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> Palin's makeover, Appropriate use of party funds/public money?
Julian
post Oct 24 2008, 01:00 PM
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Republican's spend $150,000 on Sarah Palin's wardrobe since her nomination only 2 months ago

This story has been given quite a bit of attention in the British media, but hasn't been mentioned yet on ad.gif as far as I can tell.

Now, image is certainly important, especially in personality-driven Presidential elections, and (as the linked article indicates) this is not the first time that candidates' spending on wardrobe or grooming has been open to question. Mrs Clinton's trouser suit (pant suit?), John Edwards' haircut and John McCain's loafers have all been subject to scrutiny.

And there is still a degree of sexism for all women in the public eye (for whatever reason); where a man might get away with wearing the same suit at several different public appearances, a woman is more usually expected to change her outfit for each one, and sometimes women in the public sphere get criticised for wearing the same outfit on more than one occasion (even if they are days or weeks apart), particularly by other women (most men wouldn't even notice smile.gif).

But even taking that into account, Mrs Palin seem to have spent significantly more than other candidates on her image, some of which may have been paid for by the public purse since McCain's decision to take public money for his campaign in return for spending limits.

QUOTE
$75,062 spent at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis
$41,850 spent in St Louis
$4,100 on make-up and hair consulting


Also, some of her spending in this category is tenuously linked to campaign requirements, at best.
QUOTE
$4,902 at Atelier, a men's clothing shop in New York
$92 on a romper suit and hat with ears


Presumably the men's clothing was for her husband, sons and soon-to-be son-in-law? I can sort of see that - maybe her teenage sons don't need to wear suits that often and so may not have one, or have grown out of the ones they do have. But isn't it more appropriate that she pays for these out of her own pocket, since I don't imagine the suits will be available to other Republican candidates after her family members have finished using them. And a romper suit and hat with ears? Does making her baby son look extra cute really need to be done at party/public expense??

Several commentators (quite possibly hostile ones) seem to think that Mrs Palin could have achieved much the same results for less than half these sums.

Questions for debate:
In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

Should any candidate spend campaign money anyway - as opposed than their own cash - on their clothes, personal grooming, etc? Why, or why not?

Should any candidate's family members be in receipt of campaign money at all, for clothes/grooming or anyhting else? Why, or why not?


This post has been edited by Julian: Oct 24 2008, 01:02 PM
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Sleeper
post Oct 25 2008, 01:41 AM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Oct 24 2008, 03:10 PM) *
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 24 2008, 03:54 PM) *
Here we are talking about Palin's $150,000 budget on wardrobe. While not a mention of the $2 Million dollars that Obama is planning on spending for his election night party.

OFF-TOPIC. Start a new thread, if you must.
And everyone else: PLEASE DON'T FEED THE TROLLS - you only help them derail threads by pursuing their red herrings


First off Wertz, I like you but you are being a horses rear here.

I have been a member of ad.gif for nearly as long as you have and have never been called a troll, so that moniker does not pertain to me.

Second of all this is a fair comparison. The first questions was "In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes?"

I am focusing on the "In the current economic climate". Obama is going to spend $2 Million dollars on a non-tangible celebration when many many Americans are losing their homes. At least the clothing Palin is wearing can be donated or re-sold at to benefit another cause.

Personally I think spending this kind of money on a wardrobe is senseless. Kinda like $400 haircuts. dry.gif

This post has been edited by Sleeper: Oct 25 2008, 01:47 AM
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metropolitical
post Oct 25 2008, 02:31 AM
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There are many seemingly frivolous and offensive campaigning tactics which believers on both sides swear upon with superstitious fervor. In the modern age of instantaneous internet fact-checking, one would think misleading attack ads would have become a historical footnote, like burning witches at the stake. Yet campaigns still covet them and spend lavish amounts to put them on display to the public.

An alternate interpretation could be that lying is such an traditional archetype for politics it has become enshrined as a form of iconic entertainment, a comedy show which the public demands periodically at election time. Like an extravaganza within the Roman Coliseum of old: whoever spilt the most blood in the most entertaining way, wins the public's favor.

