Sarah Palin's Suits: Dressing for the Job

It turns out Palin hasn't been shopping at Wal-Mart for her stylish outfits.

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So, those suits Sarah Palin's been wearing—the ones that are so supremely stylish she gets none of the Hilary Clinton pantsuits snickers but, rather, leaves Alec Baldwin drooling—it turns out they're not from Wal-Mart. What?! Politico reports that the Republican National Committee has spent "more than $150,000" on clothes and accessories for Palin, including some megareceipts from Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Is this a big deal?

My dad is a dapper dresser. I remember mornings as a kid, when I would look up from my oatmeal to appraise his pinstriped suit, patterned tie, suspenders, and polished shoes. Sometimes I approved, sometimes I objected, but always I appreciated the effort.

These days, he still dresses up for weddings and major events, but, in his retirement, he's redirecting his energy into less fancy work with nonprofits. He's aware of his message, audience, and work—and he dresses appropriately. A little less flash and a bit less panache.

All of which is to say that Sarah Palin has a problem. Her message is Wal-Mart moms unite in pride. Her audience is everyday Americans. But her work is that of a flashbulb- and media-magnet U.S. vice presidential candidate. Look schlumpy and you'll be ridiculed—not just for poor fashion but for the negative image of American leadership that you're communicating to the world and its various political leaders.

So what's your take? Is she dressing for the job or sending a mixed message? The McCain campaign says all the suits will be donated to charity after the elections.

running mates
2008 presidential election
Palin, Sarah

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