No, seriously. I don’t get at all excited over the $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s clothing, hair, and make-up for the duration of the campaign since Labour Day. That’s 60 days (I’m presuming she’s not getting much time away from the cameras) of campaigning. That means $2,500 per day. I wouldn’t be surprised if she used up two outfits per day – she works very long hours, you know – and required a few pit-stops to freshen up her do. I’ve done my share of television, and I can tell you that if you want to look presentable without being too uncomfortable, you’ve got to spend money on good quality clothes. (I love Wal-Mart for a lot of things; pant suits not among them.)
And you know, Sarah Palin looks great. I want a politician who’s like me and who understands my concerns, sure. But I don’t necessarily want a politician who looks like me…
Patricia adds: This story is so obviously and desperately calculated I cannot believe it will have any traction. But I am so often forced to believe the unbelievable that I should probably give up on incredulity.
It’s clear that those women who might be inclined to identify with Sarah Palin (those “hockey mums”) are supposed to feel betrayed and outraged that Sarah doesn’t buy all her clothes at Costco and Winners (just to pull a few random examples of low end shops that come to mind for no particular reason at all). I suspect that most of those hockey mums will react with the same shrug as Brigitte, if not a bit of sympathy for the fact that Sarah is once again being attacked for something that most of us wish we could do. Not only that, but the attack is coming from people who probably spend an awful lot of their disposable income on looking good, with no compelling reason to do so (such as being under a hostile media microscope 24/7).
Look, I can’t quite imagine being in Sarah Palin’s shoes. I am an unemployed housewife. But I do have something of a professional background and a vivid imagination. I can imagine nothing worse than having my wardrobe (even at its height during my years of work on Bay Street) scrutinized by the media, especially a media viscerally hostile to me and everything I stand for. And, let’s face it, all those women who would hate me for not being “one of them” would probably have better clothes than me, especially since the fancy professional wardrobe was the first item that dropped off my budget priority list when child care, children’s clothes, schooling, piano lessons, dance lessons, a bigger vehicle, braces, haircuts, dentistry, prescriptions, etc., etc., etc., went on the list.
So, if, for example, some fixer from the party’s National Committee said, “Don’t worry about clothes. We have a budget and a personal shopper who can take care of that for you”, I’d breathe a huge sigh of relief, say “yes, please” and move on to more important matters.
I suspect that’s what Sarah Palin did. So, once again, it’s pretty rich that she is being attacked for it by people who probably spend a lot more of their personal energy on looking good than she ever could, given her other responsibilities, and who would be the first to mount a catty little whisper campaign, if not full-on attack, if her clothes did not live up to their standards.
Andrea adds: Trish and Brigitte, agreed. And the more ridiculous the attacks on Palin get, the more inclined I am to support her. Also been looking for the “clothing budget” for Joe Biden. Funny, I can’t find it. Seems to me in this case, Palin may just be a bit too good looking–a story driven by jealousy if I ever saw one.
Andrea again: Mark Steyn on Palin’s shoes is worth cutting and pasting in full.
A Woman’s Right to Shoes
I must say I’ve never been much of a foot fetishist (and please, any members of Foot Fetishists For Obama: no email blitzes pointing out what a pedophobe I am). Nevertheless, since the investigative research units of our major media operations developed their peculiar obsession with Sarah Palin’s shoes, I’m beginning to enjoy the kinky frisson of it all. This Chicago Sun-Times photo gallery is especially impressive. And, by the way, if you think it’s easy photographing Governor Palin’s feet all day when you could be out investigating Acorn, these pictures are taken at some pretty severe angles. At least when they’re with Obama, they only have to throw themselves at his feet metaphorically.
On the other hand, it’s far easier photographing Joe Biden’s footwear because it’s generally in his mouth.
Tanya looks into this important issue more deeply: Apparently, a guy’s gotta shop, too. Obama’s suits are $1,500 a pop.
I second this editorialist:
Older photographs, from when Palin was just a regular old governor and paid for her own clothes, show her wearing fleece jackets, chunky turtlenecks and windbreakers. Her wardrobe probably did need a little help. Truthfully, whose wouldn’t?
Andrea notes that her own wardrobe is perfect. I recently came to work wearing a turtleneck I had thought I might give to Goodwill–but then decided it wasn’t nice enough. (I didn’t have a single meeting that day, but wouldn’t Murphy’s Law dictate someone come in to the office unannounced? Right on.)by