Concupiscent interest in Sarah Palin appears to be courted. I guess the McCain campaign recognizes they need to compensate for her lack of intellectual prowess with superior fashion sense. It falls in line with the entertainment theme.
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Hobbes
post Oct 25 2008, 03:04 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Oct 24 2008, 11:16 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes)
In the grand scheme of things, $150,000 on attire during a multi-million dollar campaign probably only makes sense.

In the course of 2 months?

On clothes?

That's almost three times more than most people make in a year, on clothes.


Point? What has what most people make in a year got to do with anything? Are most people thrust into $262 Million campaigns? More to the point...why would you risk a $262 Million campaign over a few thousand in clothes? Would you?

Consider briefly: 2 months * say 4 appearances per day (sometimes more) = 240 appearances. Hmmmm.... $150,000 is starting to not look so bad...

QUOTE
That it not politics as usual.


Evidence?

QUOTE
Sure image is important, it's not 150K of important.


That is true. It's more like $Hundreds of Millions, if not Billions, important.

QUOTE
Obama's finances are up there there just aren't unusual.


Not unusual? He's spent more on this campaign than any politician in history, by a large margin. It's not just unusual, its singular in history. Yet, here we are talking about $150,000 in clothes. Yet, somehow, we still wonder why we keep getting the government we do....

QUOTE
Again i draw the parallel to Edwards' $500 haircut. No idea what Bush spent on his hair, but it wasn't reported probably because it wasn't unusual.


Let's just grant for a minute that this is unusual. So what? It's an unusual situation, and she's got an unusually short time in which to make her national impression. Given that, and the size of the campaign budget, and the wardrobe she probably had while in Alaska (making the wild assumption that you don't wear high fashion clothes while hunting moose), spending a bunch of money on clothes (which, again, she was almost certainly TOLD to do) isn't unusual. Given the stakes, NOT spending a bunch of money on clothes would have been unusual. Are you really trying to tell me you that if you were in their shoes, you'd risk a $262 Million campaign over a few thousand dollars in clothes? Really?

Most of the responses here seem to be based on the assumption that she did this on her own. Why make that assumption, when it is far more likely that she was told to go shopping for clothes by the campaign, which puts a different spin on it, doesn't it?
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droop224
post Oct 25 2008, 04:57 AM
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Hobbes
QUOTE
Point? What has what most people make in a year got to do with anything? Are most people thrust into $262 Million campaigns? More to the point...why would you risk a $262 Million campaign over a few thousand in clothes? Would you?

Consider briefly: 2 months * say 4 appearances per day (sometimes more) = 240 appearances. Hmmmm.... $150,000 is starting to not look so bad...


Oh because clothes costing in the hundreds are just way too shabby, for a Republican campaign. Like the dems say.. you are a party for the wealthy. thumbsup.gif

QUOTE
Let's just grant for a minute that this is unusual. So what? It's an unusual situation, and she's got an unusually short time in which to make her national impression. Given that, and the size of the campaign budget, and the wardrobe she probably had while in Alaska (making the wild assumption that you don't wear high fashion clothes while hunting moose), spending a bunch of money on clothes (which, again, she was almost certainly TOLD to do) isn't unusual. Given the stakes, NOT spending a bunch of money on clothes would have been unusual. Are you really trying to tell me you that if you were in their shoes, you'd risk a $262 Million campaign over a few thousand dollars in clothes? Really?


I get it... it's about image. Well what does this story do for image?

Sleeper
QUOTE
I am focusing on the "In the current economic climate". Obama is going to spend $2 Million dollars on a non-tangible celebration when many many Americans are losing their homes. At least the clothing Palin is wearing can be donated or re-sold at to benefit another cause.

Personally I think spending this kind of money on a wardrobe is senseless. Kinda like $400 haircuts. dry.gif


BUt who is that for... him or us, the supporters??We've given our money in small amounts. Him giving us a venue where more of us can share in our victory or our defeat, is not comparable to buy clothes.

