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Posted on Oct 22, 2008 in Across the US, Beltway Politics, Campaign '08, Economy, Party Politics, RNC

Obama’s $1,000 Day Spa Campaign Expense?

There has been a lot of media coverage over the news that the Republican National Committee has shelled out over $150,000 for a new wardrobe and hair care for VP nominee, Sarah Palin.

Reported disbursements include:

  • Saks 5th Avenue: $49,425.74
  • Neiman Marcus: $75,062.63
  • Hair care for the month of September: $4,716.49

While this probably isn’t what “Joe the Plumber,” “Rose the Teacher,” or “Jerry the Evangelical” spend when they go to the mall, are any of the candidates really in a position where they can criticize these actions?

For a while today, I thought that this was going to be a golden opportunity for Barack Obama to come out swinging, painting both Palin and McCain as elitists who use their supporters money to fund their wardrobe and makeup. With this argument, it would have been extremely easy for Barack Obama to make a correlation between the RNC’s ethics and those executives on Wall Street.

But then I did some digging into Barack Obama’s campaign finance report, and to my surprise what do I find:

May 6th, 2008 – Eneida’s Salon, $1,000, East Berlin, CT – Staging, Sound, Lighting

What’s unique about this is how the Obama campaign expensed this event. After doing a bit of research, I was able to pull up some information about Eneida’s Salon, which now leaves me with some questions:

Location:

251 Asylum St Apt 2w, Hartford, CT 06103-1512
Phone: (860) 247-4247
SIC:Beauty Shops
Line of Business:Beauty Shop

Company Profile:

Company Profile: Eneida’s Salon Inc
Year Started:1986
State of Incorporation:CT
URL:N/A
Location Type:Single Location
Est. Annual Sales:$33,000
Est. Employees:2
Est. Employees at Location:2
Contact Name:Eneida M Bailey
Contact Title:President

(source: Manta.com)

To me it seemed very unlikely that the Obama Campaign actually did any “Staging, Sound and Lighting” at Ms. Bailey’s two-person shop. Furthermore, it seemed even more unlikely that Barack Obama would be the type of guy that would need to utilize a beauty shop, simply because he seems more like a barber shop kind of guy to me.

With my curiosities still unfulfilled, I did some research on the owner of this company, Ms. Eneida Bailey, and what I found was even more interesting. This time it wasn’t a link to a  business profile, but instead was a link to the Oprah Winfrey Show’s website.

However, this page had been removed for some reason, but Google Cache saved the day. Listed on the Oprah Show’s cached page:

Eneida Bailey:
Eneida’s Salon & Day Spa
251 Asylum Street, Ste. 2W
Hartford, CT 06023
860-247-4247

After finding this nugget of information, I couldn’t help but dig deeper to see what else I could find. Very quickly I was able to find the following article from 1998: “Gayle Force: Talk Show Newcomer Gayle King Follows in the Footsteps of Her Best Friend—Oprah Winfrey

In this article, Eneida Bailey was quoted, speaking about Gayle King:

Staffers praise their boss’s generosity. “If she knows you,” says hairstylist Eneida Bailey, “you’re her whole life.”

So now the question that I have for the Obama Campaign is who was the recipient of that $1,000 campaign-funded trip to the day spa/hair salon?

Was it Mrs. Obama? If so, I think that is far more questionable than the RNC spending money on the Vice Presidential candidate.