Jewish World Review July 12, 2004 / 23 Tamuz, 5764

Bernadette Malone

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Male vanity in a politician is just creepy | John Kerry probably lost untold numbers of votes when he announced he and his new running mate John Edwards have "better hair" than their opponents George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a vain man.

You know the type. He spends more time than you putting "product" in his hair, and his bathroom contains higher quality shampoo and conditioner than yours. He drops hints about how much he spends on his shirts, and he strokes his Hermes tie while he chats you up. Maybe he even gets pedicures and facials and back waxes. No thank you, John Kerry and John Edwards. America needs a manly President and vice president, not two metrosexuals.

Kerry had already committed several offenses in this category that were starting to make me uncomfortable. The first was when he posed for Vogue magazine wearing an electric blue wet suit. It's only borderline acceptable for a man to pose for Vogue, and it's only borderline acceptable for a man to wear an electric blue wetsuit. The combination of the two, however, took things a wave too far. Real men just don't do that. Or at least they shouldn't.

Then there were the reports — impossible not to believe once you've compared his before and after photos — that Kerry receives Botox treatments to diminish his wrinkles. I thought it was great that his wife admits to using Botox, but women are supposed to be vain. The thought of my next President lying back in the dermatologist's chair to have botulism bacteria injected into his facial muscles so his eyebrows and smile will freeze in place and look taut makes me queasy.

In 2000 it was reported that Al Gore had found a new way to apply his make-up: He had a cosmetologist spray-gun a fine mist of orange paint onto his face. (No danger to the ozone layer, rest assured.) I admit that the time I had to wear a white dress with spaghetti straps to a dance, I first patronized Hollywood Tans, where I stood in a tin box the size of a telephone booth and allowed strategically placed jet streams to bathe me with bronzing chemicals. But again: the fairer sex is allowed to be vain. Vain men are just plain creepy.

And often they are dangerous. The vainest man to ever take up residence in Washington, D.C., was Bill Clinton, who won the 1992 and 1996 Presidential elections because he hands down had better hair than both George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole. Let's not forget he spent $200 on his haircuts by Washington, D.C.'s Christophe, of the famous Dupont Circle salon by the same name.

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A man who spends $200 on a haircut obviously wants to get bang for his buck out of it, and bang Clinton certainly got. Now, sadly, his legacy is his vanity and all the sexual harassment cases it produced — not how he shaped American history over eight years.

You have to worry when vain men seek office, because vanity often drives their campaigns, and when they get into office there's not a lot of substance to them. For example, John Edwards was only involved in politics for three years before he began campaigning for President. He was elected to the Senate from North Carolina in 1998 and set himself up as a Presidential candidate the moment Al Gore lost in 2000. What was the wind behind his sails? All anyone talked about was his youth and good looks — not his experience (as an ambulance-chaser) or his vision for America.

Kerry may have picked Edwards to even out his liberal Massachusetts image, but clearly his hairline is as attractive to the metrosexual Kerry as much as the Mason-Dixon Line is. If Hillary Clinton had used her G-d-given right as a woman to be vain, and fixed her hairstyle earlier on, she might have been Kerry's pick for vice president.

Say what you want about Bush and Cheney, but they are not doing their jobs for the glamour of the office, like Clinton did and like Kerry and Edwards seem inclined to do. These are two men who look like they'd rather swallow glass than refer to their hair goop as "product." And I just naturally trust those kinds of guys more. Don't you?

Comment on JWR contributor Bernadette Malone's column by clicking here.


07/06/04: America remains the envy of the world
06/28/04: Felons at your door, courtesy of ACT
06/14/04: Reagan, through the eyes of a 7-year-old
05/24/04: States have the right to not ‘change with the times’
05/10/04: At least we know that in America's military there really is 'on job equality'
05/03/04: Soviet chic is anything but funny
03/24/04: Is March depressing, or is it just me?
03/15/04: Conventional wisdom or not, don't be so quick to rule out Kerry/McCain ticket
03/08/04: Will Vermont town start national annex trend?
01/26/04: Kerry wins debate by being mediocre
01/19/04: "Old style politics" has gotta go?
01/12/04: Prez mocks legal immigrants
01/06/04: New year, but the chattering class' ennui already kicking in
11/10/03: Time for "diversity" for GOPers?
11/03/03: Two cheers for loopy loudmouth Sharpton
10/20/03: And who can blame them?
10/07/03: Irony seems to have been lost on most in ‘leakgate’
09/30/03: Will the Dems finally produce an alpha male before it's time to name a nominee who can scare Bush?
09/23/03: ‘K Street’ will reinforce American cynicism
09/09/03: When real life starts to imitate virtual reality, itís time to reboot

© 2003, Bernadette Malone