This is the problem, you want to make a comparison, well make an accurate one. For instance, the 400 dollar haircut one is an accurate comparison. The one with his coice of venue is like apples and oranges... all they have in common is campaign money. There is nothing excessive about it. There will be at least 100,000 there but I supect a lot more, than 2 million when it is all said and done.

MOIF
QUOTE
Of course since Palin isn't selling fashion.

This isn't about fashion at all.


Never said a truer word. This has nothing to do with fashion. It is gotcha politics.

McCain and his campaign compared Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.... but hahahahah who did he pick for a VP... well she has breast like britney and Paris.... She sounds about as dumb as the two of them when talking about politics... actually Paris might have her beat with her latest political ads.... oh and she's pretty damn fashionable.

This isn't about Fashion, it's about Hypocrisy.

This is about how the Maverick in Sarah has.... sold out!

It's just funny... Here she is with people like you and Hobbes pointing out how necessary it is for her to have 150K wardrobe or it could be damaging to the campaign. Republicans picked a VP who they needed to look good on camera, rather than sound good talking about issues... can anybody say superficial?

Republican Party to Sarah Palin:

Shut your mouth, say what we write, dress pretty and elegant.

And then members of ad.gif actually debate why Femenist don't respect or like Carribou Barbie Sarah Palin style laugh.gif laugh.gif
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quarkhead
post Oct 25 2008, 04:59 AM
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Of course it's an outrageous amount to spend on clothes, but the real villain of this tale is us. Women in the public eye are absolutely scrutinized about their fashion, make-up and hair. It's ridiculous, but it's reality. A male candidate could honestly go through an entire campaign rotating through two or three suits, and we wouldn't even notice. But if Palin - or any other woman in the public sphere - wore the same red dress every other appearance, I guarantee you people would notice, and disparage her for it. We're the ones who have set these standards. Of course, we ought to work to change our perceptions, but I think using something like this as a partisan attack is not only pointless, it actually plays into and strengthens an already blatant double standard.
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Hobbes
post Oct 25 2008, 07:29 AM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 24 2008, 11:57 PM) *
Oh because clothes costing in the hundreds are just way too shabby, for a Republican campaign. Like the dems say.. you are a party for the wealthy. thumbsup.gif


I still have yet to see anyone address the fundamental question here-- would you risk a $262 Million campaign on a few thousand dollars in clothes? Of course not, it wouldn't make sense. Could Palin probably have gotten by on spending less? Probably. Would a few thousand dollars more make any difference in the overall campaign? Not in the slightest. So, from any practical viewpoint, this is a non issue. Everything else here is just political rhetoric.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Oct 25 2008, 07:30 AM
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Zack
post Oct 25 2008, 11:08 AM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Oct 24 2008, 09:46 AM) *
QUOTE
Questions for debate:
In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?


Another media driven attack on Palin. Do we know how much Obama has spent? Did anyone even ask?

QUOTE
Should any candidate spend campaign money anyway - as opposed than their own cash - on their clothes, personal grooming, etc? Why, or why not?


The candidate is the representative of the Party so like other expenses this is appropriate. The other factor is that Palin did not make over 2 million last year as Obama did.

QUOTE
Should any candidate's family members be in receipt of campaign money at all, for clothes/grooming or anything else? Why, or why not?


All their campaign expenses should be paid for by the “campaign”. Why would it be otherwise – certainly it is legal and appropriate. The cloths go to charity after the election.

And again let’s ask – where is the MEDIA on Obama in this issue. Why is it we only hear about Palin ………. hmmm.gif
With hundreds of dollars spent on Acorn by Obama and no questions by the media I can see how this made front page of the NY Times. The NY Times is in junk bond status and soon should go out of business I would think following the election. Fox sent a reporter to visit Ayres, now there's some news. Palin was asked by Hannity about Obama's relationship with his laundry list of radicals if she thought it displayed poor judgment on Obama's part and she answered, why would such radicals want to associate with Obama? Things that make you say hum?
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moif
post Oct 25 2008, 12:07 PM
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QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 25 2008, 03:20 AM) *
QUOTE(moif)
$150,000 is such a pitifully small amount to work with, I'm wondering how they've managed at all. I don't think you people have any idea about what it costs to put a woman out there for two months and expect her to look like like a winner, even if she's only making one appearance a day.

