…because I’m an economist and a mom–that’s why!

Living Within Our Means: Sarah Palin Edition

October 23rd, 2008 . by economistmom

(So how much would you be willing to pay for these accessories?  Apparently these three items alone cost nearly $4000 at Neiman Marcus.)

I know, I know… why am I so late with the story on this, you know, $150,000 thing?  I’ve been on the road all day today and will have to backdate this a bit so it still counts as “today”… it’s still today here in Chicago, after all…

Anyway, old (Wednesday) news, but fits into my “living within our means” theme (my home edition here).  Sarah Palin’s living within her new-found, VP-candidate, RNC-sponsored means:

More than $130,000 of the charges used to outfit Ms. Palin and her family were initially footed by Jeff Larson, a prominent Republican consultant in St. Paul whose firm has been tied to the onslaught of negative robocalls about Mr. Obama from Mr. McCain’s campaign. Mr. Larson was also the chief executive of the local host committee for the Republican National Convention, in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Federal Election Commission records showed Mr. Larson was reimbursed by the Republican National Committee for charges at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Barneys New York and Atelier New York, a men’s clothing store…

Hmmm…  What does that suggest about how “mavericky” Palin would be with the federal budget?

The Washington Post’s Reliable Source (Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger) knows how most of us working moms do our best to be “mavericky fashion plates.”  (My personal wardrobe secrets:  Filene’s Basement, Marshalls, and ebay… yes!)  I bet a lot of working moms are like me:  I never pay retail at the mall for my own clothes–only for my kids’ clothes.

2 Responses to “Living Within Our Means: Sarah Palin Edition”

  1. comment number 1 by: Jason Seligman

    I’m not so surprised or upset by “clothing-gate,” but it is useful to put Palin’s own report in perspective. She says that one-third of the clothes were returned immediately, one-third lie in the belly of her plane… just in case, but these will probably be returned. The last third are used and will be given to charity at the end of the campaign. Personally, that seems within the bounds of norms. But it does not fit the image they are developing of a person that prefers simplicity and sound judgment to flourish. It thus appears out of touch. Now given that she returned a third of the clothes, I have to say that I personally find the go-go boots and miniskirt to have been rather less than presidential, and thus again out of touch with capital M “Message.”

    But the bigger deal (to me) is that Palin is paying her hair stylist more than her chief foreign policy adviser. (See

    This represents something more significant. For what really can be said about this?

    “I did not know what my people are paid?” Not really an acceptable answer for us in the Living within our Means crowd.

    “Markets set prices, I just pay them?” No. Plenty of fine hairstylists are available at any number of prices, and with the money that one saves, one might invest in more national and international affairs tutoring.

    The two answers that came out yesterday were basically, “It was only the one time” (2 week period), and “Cindy McCain told me too.” As we all know Cindy can pay her own bills, but Republican constituents should be more than a bit perturbed that their candidate is squandering contributions playing keep-up-with-Cindy instead of doing a better job on her homework.

    I have to add here as well that I am sympathetic to Ms. Palins comment about double standards, but there is plenty of that sort of thing going on for both campaigns. I don’t hear the other side whining about double standards after the fact. They are managing with what they have, and growing their capital most appreciably as a result.

  2. comment number 2 by: Patrick R. Sullivan

    It’s investment spending people, not consumption. She makes public appearances every few hours and has to look good. She’s raising money for the RNC. Lots of money.