CBS: Sarah Palin’s Fashion a Top Campaign Issue

Julie Chen, CBS Monday’s CBS ‘Early Show’ made Sarah Palin’s clothes shopping habits headline news as co-host Harry Smith declared: "Sarah Palin defends her shopping spree...We'll take you to the consignment store where she says she really shops." Only minutes later, Smith seemed to lament the distraction of the issue: "So much time and attention has been spent talking about John McCain's running mate in this -- in this case and, now it's -- they're defending themselves about clothes and all of these other things. Ones wonders if there's a presidential campaign going on here." Apparently Smith forgot that he shares responsibility for making it an issue in the first place.

At the top of the show, correspondent Jeff Glor reported that McCain: "...defended the woman he's running with. Following reports of rising tensions inside Sarah Palin's inner circle and the flap over those high-end designer clothes she wore at the convention." Glor added: "Palin, campaigning with the View's Elizabeth Hasselbeck, also addressed the $150,000 shopping spree." He played a clip of Hasselbeck: "Let me tell you, this is deliberately sexist." However, Glor never explained that Hasselbeck was talking about media coverage of Palin, instead he concluded: "The Alaskan governor said her wedding ring only cost $35 and that she usually buys her clothes from a consignment shop in Alaska."

In the 7:30AM half hour, co-host Julie Chen investigated that Alaska consignment shop: "On the campaign trail yesterday, Governor Sarah Palin again addressed the criticism she has received over the $150,000 that the Republican National Committee spent to dress her and her family. She said she likes to shop in a consignment store called Out of the Closet. The owner is Ellen Arv -- Arvold and she joins us now."

Chen throughly interrogated Arvold: "So how long has Governor Palin shopped at your store?...What does she usually buy at your store? And does she also shop for her entire family there?...And, Ellen, what is the price range of your women's wear?...And how much does Governor Palin typically spend at your store?...And would you say your clothes look much different than what we've been seeing her wear on the campaign trail?" Arvold defended Palin: "...no, I don't think her style has changed too much. I have only seen a few pieces that she's bought here on the campaign trail, but, no, I -- you know, I think she looks great." To that, Chen replied: "Hey, for $150,000, she better look fantastic."

Here is the full transcript of the Glor segment:

7:03AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: This is the final full week of the 2008 campaign. Barack Obama is pressing in on states that were once GOP strongholds and John McCain is on the defensive about himself and his running mate. Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor is in Cleveland with more this morning. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF GLOR: Harry, good morning to you. Both candidates will be here in Ohio today. Both will be making their closing arguments this week, in a word, John McCain's will be about experience. Barack Obama's, about change. Barack Obama never misses a chance to link John McCain to George Bush. So when McCain said Sunday that he and the president shared a common philosophy, Obama pounced.

BARACK OBAMA: I guess that was John McCain finally giving us a little straight talk, owning up to the fact that he and George Bush actually have a whole lot in common.

GLOR: The Democratic nominee continues drawing enormous crowds. A hundred thousand in Denver.

OBAMA: Goodness gracious!

GLOR: Those numbers, along with Obama's double digit lead in the polls, have led some to accuse his campaign of overconfidence. Criticisms he's heard.

OBAMA: We're going to have to struggle. We are going to have to fight every single one of those nine days to move this country in a new direction. We cannot let up and I know you will not let up because you want change in America.

GLOR: McCain, meanwhile, pushed back at the suggestion he's anything but his own man.

JOHN MCCAIN: I am a Republican. I respect the President of the United States, but the fact is I am not George Bush.

GLOR: And defended the woman he's running with. Following reports of rising tensions inside Sarah Palin's inner circle and the flap over those high-end designer clothes she wore at the convention.

MCCAIN: Look. She lives a frugal life. She and her family are not wealthy.

GLOR: Palin, campaigning with the View's Elizabeth Hasselbeck, also addressed the $150,000 shopping spree.

SARAH PALIN: Those clothes, they are not my property, just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased.

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: Let me tell you, this is deliberately sexist.

