Conservative commentator Fred Barnes, speaking on Fox News, lamented the poor position Sarah Palin was put in as a result of the Republican National Committee's $150,000 shopping spree in her behalf. Barnes criticized a staffer, reportedly Nicole Wallace, for purchasing the clothes and not admitting that she made a mistake.
Wallace responded, "There's obviously an organized campaign to lay blame for things at my feet, and I’m not going to engage before the campaign ends. I have a very long relationship with Fox News and the notion that someone would call me a coward on the air and accuse me of putting $150,000 on my credit card without a single person calling and checking with me suggests that something is going on."
Meanwhile, McCain aide Nancy Pfotenhauer said that the wardrobe splurge was the idea of the Republican National Committee. Mike Duncan, RNC chairman, rebuked this notion, saying that it was only doing the campaign's bidding.
Palin said at a rally that she hasn't worn most of the clothes and that they don't belong to her. McCain staffers were angry at these comments, stating that she's only looking out for herself.
They have a point. Who forced the hockey mom to accept all of these fancy duds from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus?
This clothing p.r. fiasco has clearly spoiled the longtime Republican strategy: projecting a just-plain-folks image to appeal to the lower and middle classes while quietly advocating tax and corporate policies that benefit only the wealthy.
So here we are, a week before the election. McCain is fighting for his political life in the red states. Meanwhile, his supporters are squabbling over who's to blame for purchasing Sarah Palin's clothes. That's fine with me. I think that they should keep going until they get to the bottom of it.