11/25/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is Sarah Palin Biting the Hand that Dressed Her?

For all of you who are comparing Sarah Palin to Eliza Doolittle, the original before-and-after Miss Makeover, you would do well to remember the original ending to George Bernard Shaw's play, ``Pygmalion,'' and not the sappy-happy-ending Broadway and Hollywood spin-off versions.

In the original, Eliza gives her her ''creator,'' Henry Higgins, the metaphorical ''lady-like'' middle finger and walks out on him to marry someone else.

If the reports are correct and McCain's Eliza, Palin, is biting the hand that dressed her, defying the McCain campaign's dictats to establish her own national ''maverick'' brand, then she is hewing a lot closer to the original Eliza.

More perplexingly, she's denying the RNC reports that $150,000 was splashed out for the Palin Family makeover. As she told the Chicago Tribune, the clothes were ''loaned to us during the convention. And I don't think it was anywhere near ... What did they say... $150 grand? It wasn't anywhere near that."

Um, did she see the bills? Certainly she at least checked the labels? Valentino, Cole Haan, Tahari, Kate Spade? This wardrobe that she also said stayed in the plane? [Like the rain in Spain]? Did she hear her running mate's explanation that ''she needed clothes''?

Maybe she really doesn't know how much was spent on her Pygmalion presentation. This could be plausible because I don't think she herself was cruising the aisles at Saks, Neiman's or Bloomingdale's. The RNC may have hired a personal shopper who took Palin's sizes and preferences and shopped a six-figure frenzy.

Here's the clincher, as far as I'm concerned -- two of them, in fact: one slightly in her favor that at the very least, she didn't do this shopping herself, one significantly against.

In her favor: check out those red Kate Spade croc print red pumps. See the gap at the back? They are too big for her. No woman doing her own shopping would walk out of the store with such a poor fit on her feet, and in such expensive shoes [$297].

But all that protesting overmuch about gosh, gee whiz, we're really frugal, these clothes didn't cost anywhere near six figures and anyway, I didn't wear them anyway, also:

What woman wouldn't notice the wardrobe upgrade from her standard attire, a run-of-the-mill couture acquired in part -- as she declared herself -- from the Anchorage resale shop ``Out of the Closet.'' It does indeed carry designer labels, but not the lavish and au courant range that Saks and Bloomingdale's provide.

And here in Southern California, ``Out of the Closet'' is a chain of ``fabulous'' thrift stores benefiting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. ``Fabulous'' is its own word, and one that I, a frequent shopper, endorse.

The website for the Anchorage OOTC makes no mention of AIDS, a charitable interest which is one of OOTC's strongest selling points here. Trademark lawyer alert?

The McCain campaign says that after electoral midnight on November 4, the Eliza/Sarah wardrobe will be donated to charity. Which suggests that Palin has something in common with another figure of fiction: Cinderella.