Sarah Palin: "Ya Think This Six-Figure Wardrobe Makes Me Look Phat?"

05/25/2011 12:50 pm ET

Not a chance, honey.

Phat: (Derivation: Black English Vernacular, ebonics; deliberate misspelling of the word fat.) Meaning: Excellent. Prominent. Cool.

Leave it to the African American community to reinvent a negative word, turn it on its head and make it a powerfully good descriptive term. They've been making silk purses out of sows' ears for centuries, and not by choice. In an America ridden with too much racism and too few options, they've survived through positive thinking. You gotta love that dogged optimism through etymology. But it won't work in this case. No way is Sarah Palin phat.

"You can dress her up, but you cannot take her out..."

Now there's a phrase heard often down here in the South that does apply in Palin's case. Clothes do not make the (wo)man. McCain & Co. can dress up that gal in a $2500 Valentino jacket, a clinging black skirt and a pair of Paris Hilton's favorite Naughty Monkey high heels (average price about $100), wind her up and send her out on the campaign trail looking like $150,000...but they cannot restyle a woman who believes the core of geopolitical/national security experience is "seeing Russia" from her yard. Or one who says she is a "voracious reader" but can't remember what newspaper she read this morning. Or one who still believes Iraq was responsible for 9/11, that we need not grasp the causes for global warming before we can solve the problem, that the earth is 6000 years old and nu-cu-lar is a word.

The GOP certainly cannot fork over the big bucks for their Veep-in-Waiting's personal make-up artist and hair stylist and expect they'll pretty up what's inside the woman's head. Or what comes out of her mouth. Like her "Don't-I-Wish" interpretation of vice presidential powers:

"...they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes."

No matter how you count it, the RNC/McCain Camp have invested one hundred fifty thousand dollars in making Sarah Palin "look the part". They've spent this much hard cash in eight weeks. That would be a clothing, hair and make-up budget of $18,750 a week. For a woman who swears she's just like us. Like you and me. Hockey moms. Soccer moms. "Attention, Wal Mart shoppers..." moms who've never had a two thousand dollar jacket or a hundred dollar pair of shoes in their lives and never will.

No matter how you count it, this is gross economic mismanagement. This is piss-poor fiscal responsibility on the part of the party -- and the candidates -- who tell us they're the only ones who can turn around our failing economy.

Talk about your earmarks, your pork barrel spending! Hardworking Republicans donated money they couldn't afford to give because they believed John McCain's vaunted judgment, his experience and his professed loathing for wasteful spending meant he would surely be the most responsible POTUS. Now they find Sarah Palin and family are wearing a six-figure chunk of their money because her Alaska gubernatorial wardrobe (and that of the First Dude, to the tune of five thousand dollars) was not chic enough?

Let me point out that Barack Obama has had his presidential candidacy work shoes resoled. And he's still wearing them.

It begs the question: What on earth has happened to the Republican Party?

Peggy Noonan may have said it best:

"In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and the expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism."

Vulgarization is right. And neither McCain nor Palin looks phat.

And, one can only hope that, on November 4th, Sarah Palin will put on her shiny red Naughty Monkey stilettos, click her heels together and make like Dorothy. Fly away home to Wasilla, where she'll be the best dressed Guber in Alaska's history. And more power to her.