Monday, February 4, 2008

Presidential Hair

The previous post by guest writer, Christine Randolph, takes a light-hearted view of what is actually a recurring theme in American politics: presidential hair.

First of all, he must have hair. Our last bald President was Eisenhower (1953-61).

Consider this history of concern over the pinnacle of presidential power.

John Edwards: his almost Benny Hinnish and always perfect hair, as well as the $400 that this man of the people pays for his clip, were a campaign issue. Just before Edwards withdrew from the race, David Letterman did what most of us want to do. He mussed it up on television. Who first called him "silky pony?" (Photo: Seth Wenig, Associated Press)

I recall that in the 2004 race, some were asking, "Who has the better hair, Bush or Kerry?" Kerry's hair was a liability. My wife never liked it. It seemed bigger than the rest of his head.

In 2000, Al Gore appeared at one televised debate with his hair moulded in a strangely Reaganesque style. He also cocked his head that night the way the Gipper used to do.

Bill Clinton began his presidency with a number of missteps, including holding up air traffic at LAX while he got an expensive haircut on Air Force One from Beverly Hills stylist Cristophe.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, incumbent President George Bush mocked his challenger Bill Clinton for his use of a hair dryer. Unbeknownst to poor George, the use of hairdryers was common among voting men at the time.

President Reagan's hair was black and molded to perfection, but he was an actor so we expected this and forgave it.

Jimmy Carter moved the part in his hair from one side to the other in mid-presidency. That did not save him.

There is a doctoral dissertation here begging to be written.

1 comment:

Dilawar Khan said...

This was a recent article on NRO, sadly I forget the link...