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Marianne Paskowski

Palin’s $150,000 Wardrobe Riles Viewers

October 23, 2008 1:04 PM

Gov. Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin

Today we learned that a fellow Republican gave Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin $150,000 to gussy up her wardrobe and her family’s threads shortly after Sen. John McCain announced that she would be his running mate.

That factoid has got to sit in the craw of most voters and TV viewers who don’t even make that much money a year and have been watching their 401ks and other investments nosedive. GOP supporters said the media coverage regarding this is unprecedented and biased.

I say, bring it on. I want to know everything about this woman who emerged from out of nowhere and would be a heartbeat away from running this country if McCain keels over: That’s something to think about, given his age and what little we know about his medical history.

If Palin were a true “maverick”—her moniker, not mine—she would present herself for who she really is, a soccer mom from Alaska.

I hope “SNL” has a ball with this latest campaign update. Maybe Tina Fey will come out dressed in a parka and hip-high boots, rather than those newly purchased designer rags.

The big question is, will this revelation hurt Palin’s appeal with viewers and voters?


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Comments (50)

Andy S.:

You'd think they might spring for a fancy new toolbelt and designer overalls for Joe the Plumber? He looks like he needs it more than she does.

David Cohen:

$150K? That's a lot of lipstick!

Arthur Greenwald:

I'm no fan of Sarah Palin. I think she's plainly unqualified to run the United States government and her selection was a cynical and irresponsible political decision that potentially endangers our country.

Even so, this wardrobe business is yet another stupid distraction from the real issues in this election.

Anybody who's ever budgeted a live TV show knows that everything you purchase costs more. When it comes to wardrobe anything you buy must work, must be purchased quickly at full price, must be altered or repaired instantly, and often you must buy 2 or more of everything so you'll have a replacement on hand.

And that's for a show in one controlled location that lasts just an hour or so.

A Presidential campaign is like a live marathon stage show that goes on for at least 8 weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual cost of clothing the candidates was over $250K apiece.

Kudos to CNN's Campbell Brown, who famously criticized Palin's media-dodging tactics, but sprang to her defense over this foolish clothing business.


Marianne Paskowski:


Or maybe elocution lessons from whoever today's Professor Doolittle is? As to Joe the Plumber, he needs a plumbing license before he should acessorize his outfit.
Thanks for the yuck, m

Marianne Paskowski:

Let's agree to disagree here. McCain, or the GOP, really made a bad choice, and that we agree about.

But I'm not talking about a over-budgeted TV show. I'm talking about the reality of a political campaign. And that should mean warts and all. Personally, let her wear a coonskin hat. Hmm wong state that was Davy Crockett, Tenn.

And I don't think Campbell Brown said the right thing. This clothing news is not a sideshow. It's a revelation of Palin's character.The NYT's mentioned today, Sen. Hillary Clinton pays for her own threads.

Good to see you back, have you been away or bored by my latest blogs:)m

Marianne Paskowski:


Wonder if she wears a fur coat. Probably, sure she doesn't know what PETA is or gives a hoot, by golly,


Yo, Blondie --

You might be bloviating over the $150k threads (envious of her shopping trip?), along with most other voters. But Palin was chosen to appeal to a group of voters who, truth be told, cannot even imagine a $150k wardrobe. There's only so many outfits you can buy from Tractor Supply.

Cruisin not bruisin

Jeff Mulligan:


Come on; lighten up a bit. Under normal circumstances, any candidate for high office buying a snappy new wardrobe wouldn't be news, just prudent window dressing. But the problem here is clearly completely of the McCain campaign's making. Had they not stoked the fires of class and inter-racial distrust, we wouldn't be abashed by Palin's wardrobe. But, by emphasizing the "we" vs. "they," especially to relatively unsophisticated voters, Palin's $150,000 wardrobe only looks like a cynical bid to have it both ways, and gull the rubes in the process.

The McCain campaign's incompetence is itself shocking compared to the Nazi-like discipline the Bushies exercised in 2000 and 2004. If McCain can't even meet that standard, we have to wonder how would he handle a Katrina or other crises which Bush so badly bungled?


Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cruiser,

I don't think she did the actual shopping, the GOP picked out her wardrobe, from what I've read, seen, heard, etc.

