Palin's Tampa rally this afternoon kicked off with an extended, sarcastic, eye-rolling diss at the $150,000 wardrobe supposedly foisted on her by others, particularly -- and this is important -- the evil RNC. "I grabbed a jacket this morning -- my own jacket," she told the whooping crowd. "Away from the filter of the media, I get to tell you the whole clothes thing. Those clothes, they are not my property. They're like the lighting and the stage, like everything else the RNC purchased." She then went on to proudly show off her earrings from First Dude Todd's Eskimo mom and "$35 wedding ring from Hawaii that I bought myself."
On the one hand, the "evil bureaucratic RNC made her do it" storyline is probably the least damaging way Team McCain can finesse the Palin wardrobe debacle, so it's not altogether a digression that only benefits Palin and not McCain.
But you can see Palin's post-November-4 narrative beginning to take shape: The Republican party structure is irretrievably broken, as evidenced by the '08 blowout and poignantly symbolized by the RNC's wasteful, politically tone-deaf Neiman Marcus shopping spree. But Palin, the breath of fresh air from Alaska, rolls her eyes at the old rules, disdains all the ossified ways of doing things, etc. etc. ...
Update: CNN confirms that Palin's "they are not my property" riff in Tampa was, indeed, a rogue episode:
A senior adviser to John McCain told CNN's Dana Bash that the comments about her wardrobe "were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning."