Posted by Brad @ 12:46 am on October 23rd 2008

Another Contender

For Dumbest Political Controversy of the Month.

Is it just me, or does $150,000 for a wardrobe, hair, and makeup when you’re the biggest political sensation in the nation, the second female Vice Presidential candidate of all time, forced to make camera-ready appearances several times a day, and, like all highevel candidates, are almost certainly going to be measured and judged on appearance (even more salient for women)…seem pretty reasonable?

Lisa Schiffren has the only near-sane take I think I’ve seen on this all day.

I didn’t give Edwards crap for his 300 dollar haircuts either, and that seemed much less reasonable to me. It’s about the most brain-dead charge one can generically throw around in a campaign. People whose entire political existences are judged on often the shallowest of grounds find it a worthy investment to look good?

Blame yourselves, mates. Don’t shoot the messenger.


  1. Well, yes. But it’s the Republicans who keep trotting out the whole “regular guy” anti-elite thing, so I guess one can see this, to some extent, as being hoist on their own retard.

    Did I say that? I meant petard, of course.

    You’re right, it’s dumb. But it’s dumb in an ironic kind of way.

    Comment by Rojas — 10/23/2008 @ 1:11 am

  2. Yeah, I get that. It’s about tone deafness. But I still hate devolutions of this sort.

    And besides, in this case, it’s the GOP picking up the bill. I think most “regular folks” would leap at the opportunity to have a bunch of Washington insiders buy us designer shit for a change. :)

    Comment by Brad — 10/23/2008 @ 1:14 am

  3. It’s good for a chuckle and an off-hand comment along the lines of what Rojas said.

    It is not a ‘controversy’.

    Comment by Mortexai — 10/23/2008 @ 1:14 am

  4. You didn’t think the $300 haircuts were reasonable? I’m not saying they are, but how do you feel about Palin and McCain spending five digits on makeup?

    No, it’s not a controversy, but I’d still be pissed if I were a donating republican.

    Comment by Kimberly — 10/23/2008 @ 6:54 am

  5. I don’t know–if you’re donating to the RNC, you want them to spend the money helping your candidates to get elected. While $150K seems like a lot, there is an expectation for females that there isn’t for males in terms of looks. McCain and Obama can go out in suits, throw their jackets off, loosen their ties and roll up their sleeves, and they look like they’re getting down to business. A female who does that sort of thing will be described as “frumpy,” not professional and capable. From a strategic point of view, this was probably well-spent money.

    Comment by Laura — 10/23/2008 @ 10:36 am

  6. I was going to say the same thing, Laura.

    While it is a ridiculous amount of money and my first instict is to reject the need for it (though not parti, there is the double standard of a woman’s appearance in operation here, to include not wearing the same thing too many times.

    Comment by Liz — 10/23/2008 @ 11:12 am

  7. Huh – I was going to say “(though not particuarly care)” in the middle there but didn’t finish the thought.

    Comment by Liz — 10/23/2008 @ 11:15 am

  8. I think I’d be a bit ticked if I was a donor considering that this money would buy a lot of TV spots in CO or IA. I find it a bit hard to believe that the governor was hurting for professional looking clothes; that stretches the limits of believability for me. Regardless, I’m not a donor, thus I don’t really care. By all means, I think they should throw MORE money into her campaign wardrobe. Aside from questions of strategic soundness, I don’t find this controversy very interesting…like at all.

    Comment by tessellated — 10/23/2008 @ 11:25 am

  9. Yeah, it’s a stretch to call it a controversy, but it was on MSNBC at least five times an hour all day yesterday, so figured I’d mention it.

    I think it’s probably, all told, money well spent. Even for men, the amount of money that goes into image consulting, wardrobes, hair and makeup, lighting, spa treatments, and the like, for the average Presidential candidate would probably make most people blush. Candidates have learned since Nixon-Kennedy. And as has been said, there’s a particular double standard for women. I wonder how much Hillary’s pants suits cost? My guess would be at least 1500 a pop.

    Comment by Brad — 10/23/2008 @ 12:59 pm

  10. Although I readily admit, with only a slight massage it does seem a bit further beyond the pale.

    Who was the highest paid individual in Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign during the first half of October as it headed down the homestretch?

    Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staff member. It was Amy Strozzi, who was identified by the Washington Post this week as Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

    Ms. Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records.

    That’s probably not a line you want dominating the news cycle for even a fourth of a day.

    Comment by Brad — 10/24/2008 @ 1:22 pm

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