I found Caribou Barbie's Makeover to be one of the more entertaining milestones of the election, and I was hopeful that more would be revealed about the the extravagance after the election. Sure enough, Newsweek delivers the goods, detailing that much more than $150,000 was spent, and citing a McCain aide who refers to the extravagant splurge as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast": (h/t: AmericaBlog).
When the story first leaked the McCain Spin Team quickly lied to the media, claiming that the campaign had forced this makeover on Palin, and that it wasn't her idea to spend obscene amounts of cash on clothes. Not so...
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family--clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Campaign credit cards were used, so it's true that the campaign paid for the clothes, but it was not a situation where the campaign did the shopping, as had been previously reported -- Caribou Barbie set out on her own, family in tow, on a high-fashion New York shopping spree:
According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
Sounds like more will be revealed as the audits get underway. Will the public learn the whole story, or will the Palin 2012 machine try to steamroll the truth into the ground? Stay tuned...
Update: ABC News adds:
The tension is likely to continue or get worse. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee are heading to Alaska to try to account for all the money that was spent on clothing, jewelry and luggage, according to The New York Times.
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