November 10, 2008 / by emptywheel


Update on the Underwear Audit

Sarah Palin engaged in a bit of parsing when asked last week whether RNC lawyers were coming to audit the clothes she scammed the RNC out of. Rather than denying the claim outright, she insisted the RNC lawyers weren’t coming to her house. [exchange starts at 3:00; my transcription]

Reporter: Does the RNC have lawyers coming up to look at the clothes, inventory the stuff?

SP: The RNC’s not coming up, nobody’s coming up to look at anything. There is an inventory of clothes being done so that the RNC is held accountable for all the dollars that were spent, but … Who said that attorneys were coming up to my house to pick up clothes?

Reporter: I think the NYT reported that, the LAT.

SP: The NYT evidently is wrong, because it’s not … it’s not happening. Nobody’s told me that they’re coming to my house to look through closets … to look through anything. [my emphasis]

Note how far Palin’s parse–"coming to my house"–is from what the NYT said.

Republican National Committee lawyers were likely to go to Alaska to conduct an inventory and try to account for all that was spent.

And from what the LAT said.

Reporting from Phoenix — Sarah Palin left the national stage Wednesday, but the controversy over her role on the ticket flared as aides to John McCain disclosed new details about her expensive wardrobe purchases and revealed that a Republican Party lawyer would be dispatched to Alaska to inventory and retrieve the clothes still in her possession.

This is a classic Palin denial: denying something that was not alleged (except, arguably, by my pithy title), while not denying the main point of the allegation.

And, as it turns out, Palin and the RNC are still haggling over what is where and who owns what.

Palin and John McCain’s campaign faced a storm of criticism over the tens of thousands of dollars spent at such high-end stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to dress the nominee. Republican National Committee lawyers are still trying to determine exactly what clothing was bought for Palin, what was returned and what has become of the rest.

Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, said his daughter spent the day Saturday trying to figure out what belongs to the RNC.

"She was just frantically … trying to sort stuff out," Heath said.


RNC lawyers have been discussing with Palin whether what’s left of the clothing and accessories purchased for her on the campaign trail will go to charity, back to stores or be paid for by Palin, a McCain-Palin campaign official said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the campaign hadn’t authorized comment.

The McCain-Palin campaign said about a third of the clothing was returned immediately because it was the wrong size, or for other reasons. However, other purchases were apparently made after that, the campaign official said.

And Sarah’s Dad, at least, does admit to missing underwear–though he suggests it was underwear for the kids (I love how underwear for a family of seven … plus the fiance? … have all of a sudden become a campaign expense).

"That’s the problem, you know, the kids lose underwear, and everything has to be accounted for.

Now, Sarah’s Dad doesn’t seem to be the parsing whiz that his daughter is, but one might wonder what he meant by "the kids" here, not least since Sarah is, after all, his kid.

But perhaps the most interesting detail here is that of all the things purchased for Sarah during the campaign, she only paid for one thing–a pair of shoes.

Heath dismissed the clothes controversy as "ridiculous," and said his daughter told him the only clothing or accessories she had personally purchased in the last four months was a pair of shoes.

I’m guessing Sarah’s Dad is going to be kept away from the media after he revealed the missing underwear and that Sarah has only paid for one pair of shoes… 

Update: See Watertiger on this, also, as Sarah would say.

Copyright © 2008 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @