Monday, February 4, 2008

Is Mitt Too Pretty to Lead?

Christine Randolph writes:

One thing I will never get used to is seeing a man who has obviously spent more time getting ready in the morning than I have. Former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is just such a man. I imagine he has an opinion on terrorism and the war in Iraq, yet I have never actually been able to listen long enough to find out. Instead, I find myself picturing him trying to give a rousing speech to a company of troops in the Middle East. His Ken-like hair is completely unaffected by the heat and dry of the desert air. While the soldiers are practically melting in the sun, there he stands, as flawless as ever.

I have a fairly typical morning schedule: make some coffee, take a shower, fix my hair and make-up, get dressed, and go. All in all, it takes me about an hour to get ready in the morning. I make myself look nice, but I am not particularly concerned with looking flawless each and every day. But, when I see a guy who looks better than I do on a daily basis, I get a little worried.

Has anyone else noticed how flawless and evenly tanned Romney’s skin is? After spending the last few years of his life in Massachusetts and Utah, lovely yet characteristically chilly states, can that really be natural? After a whole summer in the sun and a vacation to the beach in Florida, even I am unable to acquire the kind of color he has. He also possesses a pattern of hair color rarely found in nature: silky black save for the light peppering of grey just around his ears. I can not say that it looks bad; it just does not look quite real.

What really bothers me about his appearance is the style of his hair. This cannot be blamed on really great DNA. There is no possible way it could be so perfectly coiffed without some considerable work and an unnatural amount of hair gel. This is not just a great hair day. This is a constant and purposeful effort to have perfect hair. This is a ploy to rise above the competition, not in the usual political ways, but through appealing to the eyes.

It is possible that he has been trying to take a page out of President Kennedy’s book. Many have suggested that Kennedy ultimately won the 1960 election because he was just easier to look at than Richard Nixon. But being shockingly well composed may not be the best tactic to secure the presidency. Personally, I find it hard to pay attention when Mitt Romney is talking about his policies. I am just too distracted by his unusual and unnatural good looks.

During the recent Republican debates, I should have been able to acquire some knowledge of his politics. There he was in his crisp, outrageously expensive suit and shiny new shoes telling me how he feels on the important issues facing this election. But for some reason I found myself being strangely fascinated by the incredible height of the poof atop his head. How does he, or rather his hair dressers, make it so puffy? I wish I could make my hair that voluminous. I wonder what kind of shampoo he uses.

Even unremarkable occasions like a walk through the White House gardens with the First Dog would be grounds for curiosity. His gravity-defying hair is not moving. That is nothing out of the ordinary. But look… the tree branches around him are tossing around like a hurricane has just struck land.

Do we really want such an extensively groomed man as our President? Sure, he would look great sitting in the Oval Office or on a postage stamp. Perhaps he would even be okay giving presidential speeches and inspirational messages. Honestly, he might not be that bad with the whole leading the country business. But before I even consider voting for him, I must ask myself one question: Do I want a President who is prettier than me? I am not so sure.

-- Christine Randolph studies Politics, Philosophy and Economics at The King's College in New York City and is a guest writer today at Principalities and Powers.

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