All I can say is that if you feel that way, moif, the Danes must be making one hell of a lot more money than we "Joe Six Pack" Americans do.
I think you are missing my point PE. This has nothing to do with what Danes make or how I feel. Its business.


QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth)
Curmudgeon and I took out a mortgage for a little over $100,000 on the house we're living in. We have been years paying it off (10 years now), and we just had to get two signature loans to replace the ancient and broken boiler that heated our house. We don't have the money to just up and replace any major appliance. We are doing the best we can, and I think that our situation is very common among Americans.

Do you not think that we sit up and take notice when we hear that a candidate is allowed an amount of money that is one and a half times the cost of our house for clothing for two months?
Your post indicates this is obviously a big deal for you. Why? What do you really expect?

Bear in mind your unlikely to vote for Sarah Palin in the first place, I think your indignation is selective.

Do you get indignant when movie productions spend far more on making actresses look the part? (I'm not refering to their salary). Its pretty much the same thing. Palin is being dressed up, just like an actress, so she looks 'Vice Presidential'.


QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth)
Do we really believe that people who think Palin's makeup is a little on the orange-ish side or might be wearing a lesser known designer's clothing is going to vote for Obama/Biden just because of that?
Believe what ever you wish, but the answer to your question is yes. A lot of people will vote for Palin because she looks good, just as a lot of peope won't vote for Barack Obama because they think he is an African/Arab/Muslim/foreigner...


QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth)
We are experiencing a recession here. We have to count our pennies and spend them wisely. Just what are we supposed to think about a campaign that rails against excessive expenditures, all the while requiring that the VP candidate wear high-end designer outfits and has a hair/makeup specialist who makes more than policy advisors do?
You are suppposed to vote according to your political understanding. Some one like you, engaged, intelligent, informed and interested will probably have standards that transcend trivial details such as 'good looks', but don't fool yourself. Advirtising works because we are all subject to visual stimuli, and something as inane as Sarah Palin, or Barack Obama's good looks is almost certainly bringing in a significant proportion of votes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



QUOTE(Dropp224)
This isn't about Fashion, it's about Hypocrisy.

This is about how the Maverick in Sarah has.... sold out!
Well 'Maverick' is just a political slogan, like Palin's wardrobe and the constant references to hockey Mom's and plumbers, its designed to create an image. It has nthing to do with reality. The Democrats are no different with their talk of 'change' and the biggest campaign spending ever seen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



QUOTE(quarkhead @ Oct 25 2008, 06:59 AM) *
Of course it's an outrageous amount to spend on clothes, but the real villain of this tale is us. Women in the public eye are absolutely scrutinized about their fashion, make-up and hair. It's ridiculous, but it's reality. A male candidate could honestly go through an entire campaign rotating through two or three suits, and we wouldn't even notice. But if Palin - or any other woman in the public sphere - wore the same red dress every other appearance, I guarantee you people would notice, and disparage her for it. We're the ones who have set these standards. Of course, we ought to work to change our perceptions, but I think using something like this as a partisan attack is not only pointless, it actually plays into and strengthens an already blatant double standard.
Exactly!

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Wertz
post Oct 25 2008, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 24 2008, 09:41 PM) *
I have been a member of ad.gif for nearly as long as you have and have never been called a troll, so that moniker does not pertain to me.

Almost everyone has their moments of trollery. Besides, "Don't feed the trolls" is a general admonition and can apply to any trollish behavior, whether the perps in question are persistent trolls or only occasionally display trollish behavior.

QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 24 2008, 09:41 PM) *
Second of all this is a fair comparison. The first questions was "In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes?"

