"It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose," says a campaign rep

By Stephen M. Silverman
October 22, 2008 09:35 AM

Sarah Palin’s sharp looks on the campaign trail come at a price: more than $150,000 on clothing and accessories from high-end department stores since the Alaska governor was the surprise pick by John McCain to be his running mate, records reveal.

Financial disclosure statements documented by Politico.com show the retail outlay for Palin and her family since early September included a $75,062.63 expenditure at a Minneapolis Neiman Marcus and shopping trips to Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York that resulted in a combined tab of $49,425.74, all paid by the Republican National Committee.

Hair and makeup accounted for another $4,716.49 billed to the RNC in September, with no such costs reported in August. (October expenditures will not be made public until after the Nov. 4 national election.)

Raised Eyebrows

The disclosures raised eyebrows even on the other side of the Atlantic, including in The Times of London, published by Rupert Murdoch, whose News America holdings include the conservative FOX News.

The paper notes that Palin appears not to have been photographed in the same outfit twice during the campaign and suggests that “ First Dude” Todd Palin may have benefited from a recorded $5,000 outlay at the upscale men’s boutique Atelier.

In a statement sent to many mainstream media outlets, spokesperson for the John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign, Tracey Schmitt, said: “With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.”

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