I have a feeling it might have been. I kid a bit, but I think the American people are more willing to forgive a presidential candidate for being overly hetero than for being overly metro.
If Edwards had won the Democratic nomination, he was already gonna have trouble shaking this old clip:
Now, the Silky Pony can toss his mane all he wants, but he's not gonna shake his $400 haircuts and his trips to the Pink Sapphire for make-up in New Hampshire. The Pink Sapphire? The name alone is enough to doom him with most regular Americans.
He did not pony up for the pricey bills from Designworks Salon in Dubuque, Iowa, or the Pink Sapphire spa in Manchester, which offers services for men that include the “Touch of Youth” facial, as well as trips “into the intriguing world of makeup.” The Edwards campaign calls makeup a legitimate expense.
Speaking of roots, my dad, a police detective who was in charge of Senate security, got haircuts at the Senate barbershop for 50 cents. He cut my three brothers’ hair and did the same for anyone else in the neighborhood who wanted a free clip job. Even now, Mr. Edwards could get his hair cut at the Senate barbershop for $21 or the Chapel Hill Barber Shop near his campaign headquarters for $16.
So it’s hard for me to understand how aguy could spend $400 without getting Bergdorf Blonde highlights. (The tabloids claim that Brad and Jen used to get matching streaks.) And don’t campaign donors get snippy about sponsoring tonsorial treats?
Someone who aspires to talk credibly about the two Americas can’tlavish on his locks what working families may spend on electricity in ayear. You can’t sell earnestness while indulging in decadence.
Dean Barnett notes that, when you're a liberal, you can do just that:
While the left has developed a fondness for lamenting George W.Bush’s Manichean world view, liberals are usually the ones who break the world into good guys and bad guys. They refuse to believe that people with whom they have disagreements can be acting in good faith. The flip-side of that coin is everyone on the liberal’s “side” is by definition one of the good guys. The good guy’s motives never have to be questioned. His sincerity is beyond doubt. He is pure.
In competing for the Democratic nomination, Edwards probably sensed that even though he waves the class warfare bloody flag constantly, his own profligate lifestyle wouldn’t be an issue. Liberals don’t call other liberals hypocrites. They reserve that charge for conservatives.
Here's hoping liberals are oblivious enough to their candidates' hypocrisy to nominate this guy. It'll make for a great campaign in the YouTube age. Can you imagine how many clips of him using a compact or cucumber slices there might be? They will come out.
The Boston Globe piles on by describing the offerings of the Pink Sapphire:
THE PRICE: Pink Sapphire caters mostly to women, offering a "timelessbride" package for $225, a "teen years" makeup lesson for $30 and a $25"socialite" makeup do for a night on the town. It also specializes inmakeup for media and special events. According to Federal ElectionCommission reports, the Edwards campaign paid $225 for Pink Sapphire'sservices, a $150 payment on March 7 and a $75 payment on March 20.
And, though a make-up artist on staff there says he's not coming in for facials, we already know for certain he's spent more on haircuts this year than I have in my entire life. Listen, I think haircuts and make-up are legitimate campaign expenses in the age of image, but Edwards and the rest of them are under an obligation to keep it reasonable, out of respect for their donors and their supporters. In my experience, working with Republican candidates and staffers, Republicans generally send a lackey out to the MAC counter to pick up something in their color instead of showing their faces in a salon. That's a better approach. Make-up is necessary, but you shouldn't necessarily be proud of it.
Any image points his $400 haircut may have earned Edwards were wiped out and then some when the price was revealed. I live in a major metro area, and I'm a woman, and I imagine it'd be well-nigh impossible for me to figure out how to get something done to my mop that would cost $400.
Andre Chreky is one of the nicest salons in town, frequented by Laura Bush and the Bush girls from what I hear, and it looks like I could manage a cut and color for about $300, but hitting $400 would require a "Japanese straightening," hair extensions, or a haircut from Andre himself. I don't even know what a "Japanese straightening" is, but I do know that the fact that I'm talking about obscure hair treatments at frou-frou salons in the same sentence with John Edwards is bad news for him.
Does my state really have to claim this guy?
Update: Super Mega-Ultra Hypocrisy!