Designing a Vice-Presidential Candidate.
Did they expect her to accept the nomination for the vice presidency while wearing a fleece vest or something with a down liner from the North Face? Do interviews with network news anchors while clad in denim? Maybe with a stained burp cloth tossed over her shoulder?
A woman. Forty-four years old. Just had a baby – her fifth – this spring. She’s a governor. From Alaska. And she needed to look like she could feasibly be the leader of the free world.
Once they set foot in the national spotlight, political women have plenty of obstacles in front of them. But when you’re GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and people are openly questioning and mocking your qualifications and knowledge, you’ve at least got to look as though you’d be at ease in a cabinet meeting, not just while you’re out in the wild hunting moose.
The kerfuffle over the $150,000 Republican National Committee staffers spent on clothing and makeup on behalf of Palin is, at best, a distraction. In order to present a polished VP candidate to the country, RNC staffers bought her a bunch of high-priced clothing so she’d look stupendous on TV. Which she does. In fact, I’m jealous. Several months after giving birth to my children, I definitely didn’t look like Palin. (Still don’t.) And $150,000 IS a massive amount of money, cash I certainly don’t have lying around to spend on beautiful duds made just for me. But then again, I’m just Meredith the Writer; I’m not running for the second highest office in the land.
Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama, meanwhile, looks quite debonair in his $1,500 suits which move fluidly with him. His wife Michelle O has already been lionized as a fashion icon in the mode of Jackie O and doesn’t exactly pinch pennies when it comes to her clothing, nor does Cindy McCain, who reportedly shelled out $300,000 for a single outfit for the Republican National Convention. Earlier this summer, the Huffington Post wrote that John McCain was campaigning in $520 loafers. The Palins aren’t as wealthy as the McCains or the Obamas, so the RNC bought the clothing for Sarah, which will be donated to charity after the election. (New York Magazine did a frighteningly detailed analysis of how easy it is to spend a massive chunk of cash on designer clothing.)