This high-minded missive just in from Scene book editor and fashion correspondent Margaret Renkl:
After Politico got busy this week with a serious investigative piece about the cost of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, the blowhards actually had the grace to feel a little sheepish. Report that the U.S. has blown up an Afghan village and killed 60 little kids, and all you’ll get from the war machine is some blather about Taliban hiding places and collateral damage. But get busted for dressing your high-profile hockey mom in some to-die-for Manolo Blahniks, and egg starts dripping down the fat jowls and chin of even the worst wingnut. It’s not like Joe Six Pack has any shot at all of keeping this woman in the manner to which she has evidently grown accustomed, and didn’t they pick her just for Joe?
Oh, please, what’s the surprise? As any little girl in this country knows, you can pair up your Caribou Barbie with your G.I. Joe and send them out on the town together, and no one cares that Joe is wearing ugly clothes and muddy boots because no one’s looking at Joe anyway. But Barbie better be wearing a really cute outfit, and a different one every single day, or pretty soon the press pool’s going to be taking bets on which sensible pantsuit will show up in the rotation on Tuesday. Have you seen the pictures of Palin in her pre-personal-shopping days
Sure, it’s wasteful. In any meaningful context it’s wasteful—according to my Heifer International catalog, you can send a milk cow to 300 hungry Afghan families for $150,000—and it’s both wasteful and stupid for a political campaign that’s being outspent 20 to 1 on ad buys in Indiana alone. But it still makes sense. John McCain went shopping in a toy store for his vice president, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he bought the entire made-to-fit wardrobe on the same aisle. What use would she be without it?