The most interesting thing about the now-infamous revelation that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 outfitting Sarah Palin is how much people care. It has been two months of a campaign that offered new, outrageous facts nearly every week, and this is what gets people fired up?
Thursday’s hefty coverage of the issue suggests so. The Washington Post scrambled to dissect exactly how one would spend so much money in so little time. Slate dispatched a reporter into the field (read: Saks) to try to rack up a $150,000 bill, while New York magazine crunched numbers, creating theoretical shopping lists based on her total expenditure at each store. Both concluded: It’s actually not that difficult to drop 150 G’s, perhaps a depressing realization all on its own (especially in this economy).
What many seem to find so irksome is the hypocrisy of a candidate proselytizing about being a regular old hockey mom and then strutting about in Jimmy Choos while her running mate tries to convince the country that he feels their economic pain. And I, for one, would like to think that this will change the minds of my neighbors back in Ohio who maintain that Palin is a stand-up gal. But truth be told, if voters aren’t turned off by Palin’s many other egregious missteps, I doubt a stack of designer receipts will sway many minds. And really, should it? Do you really care how much Barack and Michelle Obamas spend on their clothing? How much the Kerrys spent campaigning in 2004? Do you really want to go there?
And besides, given how much time people have spent obsessing about how Palin looks, you can hardly blame the Republican National Committee for wanting to help her put her best designer boot forward. The New York Times declared this morning: “Look Is the Same; the Labels Have Changed.” The article detailed Palin’s transition from “a pink turtle neck and a preppy track jacket” when she first arrived at the governor’s mansion in Juneau to the Valentino jacket she wore during her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. So maybe the Valentino is excessive, but given how much time people spent mulling over the appearance of Hillary Clinton’s butt in a pantsuit, I can only imagine a track jacket would not have gone over well.