Exactly. The question addresses the economic climate. Exorbitant as Obama's election night bash might be, I doubt it is having any serious impact on the economic climate. It is. therefore, an irrelevant distraction. This not a compare and contrast question among the various candidates. It is solely and exclusively about Sarah Palin. The "But [fill in the blank] is just as bad" argument is known as a red herring. It is a logical fallacy and the only purpose it serves is to deflect the question, turn it in another direction and derail the topic. You are guilty as charged.

QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 24 2008, 09:41 PM) *
I am focusing on the "In the current economic climate".

No, you're not. You're focusing on Sen. Barack Obama - who has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion in hand. Please try to address the questions posed, not irrelevant tangents. Aquilla apparently got it - and refrained from derailing the thread any further. You, clearly, did not. And Zack is obviously following your example. He must take his cues from people who have been here nearly as long as I have. rolleyes.gif

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 25 2008, 03:29 AM) *
I still have yet to see anyone address the fundamental question here-- would you risk a $262 Million campaign on a few thousand dollars in clothes? Of course not, it wouldn't make sense. Could Palin probably have gotten by on spending less? Probably. Would a few thousand dollars more make any difference in the overall campaign? Not in the slightest. So, from any practical viewpoint, this is a non issue. Everything else here is just political rhetoric.

Well, I can address part of your question. $150,000 is not "a few thousand dollars" - certainly not to the constituents that the McCain campaign is trying to woo at the moment. As John pointed out, we seem to have come a looong way since the days when the "respectable Republican cloth coat" of Pat Nixon was a point of pride - and an election winner. Nixon clearly knew better than to risk a multi-million dollar campaign on a woman that needed to be dolled up like a supermodel in order to be a passable member of his team. McCain, very clearly, does not. If he did, this would be a non-story.

Arguing that a candidate - any candidate - needs to change their outfit four times a day and that they can never wear the same outfit twice is to argue that the candidate is nothing more than a clothes horse. That may well be the case, but why make it patently obvious?

And, moif, I worked in film and television for eight years - and have worked a few fashion shoots. I know what wardrobe, hair and make-up cost. And $150,000 is an exorbitant amount to spend on styling a single candidate - even an alleged glamor-puss like Sarah Palin.
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Julian
post Oct 25 2008, 12:45 PM
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QUOTE(quarkhead @ Oct 25 2008, 05:59 AM) *
Of course it's an outrageous amount to spend on clothes, but the real villain of this tale is us. Women in the public eye are absolutely scrutinized about their fashion, make-up and hair. It's ridiculous, but it's reality. A male candidate could honestly go through an entire campaign rotating through two or three suits, and we wouldn't even notice. But if Palin - or any other woman in the public sphere - wore the same red dress every other appearance, I guarantee you people would notice, and disparage her for it. We're the ones who have set these standards. Of course, we ought to work to change our perceptions, but I think using something like this as a partisan attack is not only pointless, it actually plays into and strengthens an already blatant double standard.


As I indicated in my preamble to the debate questions, this is my main take on the Sarah Palin clothing budget. It is an outrageous amount of money to spend, and the campaign probably could have spent rather less with the same impressive results (I notice nobody has said that despite all the money, Palin looks a mess, because she doesn't and hasn't) but I think it's probably going to be par for the course for any female candidate in national politics under the age of 55 (say). I dare say that, had Sen Clinton got the Democrat nomination, McCain may not have selected Palin and we'd be having something like this discussion in the light of reports of the amount Hillary had spent on her clothes, hair and makeup.

It may not have been quite the same amount - as has been pointed out, Clinton's image is different (more serious and less glamourous than Palin), and she's been on the national scene for almost 20 years, so has a substantial back catalogue, as it were - but I'd be surprised if political partisans (in her case Republicans) were trying to make heavy weather of "Clinton's Clothes".

