The Republicans’ wardrobe fight

THE REPUBLICANS’ WARDROBE FIGHT…. The revelations about Sarah Palin receiving $150,000 in clothes and accessories from the RNC was largely a one-day story. Maybe two. People were surprised, the late-night comics had fun with it, and the political world was moving on.

Much to the chagrin of the McCain campaign, Palin decided to renew interest in the story on Sunday, defending her frugality and blaming the RNC for the whole mess.

And with that, what was an embarrassing side story is touching off yet another internecine fight, this time between the campaign and the RNC over who’s responsible for a shopping spree gone awry.

Palin has pointed the finger at the RNC, as has McCain advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer, who told MSNBC that the RNC “made the decision,” and it was “obviously the RNC’s call.” Yesterday, RNC Chairman Mike Duncan pushed back, telling MSNBC that this was “a coordinated expense that the campaign asked us to pay for.”

Complicating matters, the Weekly Standard‘s Fred Barnes, a Palin backer, went on Fox News to blame the McCain campaign, specifically senior McCain aide Nicolle Wallace. Wallace said:

“The person who went and bought the clothes, and as I understand it put the clothes on her credit card, went to Saks and Neiman Marcus — where she was not asked to go by Sarah Palin, where Sarah Palin has never set foot — and bought these clothes and brought them back, the staffer who did that has been a coward and has not stepped forward and said, ‘I made a mistake, I went and bought these clothes, I shouldn’t have, it’s been an embarrassment to the campaign and to Sarah Palin and to John McCain, I hurt the campaign, I’m sorry, it was my fault.’

“Instead, she’s allowed Sarah Palin to take the whole hit, and that’s hurt the campaign… All the people I talk to say it’s Nicolle Wallace. Now, if she didn’t do that, then let her announce it publicly.”

And here I thought we’d already established that Jeff Larson was the one doing the shopping.

The party’s descent into junior-high-school-level sniping continues.

Oddly enough, the Republicans seem far more anxious to talk about this embarrassing flap than the Democrats. Who knew?

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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.