"I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
So as part of their report on Sarah Palin's $150,000 Neiman Marcus makeover funded by the Republican National Committee, Politico cited two expenditures that seemed to imply the whole family was in on the deal:
The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail.I already factchecked the Steiniauf & Stroller purchase last night; it's almost certainly not stroller-related at all, but a reference to Steinlauf & Stoller, a sewing supply store in New York City.
Pacifier, on the other hand, is a real baby store in Minneapolis, and it is indeed, as reported, "top notch." I've emailed several times over the years with Jon and Wing, the husband & wife team who own the shop, so when their small business got namechecked in a hypocritical political imagemaking scandal last night, I thought I'd gingerly drop them a line and see what's up.
Turns out they were exasperated, but happy to talk. They're also huge Obama fans.
I spoke with Wing, who knew exactly what I was talking about. Late in the afternoon of the day Sarah Palin gave her speech at the GOP Convention in Minneapolis, a Republican aide came rushing into the store, seeking clothes for kids of various ages. Wing's husband Jon was helping her.
Pacifier only carries clothes for babies and toddlers, "up to age 6," so the operative left with just one outfit for Trig. It was a striped layette romper by Egg Baby by Susan Lazar. Jon also sold the operative some socks [Trumpettes, actually, which I can affirm, really stay on well. People commented on K2's little Trumpette fake mary janes all the time. But that's not the point.] Jon then called his wife, saying he thought they'd just dressed Palin's baby. Sure enough, confirmation came when they watched Trig being passed around like an adorable prop during Palin's speech.
Wing didn't mention the little wingtips Trig is wearing in the Reuters photo up top, so they must have come from some other stop on the shopping spree. I don't imagine conscientious, caring Democrats like Jon and Wing would recommend such hard-soled shoes for a newborn anyway.
So about the Democrat thing. When I joked that I didn't know if the GOP had a litmus test, that maybe it only spent its money in Republican-owned stores or something, Wing was quick to mention their staunch support of Obama. And she added that Obama Onesies have been consistently outselling Weepublican Onesies 3-to-1, and that the day after Palin's speech, one customer even came back to exchange a Weepublican Onesie for an Obama one, citing Palin.
I mentioned that now we know the GOP's bottomless wardrobe budget it's too bad they didn't spend more in an independent, small business, but favored the giant department store chains instead. Then Wing noted that Minneapolis mayor R.T Rybak said it's too bad the city didn't at least have a sales tax on clothes. Which, Republicans who wish desperately to bury this news would point out, is just what a Democrat would say.
Pacifier is located in Minneapolis's Old St. Anthony district, and also has an online store [pacifieronline.com]
Previously: Palin Comparison