GOP Gulps as $150K Threads Fray Palin Cred

Pricey duds threaten to give Palin an image problem
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2008 5:59 AM CDT
Sarah Palin speaks during a rally in Carson, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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(Newser) – The $150,000 pricetag for Sarah Palin's new clothes has transformed the hockey mom into something of an empress, the New York Times reports, and GOP strategists are sweating the change in image. As the campaign enters the homestretch, Palin's unplain threads have become a symbol of excess akin to John McCain's seven homes or John Edwards' $400 haircuts—undermining the appeal to Joe Sixpack she's staked her candidacy on.

Some Republicans say spending more than a regular family makes in years to outfit Palin as a regular working mom looks pretty silly in retrospect, while others defend the purchases. Palin "had a legitimate need to purchase clothing to get her through three months of grueling campaigning" in 50 states, said one GOP consultant—who notes that the media doesn't seem interested in checking the price tags on male candidates' suits, which can run thousands of dollars.