Thursday, October 23, 2008

Candidate clothing

As someone with no fashion sense and a notorious cheapskate to boot, I am not the best person to be talking about the recent revelations about the Republican campaign's clothing purchases for Sarah Palin. I did a post on it at "Just the facts ma'am," only verifying the amount spent, which was pretty darn close to $150K.

Now, here's the thing: I just got some birthday money and am planning to buy some clothes. With the $500 gift from my parents, I figure I can probably get a good professional outfit. One. And hopefully a decent undergarment that lifts us up where we belong, if I may be so bold. So I appreciate that it costs money to look professional. And I appreciate that being quickly thrust into a media spotlight might require the outlay of a good bit of cash to prevent the nastiness that often hits professional women as people judge on the basis of clothing and appearance.

I guess the question is, How much is too much? If it were only, say, $50,000, would it be OK? My guess is people would still say (and with some reason) "Fifty thousand dollars!!!"

My real problem with this situation is that there seems to have been NO effort made at showing any sort of economizing whatsoever. As one commentator (whose link I have misplaced) said, this simply seemed to show a tin ear to the current situation, and it also sent a very different message from the message Sarah Palin is saying, about being "just regular folks." It may have been different had the RNC spent a lot of cash in ways that felt economical: less upscale stores, for example.

Now, I've been annoyed with some of the egregiously outraged commentary. There was one that assailed SP for carrying this canvas tote bag (with a moose pictured on it) while also assailing her for the expensive clothes. Personally, I think the tote bag is a lovely a real touch, something that seems genuine in the midst of all the image. But again, I'm a fashion moron, so what do I know?

To answer that, here's what I know: As I have learned from being a regular reader of "Beauty Tips for Ministers," what you wear says something about you. What -- let me put it this way -- what the RNC and the McCain campaign is having Sarah Palin wear and what is coming out of Sarah Palin's mouth are at odds with each other.

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