Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 26, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PRETTY FOR THE CAMERAS....Jim Henley vents a bit about the John Edwards haircut fiasco:

You know, if we had reporters in this country, they could actually find out the hair-care costs for all the candidates rather than just assuming that the one barbering bill that has come to light is unusual. If reporters want to huff that such work is beneath them, I'll have to demand that they give me a break, by taking hostages if necessary. Not only is nothing beneath them, as they have repeatedly shown, it's absurd to argue implicitly that candidate hair care costs are a big deal if the story happens to fall into your lap, but not a big enough deal to do actual work on.

Well, I don't have the energy to do anything that close to real reporting, but I do know how much George Bush paid to have his face made up for TV appearances during the 2000 campaign. Or, rather, Stephanie Mencimer knows. Details here.

Kevin Drum 5:43 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

I DON'T CARE about Republican hair. It's manly and cowboyish, and combs itelf.

Posted by: anonymous on April 26, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Let's find a candidate who is NOT paying a fortune to look cute, and all vote for that one!

Posted by: thersites on April 26, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think the point is that while perhaps the great unwahsed want their "elected" representatives to be professionally groomed, and everybody is now well-acquaited (or should be) with the complete artifice of the Bush administration, Edwards is selling himself as a self-made man of the people. So, if he's spending stupid sums of money on hair and make-up (maybe Coulter's right?), it undercuts him.

And though people have already brought up the moldy chestnut about how bad Nixon looked vs. Kennedy on TV, blah, blah, that probably had as much to do with Nixon being uncomfortable with himself compared, especially, to someone like Kennedy vs. the klieg lights.

Posted by: JeffII on April 26, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Facemire is an appropriate name for a make-up artist.

Quagmire is an appropriate description of the US occupation of Iraq.

I would guess Edwards had no idea how much his haircut cost and that he had nothing to do with expensing it to his campaign.

I would guess Edwards has no idea how much food staples cost.

Posted by: Brojo on April 26, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

I got into this same conversation with your brother, Kevin. Steve thought Edwards had the bad press coming, as it just wasn't a politically astute thing for pay so much for a haircut. As Steve isn't exactly a metrosexual imagine his suprise when I told him I could stop in for a trim a few blocks down the street for a pricetag of over $100. He probably won't be just letting me walk out of the house with his credit card anymore!

Posted by: Traci on April 26, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Is it time for the kitties to show up yet ?

ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Posted by: daCascadian on April 26, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Let's find a candidate who is NOT paying a fortune to look cute, and all vote for that one!

Kucinich/Thompson '08!

Posted by: ThresherK on April 26, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone asked the reporters how much they spend on hair and makeup?

Posted by: punkerdubh on April 26, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone asked the reporters how much they spend on hair and makeup? Posted by: punkerdubh

Don't confuse news reporters with news readers, as they are so appropriately termed in the UK. Newspaper reporters and the like, work for a living. Even most of the folks screaming questions at politicians at televised press conferences and the like are working people, unlike the talking heads (More Songs About Buildings and Food) who ride desks and smile at the camera.

Posted by: JeffII on April 26, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm kind of curious to know how much CNN's Paula Zahn spends on peroxide.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 26, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

For that matter, how much did Sen. Joe Biden's hair plugs cost? And how much does Rudy Giuliani spend in order to look like Benito Mussolini?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 26, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

And how much does Rudy Giuliani spend in order to look like Benito Mussolini?
I think he was blessed by God in that way, and no cash outlay was necessary.

More important: How much does Kevin spend on cat grooming each Friday morning?

Posted by: thersites on April 26, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

I am actually pretty furious at Edwards over this.

I suspect that Brojo above got it right when he said:

"I would guess Edwards had no idea how much his haircut cost and that he had nothing to do with expensing it to his campaign."

This is the only possible excuse...and the fact that he or his staff was not sensitive to the issue...just burns me up.

I'm sorry, heads need to roll in his Campaign staff...Presidencies are won and lost over such silliness, and it does not speak well for Mr. Edwards himself that he would choose people that would let something like this slip.

Because I am an Edwards man, I can speak more honestly to this slip.

Best Wishes,

Traveller

Posted by: Traveller on April 26, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm kind of curious to know how much CNN's Paula Zahn spends on peroxide.

The rest of us want to know how much she spends on bikini waxing.

Posted by: Disputo on April 26, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

$400 > $250 therefore Edwards is a rich, pretty boy and Bush is a man of the people (BTW, by this standard I'm Gandhi)

Posted by: none on April 26, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

For that matter, how much did Sen. Joe Biden's hair plugs cost? Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

Whatever he paid, it apparently wasn't enough - hair still looks like shit.

I have no idea what he thinks he's doing in the race. He's practically become the Gus Hall of the Democratic Party. What is this, about the sixth time he's run?

Posted by: JeffII on April 26, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

bikini waxing

laughing


Biden's performance is more like Huntz Hall's.

Posted by: Brojo on April 26, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

The sad fact is that how a candidate looks is important to his or her electoral success. If Richard Nixon had spent a few bucks on decent makeup before his TV debate with JFK in 1960, he probably would have won.