Yes, I have a little envy. So I hope my publisher, Chuck Ross will spring for a $150,000 wardrobe makeover. Afterall, I'm going to CTAM on behalf of TV Week, and my Cape Cod "island girl" attire just won't work:)


Marianne Paskowski:

Yep, maybe the GOP should feel heartened over the wardrobe distraction.Gave them time to pedal for time.

Especially as Obama is off the campaign trail, tending to his ill grandmother. The latest poll I heard, today, was that McCain has actually narrowed the gap between his poll numbers and Obams's, whose scores were ahead by 10 percent just days ago.

Bigger issues to worry about, the economy, the war, health care, the status of our country globally, all questions they cannot or will not answer.

Thanks for weighing in, m

Don Wolf:

Frankly, I feel sorriest for the hard-working, blue-collar, honest citizen taxpayers out there who are being lied to, misinformed, maligned, and manipulated by both the GOP and Democratic campaigns. These are people who work hard, pay their taxes, help their neighbors, believe in God and the goodness of America. They teach their children what they live by: the Golden Rule and a "live and let live" belief in the perfectability of man (even if they won't express it that way).

Now they become targets for the GOP cynicism that has had the plutocrats who run that party manipulating them. The fat cats only need those people to turn out and vote, so they scare them to death at election time, the rest of the time picking their pockets.

Meanwhile, the Democrats smugly dismiss these patriotic Americans, rather than showing enough respect for their concerns. Obama himself offers solutions that will work to their advantage (and all our advantages). But the Democratic pundits, like GOP pundits, deride the very people who are working too hard to play political games or care much about them.

Joe the Plumber is such a silly charicature. But who, of no matter which socio-economic group, wouldn't want to be "Queen for a Day" with a $150K shopping spree? (I'll spend my $150k in the Sears hardware department, thank you.)


Raptor Ron:

Give me a break!

Sarah Palin still stands a chance of becoming the President of the United States, should two events occur which have reasonably possible chances. Do you want someone in the Oval Office who isn't stylish, doing his or her best to project a competent image?
McCain is the worst dresser; he looks like a cranky old man escaped from the assisted living center.

Raptor Ron



I'm tired of you pinko media types (from Cape Cod, of all socialist enclaves) making fun of solid American values and the desire of a candidate for high office to dress for the part. Sarah Palin is not only one of Alaska's hockey moms, she's a leader showing the style a leader should display.


Marianne Paskowski:


Think you summed it up best by calling Palin, "Qeeen for a Day."

But this isn't a beauty pageant, it's an election. And I agree with you that the American public is being duped.But the American public is culpable, not paying enough attention, or the last eight years would not have happened.

But think about this: Which party is better equipped to handle the economic crisis it will inherit from eight years of Bush?

Obviously whoever wins will be "stepping into it," as we dog owners say.

So Don, thanks for "stepping into it" up here, m

Marianne Paskowski:

Clothes do not make a man or a woman. Look at her eyes,

Wink, wink, puke, m

Marianne Paskowski:

Get a grip, if Palin wasn't a last minute choice, and she was, she would have been dressed for the part.

Why can't she pay for her own clothes? I do, m


I've read enough of your blogs. I never considered your warped liberal perspective important enough to complain about. But now, I'm mad. You are questioning the perfectly valid wardrobe upgrade of a true American patriot, whom John McCain rightly calls the best governor in the country.

What are you? A moose scared of being shot? A polar bear, who doesn't contribute to Alaska's income anyway and therefore doesn't deserve all the alleged "global warming" fuss?

You effete socialists ought to try and live like real people: evading the car loan repo people; shoplifting a holiday moose haunch from the local market; coveting Home Shopping Network specials;
affording the high cost of .223 cal AR-15 ammo (really splatters an elk carcass!); chewing caribou jerky with mail-order teeth.

You need to learn about the Real America. And when John McCain is elected, you'll get your chance. Sensible economic policies that do not penalize our economic leaders such as Wall Street CEOs, proper vetting of presidential appointments to ensure that they are our kind of patriots, making the world not only safe for Democracy, but making it the only form of government--these will be the standards of a new American enlightenment. How could we expect as much from someone who isn't a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant?

Gonzo to the finish

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Gonzo,
Yep, you got that right. Many of us are indeed moose, shot in our tracks, with the GOP killing us from above like prey for sport, for eight years now.