The only part of this story I'm shocked by is that part of the spend that has gone on men's and children's clothes. As Hobbes (I think, maybe it was net2007) an election should be about policy more than image. I accept image is probably more important than many people credit, but I simply cannot accept that members of a candidate's family (male or female) need to join the candidate on stage and have to be dressed to do so. What does having a husband in a smart suit/wife in a nice dress have to do with anything? What need in supporters and prospective supporters is fulfilled by parading a cosmeticised image of a candidate's private life like that?

Like Sarah Palin's wardrobe, the spend is probably just a reflection of something in the electorate that would somehow be turned off by not seeing a candidate's spouse on the stump, or by seeing them with the same clothes on more than once.

That's what I find most depressing about this story - that we, the public, are so shallow and image-led that we focuse as much on what someone is wearing or what their hair looks like as we do on what they do or say.

How much would it actually matter if someone elected as President of the USA (or leader of any other country) wore old clothes and cut their own hair, as long as the end result wasn't physically repulsive? It's their policies and their actions that matter, surely?

This post has been edited by Julian: Oct 25 2008, 12:48 PM
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turnea
post Oct 25 2008, 01:34 PM
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I agree that this is all essentially trivial, though it is campaign season and that Biden "gaffe" about Obama facing a crisis and this story rate about this same in the "this is pointless" stakes.

We discuss trivial issue all the time, what is interesting is what these discussions bring out.

I'll admit my view is affected somewhat by being raised in the home of Jane-the-teacher and John-the-nurse. (My perfectly generic names for my parents tongue.gif)

No matter how well I do in life I'd be downright terrified to tell my mother I spent $150,000 dollars on clothes. Not least of all because in our very observant Christian home that's gotta be bordering on mortal sin. innocent.gif

We of the lower middle-class never see $150,000 in one place but we (I.. they...us'ns) ain't dumb

I'm aware that were one say, a fashion model, doing a 60-day show $150,000 dollars of tailor-made designer clothing may not be unthinkable.

I shake my head at the conspicuous consumption that marks our modern noveau riche but that doesn't mean I'm not aware of it.

..but everything I read is telling me that although "America's top model" might need this kind of budget.

Sarah Palin for two months?

Campaign Overboard! pirate.gif

Look defenders of this spending have been blaming this on everything:

You men just don't understand! (thanks PE and Daffy)

This is normal in the business! (thanks Wertz)

This is all just liberal media bias! (and special thanks to reality itself tongue.gif)

Even Republican operatives are upset about this.

If you want to call it a non-story, fine I agree it probably won't make McCain lose any more thoroughly.

..but don't say it's all just in our heads, we see that shadow behind the curtain... thanks.

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post Oct 25 2008, 02:05 PM
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In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

Should any candidate spend campaign money anyway - as opposed than their own cash - on their clothes, personal grooming, etc? Why, or why not?

Should any candidate's family members be in receipt of campaign money at all, for clothes/grooming or anyhting else? Why, or why not?


Maybe she's trying to help the economy by consuming. Sarah D. Consumer. Just go out and spend yourselves out of this recession, kinda like drilling us out of the energy crunch. Hey, she can do it, so can you!

Yup.

What is truly bizzaro world about this is Republicans pretending to be the middle class reps and supporters after decades of screwing the middle class.

Palin is ailin', that's fer sure you betcha by gosheroonie.

I'll be lookin' for those duds on eBay after the election.

At least Democrats spend their own money on clothes or haircutting. Palin has to spend someone else's, probably plumbers without licenses or clues. I don't think it is appropriate and would never do this just for image. But Palin lives in a completely different world.

But boy, ain't she hot?

rolleyes.gif
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BoF
post Oct 25 2008, 02:25 PM
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I look at this and just shake my head. What are Republicans thinking? Do Republicans even think?

The amusement factor is really high. wink.gif

The only way this would really bother me is if I had given money to the RNC (and, of course, I didn’t) - money that could have been spent, perhaps better, in down ballot races.

