Meanwhile, over at electoral-vote.com, the Votemaster (in reality a famous computer scientist who somehow is not a colleague of mine), has a report on the dollar cost of Sarah Palin:
Politico went through the financial report the RNC just filed with the FEC and discovered that the Republican National Committee has spent $150,000 for clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin since she was tapped for the VP slot in late August. One shopping trip to Neiman Marcus cost them $75,062.63, for example. They also spent over $4700 on her hair and makeup. Remember how the Republicans howled at John Edwards $400 haircut (which included a house call by the barber)? Google for: Edwards "$400 haircut" and you'll get 27,000 hits. That was major news for a week. That aside, a far more damaging effect of this revelation is that Palin keeps saying she is just an ordinary small-town hockey mom. It is likely that if Joe-the-plumber's wife were to rack up $150,000 in clothing expenses in a single month, Joe might ask how she was planning to pay the credit card bill since the median annual salary for plumbers is $37,514. Palin is already being ridiculed all over the place, and this provides more fodder for the comics.One hundred fifty thousand dollars? Seventy-five thousand at Neiman-Marcus alone? That's the downpayment on a house, or the house itself, in most parts of the country. It could clothe me for 50 years or so; it's a rare year when I spend as much as a grand on clothing and shoes. Yeah, I'd spend more if I worked anywhere other than the software business, but still.
More seriously, he points to political analyst Charlie Cook, who sees signs pointing to an Obama win. The Votemaster also notes that McCain appears to be having a bad effect on downticket Republicans.