Fit for a celebrity

FIT FOR A CELEBRITY…. There’s reportedly already quite a bit of dissension among McCain campaign staffers, as aides try to pin the blame for the campaign’s troubles on their colleagues. But I wonder how those already frustrated employees will feel about getting paid a lot less than Sarah Palin’s stylist.

Who was the highest paid individual in Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign during the first half of October as it headed down the homestretch?

Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staff member. It was Amy Strozzi, who was identified by the Washington Post this week as Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

Ms. Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records. The campaign categorized Ms. Strozzi’s payment as “PERSONNEL SVC/EQUIPMENT.”

The payment on Oct. 10 made Ms. Strozzi the single highest-paid individual in the campaign for that two-week period. (There were more than two dozen companies that got larger payments than Ms. Strozzi). She easily beat out Mr. Scheunemann, who received $12,500 in the first half of October, and Ms. Wallace, who got $12,000.

This is, of course, an unhelpful bookend to the story about the $150,000 Palin campaign wardrobe.

Keep in mind, with just 11 days remaining, the McCain campaign is feeling a serious financial pinch. That the highest-paid member of the team is a makeup artist is rather hard to defend.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.