Our first indication that Sarah Palin might not be your average ‘hockey mom’ was her designer glasses imported from Japan that cost more than $600. But now we come to learn from CNN that the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothes, hair and make-up for Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. Source: CNN http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/22/campbell.brown.looks/index.html
$150,000 for clothes, hair and make-up? Are you kidding me? That’s more than Joe the Plumber makes in an entire year. Now, to be fair, the RNC is paying for this ‘extreme makeover’ so the taxpayers aren’t getting directly hosed this time. But it should still concern us on many levels.
First, Palin claims to be a regular old hockey mom. How many hockey moms could blow $150,000 on clothes, hair, and makeup in such a short time? How many would even want to, when they had ice rink time, skates, and gas to pay for?
Second, this is clearly money that was flushed down the toilet. If she was ugly and poorly dressed before she became the nominee, one could argue that these were necessary expenses. Think Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. But here’s the problem: Palin was pretty hot before. She’s pretty hot now. Nothing much has changed. I don’t think anyone has said: “Wow, she’s sure cleaned up since the convention. Kinda reminds me of those movies where the cool guy dares his buddy to date the ugliest girl in school, but then she takes off her glasses and she’s hot!” If she’s willing to blow $150,000 on something so trivial as her appearance I would at least hope she’d get a noticeable improvement for her investment. If she can spend $150,000 without making any improvement, can she really be trusted with our nation’s budget?
Finally, even though the GOP is footing the bill for the clothes, the American taxpayers are still getting a raw deal. If someone gave you $150,000 in clothes, makeup, and hair care you would have to pay taxes on that. But Palin is no average person. She’s come up with the brilliant argument that the clothes aren’t hers – they are the Republican National Committee’s clothes! As a result, she refuses to pay income taxes on those clothes. Does this mean after the election, the clothes will be circulated around the GOP for people to wear? Is Rudy Guiliani wearing one of Palin’s old blouses while he makes those robocalls? Can we expect to see Mitt Romney in a red leather jacket? What about Mike Huckabee in a skirt? If I were someone who has been questioned about my ethics in scandals ranging from Troopergate, to charging Alaska for my children to hang out in New York, to charging Alaska for travel expenses when I was staying at home, I’d go out of my way to pay the taxes on the nifty duds I was given, even if I could come up with a reason not to. After all, if you are going to claim you are one of us, you should pay the same taxes that we do.