THE PRICE OF A FASHIONABLE CAMPAIGN: The Republican National Committee in September appears to have spent more than $150,000 for clothing, hair styling, makeup and accessories for the Palin family, Politico.com reports, citing campaign finance disclosure records. The bill included $75,000 spent in one day of shopping at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis. The McCain campaign says the goods will go to charity after the election.
Palin fashion photo gallery (N.Y. Daily News)
Palin's celebrity makeup artist is pricey (Washington Post)
Good looks, bad image (Star-Tribune, Minneapolis)
Palin's economic stimulus plan? (LA Times fashion blog)
Who knew Neiman’s was on Main Street? (The Moderate Voice)
12 VOTES IN D.C. MAY DECIDE ALASKA ELECTION: Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank lays out the stakes in the Stevens trial, speculating that at least a few people in D.C. are finally getting a vote in congressional elections.
TLINGIT ELDER SPEAKS: A dramatic speech Tuesday by 99-year-old Walter Soboleff of Juneau – a Tlingit scholar and Presbyterian pastor – closed out the Elders and Youth Conference at the Dena'ina Center, preceding the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention starting Thursday. Soboleff told youths to seize those things more valuable than gold from their Native traditions: "a strong mind" and courage. The Alaska Public Radio Network covered Soboleff's speech and includes a link to an extended version.
PALIN AND THE PEBBLE MINE: The New York Times compares Sarah Palin's professed neutrality on the proposed Pebble Mine with her otherwise broad support for resource extraction in the name of energy self-sufficiency.
Palin ... has embraced resource extraction in ways that are likely to help Pebble. On the presidential campaign trail in coal country this month, she led supporters in chants of “Mine, baby, mine!” The governor appointed mining industry officials to lead her Department of Natural Resources, which regulates mines. And her environmental commissioner is a former lawyer for Red Dog, which is Alaska’s largest mine and has a history of violations of the Clean Water Act. …
The Palin administration … plans to use a $7 million federal earmark — a practice she criticizes on the campaign trail — for a major upgrade of a road through the snow-capped Chigmit range, records show. There are no villages along this route, but it would form the first leg of a proposed 200-mile thoroughfare between Pebble Mine and the Pacific Ocean.
COLD WEATHER, HOT PROPERTY: The Wall Street Journal speculates today that national attention brought to Alaska by the McCain-Palin ticket could translate into greater interest in investment here by Lower 48 retail chains.
The higher profile that the nation's most famous hockey mom has given to her home turf could help nudge some national retailers in the lower 48 U.S. states to be more open to real-estate investment opportunities in the Anchorage market, says Darryl Browman, president of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Browman Development. "The exposure has opened people's eyes," says Mr. Browman, whose company is developing retail centers in Anchorage and suburban Wasilla.
WHAT'S PALIN READING? She couldn't or wouldn't tell Katie Couric where she gets her news, but Gov. Palin told People magazine this week that she's a "voracious" reader, reports The Associated Press.
JUNEAU WOMEN SAY MEN DIRTY HIGHWAY: When Juneau’s “Men’s Crisis Center” joined the Adopt-A-Highway program and got its name on a road sign, women’s advocates took offense. The Juneau Empire tells the story here. The men’s group, which apparently copes with any crises at local watering holes, has a politically incorrect Web site here.
PALIN MOTORCADE HALTED BY PROTESTERS: A motorcade transporting Gov. Palin to a campaign event in Grand Junction, Colo., on Monday was halted when protestors charged the vehicles. The audio report on the Alaska Public Radio Network is courtesy of radio station KUAC in Fairbanks.
PALIN'S FUTURE -- ALASKA'S MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE: The right-leaning Weekly Standard magazine puts Palin on its cover this week, wearing a kuspuk and about to be launched skyward by an Eskimo blanket toss. Editor Fred Barnes -- one of the first national conservative pundits to become smitten with Palin -- is still betting on her, even if McCain loses the election: He writes in an accompanying commentary:
Whatever else the 2008 presidential campaign may produce, it has created a new Republican star ... a political natural who's at ease in front of crowds and whose cheerfulness, self-confidence and optimism haven't slackened in the face of unusually harsh -- and often highly personal -- attacks by Democrats and the mainstream media.
See the cover photo here.
AND SHE'S ON A COMIC BOOK COVER TOO: The comic book "Tales From the Crypt" has Sarah Palin depicted on its cover swinging a hockey stick at zombies, reports the L.A. Times.
MEN CAN'T PUNCH BACK AGAINST PALIN: Washington Post writer Robin Givhan chides men in politics for their timidity in confronting political women:
The idea that a woman can be tough, ruthless or just plain mean comes as a kind of head-scratching revelation in the political arena, especially to men, even though it is a common theme everywhere else.
RUNNING WITH SARAH: An old acquaintance of the Heath family and Palin from her Wasilla High School days, now living in Colorado, tells her local newspaper about the Sarah she knew as a teammate in sports and as competition in beauty pageants.
ONE UNREAL ALASKAN: Kotzebue writer and hunter-gatherer Seth Kantner takes a shot at Palin in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She's not the first Alaskan who has fudged her experience in order to land a job, he writes, but as a politician she is "skimming the gravy off our hard-earned Alaskan mystique to mix with her varnished nonsense."
HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT NEWSREADERS:
> Palin’s path to the nomination (The New Yorker)
> Teen bear mauling victim on ‘Today’ show (MSNBC)
> Understanding Real America in Wasilla (‘Daily Show With Jon Stewart’)
> Alaska author Dana Stabenow tries to explain Alaska to Canadians by sharing some of her favorite bumper stickers. (Toronto Globe and Mail)