An historical perspective and a November prediction.
While we all have our partisan views, as Americans, we all want a president who is confident, competent, and can exhibit true leadership skills. But Americans also have a preoccupation with a soon-to-be spouse’s looks and the future president’s hair. As we’ll look back through time, regardless of party affiliation, I’ll prove that an attractive spouse and better hair nearly guarantees a trip to the inauguration ceremony over the competition.
Let’s start with one of the most popular and better looking presidents: John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy ran against Richard Nixon and narrowly won. While both presidential candidates had a nice set of hair ( Nixon would later become president himself), I contend that the beauty and style of Jacqueline Kennedy far outshined that of former pharmacy manager, typist, radiographer Pat Nixon. Both Kennedy and his wife were iconic style setters and a regular with the Hollywood crowd. There is even royalty references when describing his presidency using the mythology of Camelot. Kennedy had a nice set of full hair and Jackie O is synonymous with style and attractiveness. The Kennedy’s beauty, fashion and charm drew envy of millions and he is arguably the most favored and popular presidents of all time.
Let’s look at another popular president who had Hollywood ties: Ronald Reagan.
A previous actor and a handsome man, with a full head of hair I might add, defeated the incumbent Carter for the presidency. Did his wife Nancy’s looks, who was also a retired actress, have anything to do with this unseating? Or was it the fact that while both men had nice hair, Ron’s was fuller?
Let’s get closer to the present:
In the closest race of my lifetime, the Bush Gore contest in 2000 could not have been fully predicted. In fact, an argument can be made for the hair or for the spouses. Gore had slightly nicer hair, but the argument can be made that Laura Bush was just a bit more attractive than Tipper Gore. Was that the deciding factor? Can’t be certain, but in a hotly contested outcome, Bush became the president.
Four years later in 2004, despite better hair, John Kerry didn’t have the spousal attraction support the incumbent Bush did and Bush remained in the White House.
While the early 2000’s were close because the two deciding factors of the nominees’ hair and spouses attractiveness were equivocal, in 2008, Barack Obama had both factors in his corner and the rest is history. Obama’s hair was close cropped, but still present, as opposed to John McCain’s wispy strands. But the real force that year was the spouse. Michelle Obama is statuesque, athletic, and has been linked with Jackie O for her sense of style. Cindy McCain, while still attractive, just couldn’t match up.
In 2012, even Mitt Romney’s finely coiffed locks couldn’t overcome his wife being referred to as the Bride of Chucky. Michelle and Barrack easily overcame that lopsided challenge.
Prediction for November 2016
That brings us to the present race. While this will be historic on many levels, with a true Washington outsider winning the Republican nomination and facing off against the first female democratic nominee, I predict an obvious result.
Trump’s hair has been discussed for more than a decade. I’ve seen him pull on it and prove it is his real hair…and he’s got a lot of it. Trump has great hair, and model for a wife. Hillary has a Plain-Jane haircut and an elderly husband whose presidential years weren’t kind to his looks.
Even if you take his current wife, Melania, out of the equation and use his ex wives, Marla Maples and Ivana Zelnickova, in the comparison to Bill, it is no contest. All three women seem to have held up better than Bill. Could plastic surgery be the answer?
Possibly, but then why hasn’t Hillary taken full advantage of that opportunity?
Let’s take a moment to compare the couples in a different manner. If we use the same-sex comparison, comparing The Donald to the former President and Hillary to Melania, the results are still the same. In fact, the bookies in Las Vegas wouldn’t even call this an impossible shot, let alone a long shot. Hair vs hair for the men might be an interesting competition with Bill having a full head of distinguished silver hair to Donald’s wavy blonde mane, but attractiveness of the two men is a no brainier. Bill has not aged well, but Trump appears timeless.
Again, the female contest doesn’t even seem fair. A model versus a pants-suiter. Soft attractiveness versus cold and frumpy features. Full cheek bones contrasted with heavy jowls. Young versus old. Beauty and the Beast? Too much?
OK, let’s try Hair. Soft curls elegantly framing the face. Or Overtight Pony tail or cropped Bobbie. Long flowing hair vs barely shoulder length. Trumps have the advantage.
Anyway you compare it: candidate with first-spouse-to-be or by gender, to me it’s easy to see. The Trumps appear timeless while the Clintons are showing their age. Hair is ho-hum for the Clinton’s but vibrant and healthy with the Trumps. As history has shown, and Election Day November 8, 2016 will again confirm, the road to the White House will be paved by two seemingly unrelated factors.