Another $4,716.49 on hair and makeup came from the GOP while wooing "Joe Six-Pack" to vote for John McCain, the records showed.
Palin's problems go beyond clothes, though, to her very candidacy. In recent days, prominent Republicans, from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, have publicly criticized her lack of experience.
Ordinary Americans agree. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that in early September, when Palin was just starting out as a candidate, 47 percent of voters had a positive opinion of her, compared to 27 percent who felt negatively.
Now 47 percent have negative feelings, compared with 38 percent who feel positively.
And the new poll found that concern about Palin's qualifications is voters' top concern about McCain, ahead of every other issue in the election.
Voting day is less than two weeks away and most polls suggest that Barack Obama is headed for victory. The surprise is that Palin went from being McCain's best asset to his biggest problem. And the Republicans don't have much time, or an obvious way, to fix it.
Back on September 3rd, a full six weeks ago, I told John McCain that it was time to fix his mistake, but does he listen to me? Nooooo.... At that point, before Palin stepped onto the stage at the convention and accepted the nomination, John McCain could have done the right thing and chosen a new VP.
It's time to fix this mistake, Mr. McCain, and give America viable choices in November election. Obama and Biden represent the very best of the Democratic Party. Sarah Palin is not the very best that the Republican Party has to offer, and the United States of America deserves better.
Instead, McCain operatives were at that very moment running around New York spending $150,000 on a new Caribou Barbie wardrobe.
Instead of doing the right thing for America, John McCain was busily at work doing the wrong thing for his party, for his chances at winning the election, and for his country.
It may well have cost him the election.
Related: Catch up on all the hottest Caribou Barbie fashions at the Wizbang Blue Caribou Barbie Fashion Channel!
Update: The finger pointing on the right pinning the blame on the disastrous handling of Palin in the six weeks following the convention is ramping up:
Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image -- even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.
"She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane," said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.
"I think she'd like to go more rogue," he said.
The emergence of a Palin faction comes as Republicans gird for a battle over the future of their party: Some see her as a charismatic, hawkish conservative leader with the potential, still unrealized, to cross over to attract moderate voters. Anger among Republicans who see Palin as a star and as a potential future leader has boiled over because, they say, they see other senior McCain aides preparing to blame her in the event he is defeated.
"These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, whose sometimes painful content the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week.
"A number of Gov. Palin's staff have not had her best interests at heart, and they have not had the campaign's best interests at heart," the McCain insider fumed, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign.
Wallace declined to engage publicly in the finger-pointing that has consumed the campaign in the final weeks.
"I am in awe of [Palin's] strength under constant fire by the media," she said in an e-mail. "If someone wants to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most graceful thing to do is to lie there."
But other McCain aides, defending Wallace, dismissed the notion that Palin was mishandled. The Alaska governor was, they argue, simply unready -- "green," sloppy and incomprehensibly willing to criticize McCain for, for instance, not attacking Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Palin has in fact performed fairly well in the moments thought to be key for a vice presidential nominee: She made a good impression in her surprise rollout in Ohio and her speech to the Republican National Convention went better than the campaign could have imagined. She turned in an adequate performance at a debate against the Democratic Party's foremost debater.
But other elements of her image-making went catastrophically awry. Her dodging of the press and her nervous reliance on tight scripts in her first interview, with ABC News, became a national joke -- driven home to devastating effect by "Saturday Night Live" comic Tina Fey. The Couric interview -- her only unstaged appearance for a week -- was "water torture," as one internal ally put it.
Whoever is to blame it's a unmitigated disaster. McCain's pick of Palin sunk his chances at winning the election, and I suspect McCain knew that at the time he announced the pick. By all accounts, Palin was not McCain's first choice, but was forced onto him by a warring party faction that values Palin over McCain.
And if the 72-year old melanoma ridden McCain's age and health history isn't enough to scare you, imagine some wacko "abortion doctor sniper" deciding McCain should not serve as President and Palin should instead... and you're one bullet away from Caribou Barbie in the Oval Office.
If that prospect doesn't scare the crap out of you then you aren't paying attention.
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