And now we have the perfect symbol of what is wrong with this nation, the GOP's selection of Sarah P.

I am gratified the press is all over this story. Yeah, it's a sidebar, but very revealing.

Thanks for your rambling post, m

Gonzo Guy:

Now, you liberal socialist, anti-American, media wimp, you dismiss my response as "rambling"! That's the way you femlibs always beef about red-blooded American viewpoints, low gas-mileage cars, and Soviet sushi. Why don't you come clean about your real views about "frankenfood," fluoridated water, and the Cubs' sorry showing? You pinkos caused it all, just like Karl Marx instructed in that subversive computer book, DOS Capital!

Marianne Paskowski:

Oh Gonzo,

I have a three step program for you:

1. Stop watching Fox News
2. Do not go to MSNBC, will give you a heart attack
3. Stay in the middle with CNN.

Now about the car thing, I drive a gas-sipping RAV-4. What do you think Sarah P drives? Have no idea.

Apparently something big enough to haul a dead moose home, not to eat but put up as a trophy. That is your Republican female candidate for the veep slot, a trophy.

Thanks, I think, for your post, m

Joe Guerin:

Hello, Marianne --

It's appalling to read some of the comments your blog has attracted, sort of drawing the rodents from the woodpile. Fact is, the $150,000 Palin wardrobe is simply part of the same cynical manipulation of the electorate that the Republicans have consistently attempted throughout this campaign season. When their nefarious game is exposed, the GOP can only attack with the mean spirited, hateful commentary they've been using, thankfully unsuccessfully. No wonder principled conservatives are deserting the McCain campaign; they are as shocked as principled liberals. Obama promises hope and a new tomorrow. McCain-Palin offers hate and distrust. I know what kind of America I want.


Marianne Paskowski:

Well Joe,
Now you know how divided this political race is becoming. I attract some whack jobs up here, and this blog has become some sort of magnet for people who want to vent.

I'm OK with this stuff, everyone has the right to say what they think, feel.

Thanks for weighing in, m

Dear Marianne,

This is why your blog is a must read. I probably check in at least six times a day. Your conversations up here are priceless. Thank you for making them so lively. Is there anyone else in television who tangles with your readers as you do?



I think the $150K price tag is ridiculous, but we all know that women are held to a different standard than men where wardrobe is concerned.

I put the blame for this expenditure on the RNC "image consultants" and not Palin herself. I have a feeling she'd be just fine making appearances in clothing from JCPenney or even camo!

Marianne, you know Palin doesn't have the high income that McCain and Obama have, so there's no way she can afford that kind of wardrobe.

BTW, I've heard more "mean spirited, hateful commentary" from both sides than in any other presidential election year. I'm not particularly pleased to have either of them in the White House!

The most amazing thing is: It seems that the most hateful commentary about Palin comes from women. Go figure.

Marianne Paskowski:

Clearly you are a person with discerning taste:) Thanks for the kind words, they inspire me to try harder to engage my readers into the conversation.


Marianne Paskowski:


I agree that women are always held to higher standards than men, especially when it comes to superficial criteria like appearances.

I agree that her RNC handlers made the decision to glam her up. But she could have and should have said no way Jose.

You're right about a lot of the criticism of Palin coming from women. A lot of us do not relate to her at all in this new role.

As to her income, I think she and the "First Dude" are doing just fine. And was it really necessary to buy a little designer outfit for the six-month old baby who she ruthlessly and constantly parades on stage?

Thanks for your post, and a new slant to this gabfest, m

I am NOT about to write something prematurely, nor stupidly.

Let me write it this way, hopefully, in eleven days we will be rid of Sarah Palin nationally and she can go back to Alaska.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

From your lips to God's ear....thanx,m

gail michelle:

It seemed that a lot of people who are defending Sarah Palin's extremely expensive, (often dowdy) new wardrobe; really went to town fussing about John Edwards $400 haircut.

I do agree that I'm more concerned about Sarah Palin's double digit IQ, rather than her 6 digit clothing spree. However it does seem hypocritical for her to call herself someone who's in touch with problems of working families. But because of that double digit IQ I guess that it makes sense to her.