This is one of those cases where I doubt getting in the way of Republicans destroying themselves would be wise. sleeping.gif

This post has been edited by BoF: Oct 25 2008, 02:32 PM
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Eeyore
post Oct 25 2008, 02:41 PM
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In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

I think this represents the disconnect between celebrity world and the real world. To a degree this is a tempest in a teapot, but in light of the present week's campaign about real America, going to cosmopolitan fashion houses and spending tens of thousands of dollars, household incomes if you will, on a fashion budget doesn't play well on the main street they are trying to court. I think it is bad politics and represents what I would like to see a lot less of. I want my politicians to shop in the real world and have a real household budget. But I don't get to make that vote very often, Palin seemed like she lived near that neighborhood of the economic spectrum from the outside.

Should any candidate spend campaign money anyway - as opposed than their own cash - on their clothes, personal grooming, etc? Why, or why not?

I am not opposed to campaigns paying for clothing and makeup. Unfortunately, the look of a candidate has a lot to say about how people react to the candidate and rate their performance.

Should any candidate's family members be in receipt of campaign money at all, for clothes/grooming or anyhting else? Why, or why not?

I don;t think so, but I don;t know the law here and I don;t think any campaign likely is an example of high propriety and ethical standards in this area.

I wish money was sucked out of this system instead of being injected into it.
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moif
post Oct 25 2008, 02:58 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz)
And, moif, I worked in film and television for eight years - and have worked a few fashion shoots. I know what wardrobe, hair and make-up cost. And $150,000 is an exorbitant amount to spend on styling a single candidate - even an alleged glamor-puss like Sarah Palin.
Is it really? How much do film studio's spend on actresses? When you have a $260 million+ budget to work with, then $150,000 is hardly worth a quibble. Certainly $150,000 is exorbitant if your total budget is half that amount, but all things are relative and in this instance the Palin wardrobe cannot be compared to Joe-six-pack's annual income because Joe-six-pack isn't selling his wife to the American people as a possible vice president.

I can't say anything about your experiences on fashion shoots, but $150,000, which is 800,000 kroner on clothing for a two month period of constant media attention is not unusual in my experience. Sure I've seen fashion shoots which got by on a fraction of that, but not at Palin's level of media awareness, nor anything close.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



QUOTE(Julian)
That's what I find most depressing about this story - that we, the public, are so shallow and image-led that we focuse as much on what someone is wearing or what their hair looks like as we do on what they do or say.
Welcome to advirtising.

What I find most depressing is how out of touch Americans are with the reality of their own social and political legacy! This is the house America built. This is the end product of the capitalist social form that places a greater emphasis on what a woman looks like than what she has to say. Where capital is the only metric of success.

Every year the election is won by the candidate who spends the most money and yet we have people complaining that Palin has spent a lot of money. What do you expect her to do? Barack Obama has raised over $600 million and has already spent $470 million of that but no one is starting a thread about his exorbitant use of campaign funds on advirtizing. Why not?
Because that money was well spent.

McCain has spent $262 million of $358 million raised. What exactly do people think this money is actually being spent on?

Cynthia McKinney (the only other woman in the election that I am aware of now Clinton has retired) by comparison has raised $180,000 and spent $112,000 of that, and how much attention has she gotten? How many debates on this forum deal with McKinney's platform?

None, because McKinney isn't taken seriously. She has no money, has no backers, has no possible hope of success because Americans continue to vote for the candidate with the biggest budget.

American presidential elections are won by the highest bidder and complaining about that when your voting for the guy who spent the most, is hypocrisy.
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lederuvdapac
post Oct 25 2008, 07:56 PM
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Everybody is missing the main point because of the usual partisan bickering. The fact that either campaign gets ANY public funding is what is abhorrent to me. Why should I care about $150,000 on clothes when the conventions for both parties cost millions of dollars? Conventions that just formalized that which we already know. This whole discussion is worthless. Both sides are hypocritical and lets leave it at that. Take off the party boxing gloves and move along. dry.gif
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Paladin Elspeth
post Oct 25 2008, 09:24 PM
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I'm wondering if factionalism in the Republican camp caused the leak on the money spent for Palin and her family on clothing.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081025/pl_politico/14929

QUOTE(Ben Smith Ben Smith – Sat Oct 25 @ 8:27 am ET)
The emergence of a Palin faction comes as Republicans gird for a battle over the future of their party: Some see her as a charismatic, hawkish conservative leader with the potential, still unrealized, to cross over to attract moderate voters. Anger among Republicans who see Palin as a star and as a potential future leader has boiled over because, they say, they see other senior McCain aides preparing to blame her in the event he is defeated."These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week.

