Lunch Break: Sarah Palin's Tanning Bed

Sarah Palin

Not looking pasty: Sarah Palin Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

We interrupt the hand-wringing over Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch for an old-fashioned analysis of cost and benefit. It comes from Michael Turk, a Republican political strategist, and it concerns the tanning bed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reportedly installed in her state's governor's mansion.

Turk, the funny guy behind, writes that Palin's tanning bed likely cost about as much as a half dozen haircuts for onetime Democratic candidate John Edwards. Turk takes into account the scarcity of sunlight that far north:

Given the relative inability to lay out in the sun, and the relative cost efficiency over time of having a tanning bed in residence as opposed to paying a monthly membership to a tanning salon, this doesn't seem eggregious.

If they have a receipt that shows they paid 10 or 20 times market value for the bed, maybe. But $2,000 . . . on a tanning bed so your Governor doesn't look pasty when she goes on TV is not a stretch.



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But who paid for the wiring to be re done? They had to re wire the Govenor's Mansion to make it work. If Palin used taxpayer money to do this that would be unethical. Some maverick reformer...maybe she should get a job at hooters!

Sent by maiflower | 7:26 PM | 9-15-2008

Maybe the actual cost was for the special installation of a window near the tanning bed. A window for Gov. Palin to keep an eye on Russia. Any former beauty contestant know that tan wins over pasty every time!

Sent by Shawn | 8:22 PM | 9-15-2008

There certainly are 120V/15A tanning beds available in the $1500 to $2500 range, very affordable. No special wiring would be needed. There is no mention of the specific model installed and the Narco article only goes on to paint a distorted picture of possibilites. The 3% of energy is for "All" energy according to the factcheck link above. What was the context of the conversation that McCain and Palin were having, was the discussion about oil which Alaska is noted for? If so the factcheck figure that Alaska produced 14% of domestic oil yielded would be more in line with a statement 20% energy. Playing with words? Remember, " depends on what the meaning of 'is' is." UVB rays can stimulate the positive benefits of Vitamin D physiology. Its not all bad. I know I feel good in the sun. According to the article mentioned above, Roger Wetherell who says a tanning bed had been installed also says it was not at tax payer expense. Does she have a medical need? I would never presume to know the specific health conditions of Ms. Palin as far as I know they have yet to be reported. I for one think this is only a topic to smear the republican vice-presidential candidate. Is there any dirt about Joe Biden in the spirit of fair play? I and last weeks Economist magazine sure can think of some.

Sent by robert | 9:24 PM | 9-15-2008

If Sarah is working at Hooters....I'm there for lunch and dinner.
Why can't someone dig up a photo of her in the bed. Ask her kids. They have to have at least one.

Sent by JOHN | 4:02 PM | 9-16-2008

It is beyond belief that this hussy spent money on such a frivilous thing as a natural source of vitamin D. Bill Clinton could have saved us all a lot of greif if he had just bought a pocket pussy and left Monica, and the millions spent investigating her, out of the news.

Sent by Don Whitley | 8:06 AM | 9-17-2008

The tanning bed wasn't for Sarah, it was for her staff. Everyone knows Sarah positively emanates light. She glows with a fierce determination and force of will that illuminates a room like a million candle power spotlight.
What many people may not realize is that tanning beds are used as Light Therapy in the treatment of SAD ( Seasonal Affected Disorder ). Up in New England we get a touch of SAD due to the short winter days... In Alaska it must be more pronounced and a tanning bed could be used to keep the family feeling good. Also it's cheaper than a family winter vacation.


Sent by Ryan | 6:41 AM | 9-18-2008

Instead of people leaping to the conclusion that Sarah paid $35K for an apparently used tanning bed, why doesn't NPR just find out how much she paid and tell us all. What this has to do with being elected escapes me.

Sent by Ted Slack | 9:57 AM | 9-19-2008