As news broke late Tuesday night that the Republican National Committee has spent $150,000 on Gov. Sarah Palin's wardrobe, some big time Republicans were quick to shake their heads in wonder. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reported that "Republicans, RNC donors and at least one RNC staff member have e-mailed me tonight to share their utter (and not-for-attribution) disgust at the expenditures."
Meanwhile, another high dollar donor to the RNC and the McCain campaign told the Politico "I'd like my money back."
But not all GOP fundraising bigwigs are taking such a dim view of the RNC's spending spree on behalf of Palin. Two bundlers for the McCain campaign who spoke to the Huffington Post gave their full support for the historic outlay.
Jamsheed "Jim" Ameri, a Portland businessman who has bundled at least $50,000 in contributions for the McCain-Palin ticket, said: "It's not really a problem. When you take $150,000 and divide it out, per dollar raised, it's really an insignificant amount of money." Ameri also said he "couldn't imagine" not spending a serious sum of money in order make Palin presentable in public. "I don't think spending a few pennies per every dollar raised on wardrobe -- really, a fraction of a penny -- bothers me, personally. Obviously, there will be some people who will not like that. ... But it's really negligble."
Florida financial magnate Alfred S. Austin agreed, and said the media should be focusing on Barack Obama's ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright instead.
"You know, I can't get over the way the media scrutinizes Sarah Palin. Don't you suppose that the Obama campaign bought a wardrobe for Sen. Obama? Nobody seems to be concerned about that," Austin, who has bundled over $500,000 for McCain, said. Asked whether he thought it was at least a bad political move on the part of the RNC to spend a historic amount of money on clothes during an apparent recession, he said: "I have less concern about that than I do how the media has gone after that woman in the most unbelievable way from day one. ... Yet they don't seem to worry about any of those things about Obama. About how he's had no administrative experience. Or the connections he had."
Austin added that he was disappointed that the McCain campaign was not using Reverend Wright and other controversial issues (some might say "conspiracy theories") in the final days of the race. "I think it's important to the extent that if the connections are true. ... I'm inundated with this stuff. And for many many years, I've been involved in the finances, with the party. I've got all the information, stuff here that's pretty condemning. ... You judge a person by the company you keep. There are questions about his [Obama's] birth certificate, if it's true or not. It appears to be pretty factual. You people in the media don't dispute it, and the people I get it from are pretty good sources."