"A number of Gov. Palin's staff have not had her best interests at heart, and they have not had the campaign's best interests at heart," the McCain insider fumed, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign.

[...]

And the final straw for Palin and her allies was the news that the campaign had reported spending $150,000 on her clothes, turning her, again, into the butt of late-night humor.

"She never even set foot in these stores," the senior Republican said, noting Palin hadn't realized the cost when the clothes were brought to her in her Minnesota hotel room.

From this article, it would appear that the sartorial gaffe was on the part of the campaign, not the governor. Whoever leaked the amount of money spent to the press had to know it would cast Palin in a bad light.

Does anyone think that maybe this was done to set Palin up to be blamed for McCain's probable loss to Obama on November 4th?

And this might shed new light on the questions: In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

The campaign wants to portray her one way, while (according to the link) she wants to portray herself in a way that is truer to her. Maybe Sarah Palin cannot "sensibly maximize" her campaign's chances of success because she doesn't have that much power in the situation.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Oct 26 2008, 01:19 AM
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logophage
post Oct 26 2008, 11:02 PM
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In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

While the initial purchase appears obscene, you need to look beyond the wrapper. Ms Palin's clothing, after she's undressed, will sell far in excess of its original purchase price on eBay. Consider it an investment.

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post Oct 27 2008, 01:28 AM
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In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

I'd say yes she is doing the right thing. Whether a guns and butter approach is in good taste or ethical is for another debate. Palin is definitely the butter. She is doing what she needs to move ahead in the polls. Anyone who pushes substance over style has lived under a rock for at least the last 4 election cycles. Let's face it, if the issues had even an iota of meaning congress would have been far more hesitant to pass most of the legislation during the past 8 years. It is that bad.The only way to play to this candidate's strengths was to accentuate the candidate's sexuality. Yes, this may be a bitter pill for feminists, but the only way for the party to advance is to pull out all the stops. In the absence of ideas it is paramount to construct symbols, icons that garner people's attention.

Comprehension of the issues has taken a back seat to campaigning which as Leder has shown is taking an ever increasing share of the public's purse. The issues are no longer part of the criteria to leadership. It is about a coalescing of interests where the position of president is more of a PR position that anything else.


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Delvy
post Oct 27 2008, 12:10 PM
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QUOTE(Julian @ Oct 24 2008, 01:00 PM) *
Questions for debate:
In the current economic climate, was it wise to spend this kind of money on Mrs Palin's clothes? Is she sensibly maximising her campaign's chances of success through image management, or gorging at the trough while she has the chance? Why, or why not?

Should any candidate spend campaign money anyway - as opposed than their own cash - on their clothes, personal grooming, etc? Why, or why not?

Should any candidate's family members be in receipt of campaign money at all, for clothes/grooming or anyhting else? Why, or why not?


It was not wise to spend that level of money on the presentation of Gov. Palin. It was clear that this information would become public and whoever spent it was clearly disassociated from the general public and an awareness of the effect this kind of expenditure would have. Very dangerous. I think the expenditure that was made was done for the reasons of campaign image but in the current economic climate it was foolish and could have been achieved much much more cheaply and kept her in touch with the "hockey mom" much more.

Yes, candidates should be allowed to spend campiagn finance on campaign image; it is just as much part of the campaign as fliers, local talks or tv ads. But they should do it with some care and attention to the possible consequences.

AS to family? Hmmm, more complicated.... if they are "part of the campaign" then careful application of the resource may be appropriate. But it would have to be done with real real care. Justified, as it were.
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