work, so long as the clothes have no use other than one’s job.

If the clothes are given by the Republican National Committee to the Palins, the value of the clothes would be taxable income, but the Palins could offset this by donating them to charity and taking a deduction.

Had the money come from the McCain campaign, it would be a conversion of campaign money into personal use, which is prohibited. The same rule does not apply to money from party committees.

“The R.N.C. cleverly used the party committee’s money to avoid the liability that would have occurred if campaigns funds were used,” said Kenneth Gross, a lawyer who is an expert in campaign finance.

Under disclosure requirements of the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Ms. Palin would need to report any gifts valued at over $250 that come from a single giver.

Elisabeth Bumiller and Leslie Wayne contributed reporting.

Messenger: Eleazar1234 Sent: 10/22/2008 10:58:11 PM

This is Satan, think of how many starving people could be fed with 150,000 dollars. In the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, people are struggling, they need help. And they waste it on this. Babylon is sickening.

Messenger: Ras Sistren Khamyl Sent: 10/23/2008 8:43:52 AM

Who cares how she spends her money? Yes people are starving, but would Jah not want us to prosper?

I take issue with babylon spending tax dollars on an unjust war, however I can not begin to comment on what an individual chooses to spend his/her money on. That is something between their creator and them.


"Judge not, least you be judged"

Messenger: Eleazar1234 Sent: 10/23/2008 9:32:38 AM


EveryONE is certainly entitled to their own opinion. The money spent, however, was not her money. It was Repulican party funds. Palin has been trying to portray herself as an average "hockey mom" type, and I just think that it is slightly hypocritical to spend 150,000 dollars on clothes when the world is in a major financial crises and some people are starving, like in Zimbabwe.


Messenger: Yaa Asantewa Sent: 10/23/2008 11:09:31 AM

Moreover... this 'Joe the Plumber' thing is just reeking of taking the p***. I actually find it very crass, and vulgar for the Republicans of ALL organisations to go on about Joe the Plumber... I mean, they're not even inventive... Average Joe? John Doe, or Joe Doe? I mean, if that is not enough for the masses to see through this big poliTRICKal game and how these people really flex, and how they really think of the people with whose lives they toy with, like toy soldiers, or toy trains... then I don't know what will.

How come nobody is like... 'hold on a minute! what is this Joe the Plumber analogy/euphemism thing about. So..? Is average 'Joe' just one big joke story to them?'

They really are becoming audacious now. tsk tsk.

Messenger: Ten Sent: 10/23/2008 3:09:52 PM

"This is Satan" - I think not, a rather extreme description. There are worse things one can do than spend $150 000 of campaigner's money on clothes. But I do agree its greedy and corrupt of her to spend the people's money on a wardrobe - it'd be better spent on paying a team of political advisers to educate her cos everytime she speaks its just blunder after blunder. I hope the Pallin supporters get a wake-up call after this latest scandal.

Messenger: Ras Sistren Khamyl Sent: 10/24/2008 1:36:47 PM

You reap what you sow and if you are unconscious enough to donate to politrickal parties because you are naive enough to think the selection of the president is a democratic process, then you have squandered your resources already.

That's why they call it the amerikkkan dream, you have to be asleep to believe it!


And I aint down with that Obama crap either; he is focusing on the so called middle class which is by definition nonexistent. I don't even know anyone who makes 100,000 dollars a year. The sad thing is that those who support him and are not of that elite group actually think he is addressing them and he clearly states he is not!

