B-lather, Rinse, Repeat (whatever you think people want to hear)

From Ruth Marcus at POST OPINIONS at The Washington Post:

Let us now contemplate Mitt Romney’s hair.

Actually, let us now join the crowd contemplating Mitt Romney’s hair.

The growing crowd. The would-be First Hair made the front page of Friday’s New York Times. At a debate in Michigan a couple of weeks ago, the blogosphere responded to a few uncharacteristically stray Romney locks as if they were loose nukes.

And when late-night television host Jimmy Fallon asked presidential rival Michele Bachmann recently what comes to mind when she thinks of Romney, she answered, perhaps inevitably: “Hair.”


Original advertisement

As a matter of gender equity, we should embrace this development. The history of political hair suggests that, for male politicians, hair focus is a matter of self-inflicted wounds. Think Bill Clinton and the fancy Hollywood hairdresser on the airport tarmac. John Edwards primping and rearranging his locks for minutes in front of the mirror — and that was before his unfortunate $400 cut.

For female politicians, on the other hand, hair comes with the territory. How many stories over the years have been devoted to Hillary Clinton’s changing hairstyles? “In the middle of the next big crisis, whatever it is, I’m cutting my hair,” Clinton said a few months ago. “And believe me, we won’t be reading about what war is going on.”


Then there was the unfortunate episode involving California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina’s on-camera cattiness about Democratic rival Barbara Boxer’s do: “God, what is that hair? Sooo yesterday.”

Truth is, we all notice hair — candidates’, celebrities’, our daughters’ that would look better out of their faces. The seeming national obsession with Romney’s hair reflects a welcome gender-neutral application of this principle.

Then there is the unavoidable matter of hair-as-metaphor. As Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker wrote in the Times, Romney’s “head of impeccably coiffed black hair has become something of a cosmetological Rorschach test on the campaign trail, with many seeing in his thick locks everything they love and loathe about the Republican candidate for the White House. (Commanding, reassuring, presidential, crow fans; too stiff, too slick, too perfect, complain critics.)”

It would be easy to dismiss this as mere backseat barbering, over-interpreting trivial choices, but listen to Romney’s own barber: “He wants a look that is very controlled,” Leon de Magistris told the Times. “He is a very controlled man. The hair goes with the man.”

When he advises Romney “to mess it up a little bit,” de Magistris said, the candidate resists.


Sometimes a hairdo is only a hairdo. But in Romney’s case, it may also be an insight — into ourselves and what we are searching for in a president, no doubt, but also into the candidate himself.


Filed under Advertising, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, humor, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

38 responses to “B-lather, Rinse, Repeat (whatever you think people want to hear)

  1. How is it possibly possible to remain so perfectly coiffed with all that flip-flopping action? In. Credible.

  2. jay

    Willard should consider the mohawk: it illustrates perfectly how he has been on both sides of every issue.

  3. Mitt is the current king of flip-flopping in order to gain the political winds. Thus the key reason why I have a difficult time listening to him. And to think he is the most reasonable of those at/near the top of the polls. In terms of his hair … he could mess it up and wear a flannel shirt, but that wouldn’t change his wooden personality.

    • “that wouldn’t change his wooden personality.”

      Four years ago, I called Willard the biggest stuffed shirt I’d ever seen in Republican politics. I stand by that opinion.

      • he doesn’t have a wooden personality. trees have more personality than he does. mittsie is devoid of personality. he’d be the last person i’d want to be seated next to at a dinner party. i’d fall asleep in my soup.

    • what’s the sense in listening to anything he says when you know he’ll say the exact opposite in a few days or weeks?

  4. i think willard needs a flip hairdo a la Carol Brady to match his personality

  5. lol…I guess I never paid too much attention to his hair…

    • hello t scott,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      i’m surprised that so many people are writing about his hair this time around. when he first started showing up again, my first thought was that his hair was getting thinner, and his hairline was receding. i don’t think his hair stands up very well next to that of gov little ricky goodhair or even newtie’s. even if one is commenting on the plastic-like qualities of mittsie’s hair, it doesn’t hold a candle to callista’s. i think her hair is made up of fiber optic cable, and i keep waiting for it to change colors.

      p.s. i thought your handwriting posts were very interesting.

  6. A big, fat achy breaky Billy Ray Cyrus mullet could also illustrate his duplicity, but the combover would be funnier. 😀

  7. The CEO wouldn’t have so much trouble getting the nomination if it were up to HR.

    If the GOP primary were a CEO search

  8. maggiejean

    LOL nonnie. Good stuff.

  9. Hey, I thought this story was about Rinsus Repeatus! Those ads remind me of my pet hate of growing up in the 50s: hair oil and it’s bastard cousin hair tonic. While on the subject of product ads, don’t forget to peruse the waffel ads.

  10. jeb

    Perhaps he can get hair and personality coaching from The Donald. When you’re as sculpted and scripted as The Mittster, a little crazy is called for.

  11. Snoring Dog Studio

    Your comment about Callista’s fiber optic hair was the best! I swear, girl, you could do a political cartoon. And you should!

    Newt has always had intelligence – no big surprises there – the problem is, he is still an extremely polarizing, confrontational, mean little man who can’t play well with others. His presidency would be a disaster. Personally, I couldn’t vote for an intelligent man who’s totally lacking in compassion. And Newt’s views on immigration doesn’t mean he has compassion; he’s just pandering for the Hispanic and Latino votes.

    • i think his stand on immigration had nothing to do with compassion. it probably was pandering for the hispanic vote, but i think it’s also his plan for making some rich people happy by insuring they’ll have lots of cheap labor. notice he said that he doesn’t want them to have a path to citizenship. that’s because he doesn’t want them ever voting.

  12. I thought Perry was the one with the good hair. Mitt has that greasy kid stuff look. But then again, when you’re my age, any hair is better than none 🙂

    • that has me confused, too, hansi. mittsie had great hair years ago, but it’s getting a bit ragged now. even newtie and huntsman have better hair than he does.

  13. Okay. New rule. Presidential candidates will not be allowed to comb or coiffe their hair before debates, but must report to their podiums with disheveled bed hair.

  14. I love the title.

    And maybe it’s just me, but the list of locations … Utah, France, New Hampshire, etc. strikes me as hilarious.

    I keep hearing stories about how Gov. Romney expects to have an advantage in NH because he has a house here, and I kind of wonder whether his strategy is just to buy a house in every state.

    (By the way, I’ve seen his NH house up in Wolfeboro … it’s very nice. A friend of mine applied for but did not get the contract to do his landscaping.)

    • i was wondering if anyone would notice the locations at the bottom. thanks, wken!

      i don’t understand how having a house in a particular location qualifies you for anything, especially when you don’t really live in it. if there’s a regional issue, then living in the region is important, because you can understand how it impacts the people living there. does anyone who lives in new hampshire and is unemployed or being pounded by insurance costs really think mittsie feels their pain?

      • Yeah, I wonder the same thing.

        He’s from Mass. It’s that simple. I guess I could see why Utah or Michigan might have some sentimental leaning toward him for things he’s done in the past, but that’s all it should be, and shouldn’t count for much.

        Anyone who would vote for a candidate because he owns a piece of property in the state probably shouldn’t be voting, anyway …

        • the whole thing is silly. would you pick a surgeon when your life is on the line, because he hails from your home town? if they’re getting sentimental over mittsie, they shouldn’t forget about all the people who lost their jobs when bain capital took over companies and fired everyone.

  15. wken, only undocumented workers get his landscaping contracts.