Palin back to wearing her consignment shop bargains

Miami Herald:

Palin criticizes Obama's tax policy at Tampa rally; defends warbrobe cost

Standing before a sea of sign-waving supporters in red, white, blue -- and pink -- Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fought back against the flap over her wardrobe, talked up the campaign's tax plan and energy policy and told thousands of supporters that she was counting on the home of the come-from-behind-Tampa Rays to put the Republican ticket over the top.

''Something tells me that you all know a little something about turning an underdog into a victor,'' Palin said, referring to the Tampa Bay Ray's improbable trip to the World Series, Palin said. ``We're counting on you to do things the right way and help us win for you on November 4.''

Thousands of supporters showing off t-shirts reading ''Palin Power,'' ''Got Sarah?'' and ''Read My Lipstick: McCain/Palin,'' greeted Palin, who was joined by Gov. Charlie Crist, her husband Todd, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the conservative voice on ABC's women-centered talk show, The View, introduced Palin.

Both Haselbeck and Palin fired back at the coverage of Palin's $150,000 makeover by the Republican Party -- The McCain campaign has said the clothes will be donated to charity after the election.

''This whole thing with the wardrobe. I was going to just ignore it because it's so ridiculous,'' said Palin. ``Those clothes aren't my property, just like the stage and the lighting and the other things purchased by the RNC. I'm not taking them with me. I'm back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska.''

Along with taking shots at Obama's record -- including implicit mentions of and the alleged voter registration fraud by the group ACORN and Obama's association with William Ayers, of the terrorist group Weather Underground -- Palin also talked up the tax issue that's helped the McCain campaign gain some traction in recent weeks.

Invoking the example of ''Joe the Plumber,'' ''Justin the Student,'' and ''Jane the Teacher'' she attacked Senator Barack Obama's tax plan, and his spread the wealth remark to the now famous Ohio plumber Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher. ''Sen. Obama wants to spread the wealth, which means the government taking your hard earned money and doling it out,'' she said. ``Barack Obama calls that spreading the wealth and Joe Biden calls higher taxes patriotic, but Joe the Plumber said it sounded like socialism to him.''

Swaths of hot and pale pink mingled with the usual red, white and blue as hundreds of Palin supporters -- some not even old enough to vote -- donned their favorite campaign T-shirts to cheer for the Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate.


Dolly Patron's 'Travelin' Thru'' and Shania Twain's ''She's Not Just a Pretty Face'' flowed through the convention center loudspeakers, as thousands of supporter waved signs and showed off T-shirts reading ''Palin Power,'' ''Got Sarah?'' and ``Read My Lipstick: McCain/Palin.''

''She represents the kind of woman that I am, not ultra feminist, but feminine,'' said Jill Bowling, of Riverview. ``I feel like I can be feminine and strong at the same time.''

Bowling, 47, brought her 20-year-old daughter Amber to the event, arriving in matching pale pink ''McCain/Palin shirts,'' ''but I've had the glasses for five years,'' she said of her purple wire rims, with the rectangular lenses made famous by Palin.


Apparently there were many female supporters at the event. That will come as a surprise to the NY Times reporters who claim that most of her audience is male. She is still stirring enthusiasm and she is comfortable in her own clothes.


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