November 14th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain aide cites 'failure of management'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Davis managed McCain's campaign."](CNN) - Rick Davis, the campaign manager for former John McCain's White House bid, came to Sarah Palin's defense in an upcoming interview with the National Review, saying the now-infamous $150,000 clothing tab for the Alaska governor was caused by a "failure of management."

In the interview, set for publication next week, Davis notes Palin's appearance at the Republican convention came only days after she was named to the GOP ticket, and the Alaska governor had few clothes on hand that were appropriate for the event.

“We flew her out from Alaska to Arizona to Ohio to introduce her to the world and take control of her life. She didn’t think ‘dress for the convention’, because it might have just been a nice day trip to Arizona if she didn’t click with John. Very little prep had been done and if it had, we might have gotten picked off by the press. We were under incredible scrutiny."

"We were under incredible scrutiny," he added. "We got her a gal from New York and we thought, ‘Let’s get some clothes for her and the family.’ It was a failure of management not to get better control and track of that. "The right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing, what it was worth or where it was going. No one knew how much that stuff was worth. It was more our responsibility than hers.”

News of the pricey tab caused a media firestorm days before the presidential election, and McCain aides appeared to blame Palin for the mishap, while the Alaska governor said she was forced to buy the clothes.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (396 Responses)
  1. Sam

    I am the first one in line for NOT supporting Palin as a VP pick. However, I do not blame this wardrobe fiasco on her (on her alone at least). This fiasco speaks volumes on the failure of McCain and his advisers than of Palin. They did not prepare themselves, or her for that trivial event called National Election.

    November 14, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Lynn

    Rick Davis admits "very little prep had been done" on Sarah Palin. No kidding!

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Vincent

    Who cares about her clothing the main concern here is how can McCain choose his running mate with so little preparation.
    Is this how he was planning to run the country

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. just a thought

    wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to just buy her a plane ticket back to alaska and let her get her own clothes. how dumb do they think american voters are, i mean do the math.

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Donna

    Wow, people really are incredibly hypocritical. First of all, Michelle Obama was not running for VP- she was not a candidate- so you can't compare spending money on her clothes with what the campaigns spent on the actual candidates. And to think you all believe that people were not shopping for the Obamas during the campaign. Sure she conveniently wore a JCrew outfit right after this story came out when in fact every other designer dress she wore cost a couple grand each. You think Michelle personally went out and bought her daughter's cute $450 dress for election night?? If campaigns can spend money on staging and such then why not clothes. Give me a break, condescending people.

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Dave

    Please boycott Limbaugh and any products advertised on his "show".

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Ck

    I'm glad someone finally set the record straight. This woman has endured more than her share of criticism, just as Hiliary did. Why do we not here about some of these kinds of details with the men running for office? Obama is a millionaire and yes, he can afford his expensive suits – but how much did they cost? The democrats are so concerned about the wasteful Republican spending. Obama spent a ridiculous amount of money to get elected– why doesn't anyone see a problem with that?

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Shahid

    I can't these idiots who keep complaining about this clothing stuff. At the national/international once-in-a-life-time event, clothing for the entire family, $150K is nothing compared to your brainless celebrities who's putting on hundreds of thousands of dollars in clothing and jewelry every day. Some even spent a thousand dollar a day for someone to take care of their dog.

    You guys stop using your brain or what? The media too.

    November 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Milhouse van Houten

    NEWS FLASH***Sarah Palin dresses like Elly-Mae Clampett.Video at Eleven.

    November 14, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. PP

    November 14th, 2008 2:27 pm ET

    Obama can afford to purchase his own clothes. He is a multi-millioniare. As are the McCains. The Palins are not.

    Actually, they are

    November 14, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. urban

    Palin needs to take the rest of the GOP on a long, long walk on the bridge to nowhere!

    Enough of her please, we have serious problems to work on and solve!

    November 14, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. fred jaeger

    The Republican Attack Machine has derailed. The Palin pick has become a national freak show. Let us hope that the media will, at last, stop wasting our time and attention on the Disasta from Alaska and focus on the incredibly difficult task ahead as Obama and company try to correct the worst 8 years of governance in the history of our country.

    November 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Child of the Sixties

    It's incredible that people still bash this woman. Enough! Talk about the emotional maturity of a 14 year old. All this hatred- you got your man in the White House now hold hands and sing Kumbaya. You'll be picking apart his abilities soon enough; after all, isn't that what we do?

    November 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Unshrub

    $150,000 is a failure to communicate? Isn't Palin smart enough to understand how much money cloths? It sounds like Davis is looking for a new job with Palin.


    November 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Robert of Long Island

    they are a bunch of liars! trying to sell us as if she was ready. but I always knew the republicans were capable of these actions.

    it was very obvious Palin is not even governer material can you imagine president!

    November 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    You can tell alot about a candidate by how well they run thier campiagn which will be simular to how they run the Oval office. I for the life of me still can't see how anyone would vote for mccain knowing how badly he failed to hold together his campaign...the same with Hillary

    November 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Soccer Nana

    Yeah, sure.

    November 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. B

    So why couldn't someone have flown back to Alaska and picked up some clothes from her closet? She's governor, for pete's sake! She should be able to dress professionally with her own clothes.

    November 14, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Robert of Long Island

    John Mccain is still lying to all of us! He does not know her enough to say that she is ready to lead. what a disgrace!

    November 14, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Shari, NY

    I wish they would admit that they just about misconstrued everything that Obama stood for while campaigning. That would absolve them completely. Anyway, it's OK – Obama still won.

    November 14, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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