But is it legal?
Federal law would bar the McCain-Palin campaign from converting campaign funds to "personal use" - a definition that specifically includes clothing purchases.If it's not legal, there is an uneven burden on men and women. A male candidate can wear whatever business suits and shirts and ties he's had in his wardrobe for years. It's hard to go wrong. But the woman will be scrutinized, and there are so many pitfalls. Especially when she is suddenly elevated to the national stage -- like Sarah Palin -- a woman needs major fashion assistance.
But a Republican strategist said the expenditure by the party committee was legal.
ADDED: Here's the original report in Politico, and here you can see that the blogosphere is going wild over it. Of course, Palin opponents are going to use this material. Nothing wrong with that.
UPDATE: Apparently, it's not illegal:
Had the purchases been made by the McCain campaign, it would be a conversion of campaign money into personal use, which is prohibited. The same rule does not apply to money from party committees.
“The R.N.C. cleverly used the party committee’s money to avoid the liability that would have occurred if campaigns funds were used,” said Kenneth Gross, a lawyer who is an expert in campaign finance.