And don't bother to call me liberal, I'm a moderate and was undecided until recently. This crazy
McCain -Palin combo has made my mind up for me.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi gail michelle,

I tend to be slightly left of center, but the GOP ticket threw me squarely into the other camp as well

Nice wording about the double digit IQ vs. 6 digit clothing spree. Thanks for a much-need laugh,m

Andy S.:

I think this thread, and the campaign in general, can be summed up in two words:

Empty Suits

Marianne Paskowski:

Wow, this gets even better: her stylist makes more money than her political adviser, according to AP.

And yeah, we've got a few whacko posters here, but as I always say, let it rip.

Thanks for stopping by, m

Troy S. Woody:

Why are Republican's paying for her family to get new threads? We never see them anyway. What a waste of funds. Aren't we in a global recession? I guess they want to help feel out-of-touch with the common folk, like McCain is (can't recall just how many houses he owns..). I'd love to see the parties give 1/2 of what they raise to help feed and clothe the poor people of our country who can't afford to do it themselves. In fact that may be the campaign move that shores-up the lead.

- Troy S. Woody

Marianne Paskowski:

You raise a really interesting question that deals with the media buys, millions of dollars, the candidates are spending to just repeat the same old blather we've heard over and over again as they campaign in this overly protracted election process.

My elderly neighbor, fixed income, etc., is infuriated and suggests the candidates put that money into the economy, instead.

It would be refreshing if that were to happen. I'm not banking on it.

Thanks for jumping into the stew, m

Andy S.:

"My elderly neighbor, fixed income, etc., is infuriated and suggests the candidates put that money into the economy, instead."

And of course you explained to her that buying media IS part of the economy. While we're at it, so is buying clothes.

Marianne Paskowski:

Andy S,
Of course I did nothing of the sort. I've learned the hard way, a long time ago, not to try to reason with my elders, especially one like her who is a big Palin fan. The thought did cross my mind, but had I said that if would have fallen on deaf ears.

So just can't talk politics with some folks,and in my life that includes my own mother-in-law and brother.

Don't forget to watch SNL tonight or set your TiVo,

Art Burro:

It's pretty sad when the media (and this blogger) are soooooooo worried about the cost of Governor Palin's wardrobe when serious matters that actually require attention ought to be the focus of discussion and debate. Of course, bringing attention to problems that both parties have failed to solve might actually highlight the incompetence of BOTH Senators. (You can choose the one you consider less incompentent). Personally, I am sick of lies from both sides and am glad the election is almost here and the government can get back to ruining the economy and taking away our freedoms. Hold on to your hat for a bumpy ride (at least until your hat is "redistributed" to someone wihout a head.

The Wordsmith:

Regarding Sarah's wardrobe...amen to you, Art. I'm glad the election is almost here as well.

Then on November 5, we can just worry about which party will contest the election's outcome. With reports of legit voters being illegally purged from voter rolls, towns already reporting an insufficient number of paper ballots or voting machines -- not to mention outright faulty voting machines -- the legitimacy of cartoon characters registered by the ACORN organization, as well as any other number of issues, pundits are already opining that it's possible the groundwork is being laid for a challenge worse than the Y2K election fiasco.

But I digress...the discussion is about Sarah's $150,000 wardrobe and RNC contribution dollars spent on designer clothes for the Palin kids.

And speaking of the Palin kids...does anyone besides me wonder why they are apparently MIA from their classrooms?

Maybe they are being 'home schooled?' If so, let's hope Mom is not their civics or current events teacher.

Oh no...there I go digressing again...Sorry about that.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hello Art,

Of course the Palin wardrobe malfunction is just a side show, but worthy of noting.Remember that trait called character?

And you and I know why: Neither of the presidential candidates, or anyone on the planet presently knows how to fix this global economic mess.

Do the math, Art, before you pop off. LIBOR is slowing lowering, that's good thing. However, VIX hit 80, all time high, very bad.

And nobody these past four weeks can figure out, even for strong companies with cash flow, what the "E" means in a P/E ratio.

You know, you didn't contribute anything to this thread but to dis us all. Thanks, but I'm off the wardrobe thing to advance the conversation to the economy, something you only bellyached about. So do something for yourself and pay attention to LIBOR and VIX, m

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Wordsmith,

I just chewed out Art, but not you.

