PALINS' FASHION BILL: $150,000
The political website www.politico.com reported Tuesday night that the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 for clothes, accessories, cosmetics and hair-styling for Palin and her family since August. According to RNC financial disclosure records, the amount includes a bill of more than $75,000 from Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis in early September, as well as bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York totaling more than $49,000.
The RNC also spent more than $4,700 on hair and makeup through September -- after reporting no such costs in August. McCain campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to comment on the expenditures. Politico reported that a review of similar records for the Barack Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee turned up no spending similar to the amount spent on Palin and her family.
Democrat Barack Obama spent $87.5 million last month and began October with nearly $134 million in the bank, illustrating his vast financial advantage over John McCain, his Republican rival, who ended September with $47 million in the bank.
Obama has emerged as the most prodigious fundraiser ever in presidential politics. He spent $65 million on commercials in September. McCain spent $22.5 million. Even with extra help from the Republican National Committee, McCain has been at a clear disadvantage on the air.
Obama reported raising a record-shattering $151 million in September, more than doubling the fundraising record he had set in August. McCain is accepting public financing and is limited to $84 million for the two months before Election Day.
At the end of a long day Tuesday in Florida, Obama had one more stop: "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." She got right down to business: "Your wife, Michelle, was on the show and she was talking some smack about your moves." He gamely grooved a little before saying: "Michelle may be a better dancer, but I am convinced I am a better dancer than John McCain." The interview is to air today.