GLOR: The Alaskan governor said her wedding ring only cost $35 and that she usually buys her clothes from a consignment shop in Alaska. So both candidates will be in Ohio, but also Pennsylvania today. Expect the McCain campaign, especially, to spend a ton of time in Pennsylvania this week, a state they now consider a near must-win if they're to win the presidency. Harry.

SMITH: Alright, Jeff Glor in Cleveland this morning, thanks so much.

 

Here is the full transcript of the Chen segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: Sarah Palin defends her shopping spree.

SARAH PALIN: Those clothes, they are not my property.

SMITH: We'll take you to the consignment store where she says she really shops.

7:17AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Coming up here, case clothed? We'll take you to the store in Alaska where Sarah Palin says she really shops.

7:21AM TEASE:

JULIE CHEN: So guy, you know Sarah Palin has received a lot of criticism for the money spent on her wardrobe, $150,000. Well, she says she normally shops at a consignment store and we're going to take you there in our next half hour. We'll be right back.

7:30AM TEASE:

SARAH PALIN: Those clothes, they are not my property just like the lighting and the staging, and everything else that the RNC purchased. I'm not taking them with me. I'm back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska.

RODRIGUEZ: And here it is, her favorite consignment shop in Alaska. The clothing store where Governor Palin says she really shops. We'll talk with the owner this morning and see what kind of clothes the Governor likes to wear and what you can buy there for $150,000. Just imagine, the whole store.

[LAUGHTER BY HARRY SMITH, RODRIGUEZ, AND JULIE CHEN]

CHEN: The whole store, right.

7:31AM SEGMENT:

JULIE CHEN: On the campaign trail yesterday, Governor Sarah Palin again addressed the criticism she has received over the $150,000 that the Republican National Committee spent to dress her and her family. She said she likes to shop in a consignment store called Out of the Closet. The owner is Ellen Arv -- Arvold and she joins us now. Ellen, good morning.

ELLEN ARVOLD: Good morning, Julie.

CHEN: So how long has Governor Palin shopped at your store?

ARVOLD: She started shopping here while she was running for governor, so it's been about three years.

CHEN: Were you surprised when she walked in?

ARVOLD: Not really. When she first came in, you know, I recognized her, but I'd never met her. She was with her daughter and they were just having fun. She had a campaign button on, but I wasn't surprised. Alaska's a very small state. There are only 600,000 people here, so, you know, you're never surprised to see somebody well known.

CHEN: What does she usually buy at your store? And does she also shop for her entire family there?

ARVOLD: She shops for herself mostly, Julie, but she often brings her daughters with her and they will pick out some things for themselves. She likes jackets. She buys kind of classic, feminine fitted jackets. She likes leather jackets. Her girls have bought jeans here and also some jackets and knit tops.

CHEN: And, Ellen, what is the price range of your women's wear?

ARVOLD: Oh, my gosh. We range from, you know, a knit top for $16 to a, you know, Chloe handbag for $800, but our prices are generally very

reasonable. I would say a normal price for a jacket would be between $40 and, you know, $100.

CHEN: And how much does Governor Palin typically spend at your store?

ARVOLD: Well, I really hate to say that, Julie, because, you know, she's a client and I value her privacy. But I think she could probably come in and buy our whole store three times over for $150,000.

CHEN: [Laughter] And would you say your clothes look much different than what we've been seeing her wear on the campaign trail?

ARVOLD: I'm sorry, I didn't hear your question, Julie.

CHEN: Would you say that the clothes you sell look much different than what we've been seeing her wear on the campaign trail?

ARVOLD: I don't really think her style has changed too much. She still wears beautiful suits, tailored jackets that are feminine, but still classic. I've seen her wear, you know, her typical high heels and boots. So, no, I don't think her style has changed too much. I have only seen a few pieces that she's bought here on the campaign trail, but, no, I -- you know, I think she looks great.

CHEN: Hey, for $150,000, she better look fantastic. Ellen Arvold, thank you. You're a great sport. Thanks a lot.

ARVOLD: Thank you. You're welcome.

CHEN: You're welcome.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC