A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless (oh, heck – he hasn’t been reading my blog much lately anyway, so I’ll just say it – Faisal. Faisal Faisal Faisal Faisal. There. Now if he happens to Google his own name for some reason, there’s a chance he’ll stumble upon my blog. Heehee… just kidding, Faisal. IF you’re actually reading this… :))… uh, what was I saying? Oh yeah – a friend of mine, who now has a name, has been texting me about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe expenses. In case anyone hasn’t heard – the RNC shelled out $150,000 for clothes, hairstyling and makeup during the campaign for Palin, her husband and her five kids. Once the campaigning is over, the clothes will be donated to charity. And the extravagance of this expense has been repeatedly pointed out by Palin’s critics.
This morning, I found a CNN article about how there’s a bit of a double standard here. Women, it seems, are EXPECTED to “look” good – and no matter what anyone thinks about this expense, you can’t deny that women are often judged by their looks. I mean, think of how many people have called Palin a “naughty librarian” and talked about how “hot” she is… nobody is out there saying OBAMA should strip and pose for a Chippendale’s calendar. And, interestingly, no one has tallied up the cost of any of the MALE candidates’ clothing expenses. You think they’ve all been wearing the same $1000+ suit at every campaign stop? No, of course not – they probably have DOZENS of expensive suits, ties and shoes. And that’s just the candidates themselves. They all have families, too – just like Sarah Palin – which means their family members are no doubt spending exorbitant amounts of money on THEIR looks, as well. Yet Palin is the one catching flak for it.
Faisal, however, pointed out that John Edwards – a Democrat AND a man – was criticized several years ago for his “$400 haircut.” A valid point. Edwards WAS criticized for his expensive haircuts (and his hair doesn’t even look that great… at least not in MY opinion… :)). So I did a little bit of math – if you account for 67 days of campaigning (the time between Palin’s nomination and election day), that 150K works out to about $320 per day per member of the Palin family. This is actually LESS than a John Edwards haircut, and it includes clothes, shoes, makeup AND hair. A much better value, if you ask me… :) The difference is that Republicans tend to espouse the “you should do what you want with YOUR money” idea, whereas Democrats espouse the “we should spread the wealth around” idea – and if you’re getting $400 haircuts, you’re obviously not caring much about “spreading the wealth around.”
I think the bottom line is that ALL campaigners do this sort of thing – it doesn’t matter if they’re Republican or Democrat, male or female. It’s naïve to think this is something unique and exclusive to Palin’s campaign, and, therefore, it’s really not something that’s worth too much aggravation. There are too many REAL issues with the candidates in this election, many of which seem to be getting overshadowed by silly, petty, or downright imaginary concerns. And this is not limited to Palin or the Republicans – some of the ridiculous rumors about Obama have been frustratingly annoying. It irks me to no end when people spread false information through mass emails or internet postings. It doesn’t make Obama look bad – it makes whoever SENT the wrong info look bad.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment for a $600 manicure…