Posted by: Bruce Bartlett on April 26, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK
The sad fact is that how a candidate looks is important to his or her electoral success. If Richard Nixon had spent a few bucks on decent makeup before his TV debate with JFK in 1960, he probably would have won.

Or at least the pundits would have had to come up with a different overly simplistic explanation for him losing.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 26, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

The sad fact is that how a candidate looks is important to his or her electoral success. If Richard Nixon had spent a few bucks on decent makeup before his TV debate with JFK in 1960, he probably would have won. Posted by: Bruce Bartlett

As I said above, Nixon was a person supremely uncomfortable in his own skin. He was about a personable as a gila monster (and his bite was twice as toxic).

Nixon sweated buckets because he was, and remained his whole political career, a lousy public speaker. He was also nervous because he knew that next to Kennedy that he looked like a child molester, a pin center at best, and that the country favored Kennedy.

Posted by: JeffII on April 26, 2007 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon sweated buckets because he was, and remained his whole political career, a lousy public speaker. He was also nervous because he knew that next to Kennedy that he looked like a child molester, a pin center at best, and that the country favored Kennedy.

Not to those who listened to the debate on the radio, as famously demonstrated by a post-debate poll.

Posted by: Disputo on April 26, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Not to those who listened to the debate on the radio, as famously demonstrated by a post-debate poll.

Probably why people have to testify in person to juries.

Posted by: Repack Rider on April 26, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Not to those who listened to the debate on the radio, as famously demonstrated by a post-debate poll. Posted by: Disputo

That was true only for the first debate, and, ultimately immaterial as the overwhelming majority of Americans had televisions by that time the debates took place. More people watched the debates than listened to them.

The issue wasn't so much how much better Kennedy looked compared to Nixon and his undertaker's pallor, but that Kennedy was better spoken and his people understood how to use television to his advantage.

http://www.historynow.org/09_2004/historian2.html

This provides a good overview of the debates.

Posted by: JeffII on April 26, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

John Edward's hair was irrelevant tonight at the debates in South Carolina.
He reponded very well and appeared presidential.
So did Hillary Clinton. All of them were impressive in his or her own way, and not one went for the other's throat. A well spoken gaggle of candidates. I like the idea of impeaching the veep.

Posted by: consider wisely always on April 26, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but the story isn't about Edward's hair.

The story is about the "flap" or "controversy" over Edward's hair. No need to any digging, if you can't snark on a $400 haircut, you're useless and no amount of digging will save you.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on April 26, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

I want to know what MoDo spends on her red hair dye jobs.

Posted by: truth on April 26, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

I thought everyone knew the way candidates stayed youthfull - diet.

When their hair turns gray they dye it.

Posted by: Tripp on April 26, 2007 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Most executives I know spout $200 haircuts--it's part of the topology. What does Chris Mathews, or PumpkinHead, or David Gregory spend for haircare?

Posted by: c4logic on April 26, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the Record, I spend $18.00 and tip $2.00 for the fun....lol

Best Wishes,

Traveller

Posted by: Traveller on April 26, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah but Ron Reagan was an actor.
Because of that his haircuts naturally costed more.

Posted by: Snaggletooth Troll in right field on April 26, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Traveller: "Just for the Record, I spend $18.00 and tip $2.00 for the fun."

I pay $35, but that's because I go to an ex-girlfriend, and she works in a nice salon. For that matter, she also cuts my wife's hair and my daughter' hair, as well.

She's a good and longtime friend of of our family, and we're happy to give our business to her. But more importantly, she's a great stylist -- and frankly, if you want quality you have to be willing to pay accordingly for it.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 27, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Dearest Donald:

EVERYTHING costs more in Hawaii...lol

But seriously, it does, doesn't it?

It is amazing how long we stay with our hair stylists...I was with mine for 25 years before she passed away.

I've been passed along to someone else now, but I have no emotional connection to her though she is certainly nice enough.

Odd the way life is.

Best Wishes,

Traveller

Posted by: Traveller on April 27, 2007 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

The real issue here isn't the haircut. It's the fact that the media uses tabloid gossip standards to report on Democrats. and campaign pamphlet standards to report on Republicans. This is why the right, as a whole, is scared shitless of the possible return of the fairness doctrine to broadcast media. On a truly level playing field, they would be revealed as the corrupt self-serving slime they really are.

Posted by: joe on April 27, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii,

About your query concerning the amount of money Paul Zahn spends on peroxide.

Didn't that MASH unit prove that..............

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 27, 2007 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

According to this article, Edwards does know the cost of food staples.

Posted by: Brojo on April 27, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Well, it is reassuring to know that some politicos know the price of food - Used to see my former Congressman, the Great Jim McDermott, shopping at the old Thriftway Market on Queen Anne hill. - Geez, he even knew what a scanner could do.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 27, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Although I am not a big fan of Edwards, it is reassuring to know he understands how real people live, especially if he becomes president.

Posted by: Brojo on April 27, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

You know darn well those Faux-schmooze babes spend big money on their hair. Why should the issue be looked at in a sexist way?

Posted by: Neil B. on April 27, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

"When their hair turns gray they dye it"

I wonder whether anyone has asked George Bush where he has his hair dyed and how much it costs? Not sure he still dyes his hair, but it was bloody obvious that he did early in his presidency.

Posted by: PaulB on April 27, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

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