I'm off this stupid wardrobe thing and getting ready for another rocky week on Wall Street, and of course voter fraud and no paper trails.

You raised a really interesting question about why Palin's kids aren't in school, and possibly being home schooled.

Thanks for bringing up that point, m


So, our heady Administration dipped it's doo-dad into Syria days before the Election...

Wall Street closes down over 200 again today...

Them arrogant executives who are getting our Billions are openly listing out bonuses for the top point one percent who designed the economic debacle...

Members of the Administration think they will actually walk away in January with their pensions AND the multi-million dollar deals pending for them in Corporate World...

Find Chester and tell him to go find Marshal Dillon...

It's time for a lot of bad guy round'n up and lots of trials and convictions...

God Bless America...now pass me them peas.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:


Time for a grand scale perp walk. Heck, the regulators did it to two small potatoes, John Rigas and Martha Stewart.

What they did pales by comparison, m

Andy S.:

The U.S. Treasury needs to immediately rescind bailout funds to those firms in the amount of the bonuses being paid out. If they don't, the American people will know for certain that this whole business is a scam.

Meanwhile, the Treasury just came out with a statement that the government's borrowing needs will have to increase dramatically to cover the bailout. Exactly who are they going to borrow from, and how are they going to do that without seriously impacting a lending market that's already strained to the breaking point?

Something is very wrong with this picture.

Marianne Paskowski:

I agree. One way to pump up the economy is to end the War in Iraq that we are throwing into a nation that doesn't even want us there anymore, m


Hey M,
You do realize that the War in Iraq is virtually scaling down now, don't you? I agree that we've thrown a lot of money into that war, but the war isn't why we're in this economic mess. If anything, the war helped us keep from going into a recession post-911 (government spending always helps an economic situation). I do think the gradual pull out from Iraq, which is the responsible way to leave that country, will help keep the spending down in the long run. We also need to have the Iraqis start to funding their own things and if I were in charge, I would prod the leaders of Iraq to scratch our backs after we helped them. The problem though is that we need a surge in Afghanistan/Pakistan and need to fix the mess over there now.
Take care,

Marianne Paskowski:

Agree, remember the Iraq government has a surplus, not a deficit like us. That war was a dumb diversion, the quest for weapons of mass destruction that never materialized.

We should have shored up our earlier efforts in Afghanistan, but Cheney had something different in mind, help out his contractor buddies.

Well, tonight's Obama's night, let see how his does in this paid format.


D Stone:

Obama & Biden sought a way to drive a wedge between Palin and the "Wal-Mart Moms" that McCain and Palin have been courting so they ginned-up a "wardrobe scandal," which a generally anti-Palin media ran with. Now everyone here is reading about it and talking about it as if it were important. Mission Accomplished. Notice no similar stories ran on the price of renting Mile High Stadium, renting those gaudy green Greek columns, etc. As there are no stories on "trying to buy the election" which are routinely run when the Republicans have a bigger media spend than the Democrats. I could go on but it is clear that most Obama supports have drunk the Kook-Aid and are lying face down toward Obama's big tent--and no matter what is said, they are not getting up. Cheers!

Marianne Paskowski:

D Stone,

Let's get off the wardrobe thing, it happened, she gave back a lot of the clothes, and let's talk about really matters here. And that, if you want to talk about Palin, means she is a wonderful woman, just not ready.

Thanks for dropping in, m

6:00am, November 5, 2008
Dateline: Somewhere,USA

It's been six hours since there has been any sign of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Reportedly a reporter's microphone caught the following audio clip, "...Help! I'm melting!"

The same correspondant reports an eerie green fog hanging over a slick of plasma in the middle of a ballroom floor.

There have been no challenges to this report to date.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hmm. Maybe she's finally paying some attention to that infant with Down syndrome, the poor little guy that she trots out everywhere.

Finally, tomorrow is the day, or is it? Have the queesy feeling there will be voter recounts in several states. I worry about the provisional voters in Ohio, how absentee voters didn't get their ballots and how early votes will be tallied.

People who I have spoken to worry about the voting early system and won't do it. Did you see the piece in the NYT's about a couple who traveled 9,000 miles to return to New York to vote in person because they didn't get their absentee ballots, even after many inquiries about there ability to vote?

That stinks, m

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