Messenger: wahdahdah Sent: 10/24/2008 2:19:50 PM

RASTAFARI One Love People.
True Dat RSK bout' the american dream. it is not only a dream but a true nitemare filled with evil empires, vampires wolves and blood thirsty zombies. BLOOD FYAH!, I&I realize I just discribed american politics in it's nutshell. LOL.
I&I watch and listen to the parents of the children who attend the school Iman children go. and they ask I who are ya' gonna vote for in November. VOTE! I SEY WHAT KINDA RACE DEY RUNNIN' I GOTTA VOTE? Then they rephrase the question," UM who out of the Lesser evil will you choose for president." I&I will choose the same leader I do every single day, "OH Sir, WHO? RASTAFARI SELASSIE I KING OF KINGS LORD OF LORDS. H.I.M. is who, and not less than only greater than any government american polytricks can ever offer. Some have asked, "Oh, what party is he running for?" I just have to smile and say H.I.M. is the Party of True Reality, the only party. "Oh, is he GREEN I say no MAN H.I.M. BLACK. Africa Black just like All of us He is for the people, In the people and thru the people. His Aim is ONE LOVE, Equality and Justice for all Mankind. that usually will drive the conversation to a Stillness and a look of Dread on the person who asked I Who am I voting for. LOL
As far as how much money a person spends on their clothing. that is not I&I to judge, Judas was upset when Oil was used on Jesus' feet to soothe Him. Judas wanted to sell the oil and give the money to the poor. Christ replied, there would always be poor such as these times in Babylon. so it is not of I concern how much is spent on the whore of babylon. The price is relative it could cost one dollar or 100 thousand it is for ceazar not JAH so why does it matter to I? Sarah Palin is a poor poor pawn in the politrickle game as all of the other wasted souls, The rich Man's worth is in the city, the poor man's wealth is in a Holy Place, RASTAFARI.
I&I here to fight spiritual wickedness not flesh wars, therefore as the flesh shall burn so shall the clothes on the whore of Babylon. Money is not the root of all evil it is people and there intentions to the ways they use things (money). seen?
So, many people asleep at the wheel.

Messenger: Ten Sent: 10/24/2008 5:01:51 PM

Greetings Ones,
Well I think its a natural fact of life that His Majesty is RighTful Ruler, no question abt that, but I think what we also have to accept is the fact that the world we live in is run by governments - some elected and others by use of force. I think for those that can vote at least have some say to how they want they want their countries to be run. That's one of the many positive things about Obama, at least he's mobilised the young Americans into becoming politically active. The more they become involved in what happens in their own country then they stand a better chance at changing things - and yes they might even become conscious of the underhanded workings of political systems and become aware of wa'gwan in the world. I'm tired of hearing Ones chanting 'burn this burn that its politricks' - either do something to change your situation or emigrate to a better country or leave this modern life and go trod in sack in the hills. Only I n I can change our life and how its governed. If I n I are willing to do something to effect positive change, even in the smallest of ways then at least we are halfway there, that's irie. However if its always going to be 'burn this, burn that' the minute politics comes up its doesn't do anyone any good, least of all I n I.
RasTafarI Is

Messenger: wahdahdah Sent: 10/24/2008 8:41:05 PM

Greetings to ALL ONE LOVE.
True said Sistren TEN, I realize what the I is saying as far as livin' hear in america. and as a baker of natural foods in I comunity with I Queen and three children it is I&I duty to live comunally in this society. As crazy as things are. Iman am blessed to live in a country that has allowed I to do JAH works and give I&I hand in developing a different way of livin'. Through I craft and art of producing natural and organic products with JAH vibes is such a blessing. and true Iman in other countries the people are told what work they MUST do. and what GOD to worship. and What Leader will Lead. The Sister speaks RIGHT ON. when sayin, if YA don't like it than go live In a sack in the Hills. Iman troded like that for many years but JAH put I in the middle of Babylon to spread HIS message and make a livin' and giving people an alternative in their daily bread for body and spirit. YES I. And we all here in USA realize that there is this government that we must contend with and live so I&I Give Thanks, a man like Obama has shown himself in the polytrickle system. I&I hope there is some truth to what he is trying to acomplish. There seems to be so much intensified hate in this country lately. The last years with Bush and his thugs have really created some pressure on many working class people.

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