April 22, 2007

Getting snippy with Maureen Dowd...

... for writing "Running With Scissors" about John Edwards and his pricey haircuts.

42 comments:

B said...

I am far more concerned with the obviously paltry spending that Edwards chooses to put inside of his head than what he chooses to spend on the outside of it.

No looks can make up for an empty suit. Who was the last model we elected for President?

Maxine Weiss said...

1. I have a stalker.

2. Shouldn't Mark Steyn be Mark Stein? Stein isn't necessarily Jewish, so there's no need to change the spelling.

3. Don't listen to Cameron Stracher. Stracher is pronounced StrAY-CHur....no matter what he says.

Peace, Maxine

johnstodder said...

Do they not get that John Edwards getting a $400 haircut is funny? And that as a satirical columnist, MoDo has almost no choice, professionally, but to write about it?

Every candidate who succeeds has a "thing." A memorable totem that makes them lovable. For John Edwards, it's his lovely, silky, oh-don't-you-just-want-to-touch-it hair. It's not going to cost him the election. If he catches fire, I predict the Democratic Convention will be filled with fans wearing John Edwards wigs in a loving salute.

In the 1990s, Clinton's various tics earned him the nickname "Bubba." It was affectionate. It helped humanize him, even though it referred to several character flaws.

In 2004, lots of independents apparently said, "I'm not going to vote for that John Kerry. He's a phony. He got famous as a war protester, and now he tells us he's a military guy."

In 2008, no independent is going to say, "I'm not going to vote for that John Edwards. He's too vain about his hair."

The day satirists stop paying attention to John Edwards' hair is the day his supporters should start to worry.

P.S. The last candidate who had great hair? JFK, of course. Just go with it, lefties.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Believe it or not, this was one of Dowd's more serious columns. Her point was wasteful campaign spending of this kind (the barbershop near his campaign HQ cuts men's hair for $16) shows that Edwards has poor managerial control of his campaign. Also, that no one realized expensing the cut to the campaign instead of him personally paying for it (so that it would be disclosed) was a stupid tactical move, given that he was attacked in 2004 for being a prettyboy. Dowd is assailing how ineptly Edwards is running his campaign.

johnstodder said...

Believe it or not, this was one of Dowd's more serious columns.

You caught me. I got no Times Select. I was just assuming what Dowd wrote was like what Dowd usually writes. This works most of the time for the Times' stable of columnists.

Ann Althouse said...

How do you know what Dowd usually writes if you don't have TimesSelect?

johnstodder said...

Until about a year ago, I got it delivered to my house. Then I got sick of recycling newspapers and cancelled all of them. I've read Maureen Dowd for however many years she's been published on the op-ed page, and I still pick up the print edition sometimes (usually for Science Tuesday).

If she's morphed into E.J. Dionne, I would be surprised. I realize she's not Dave Barry, but I tend to think of her as a "riffing on..." columnist, rather than a political analyst.

LutherM said...

He feels pretty
Oh so pretty
He feel pretty and witty and gay
And he pities
Anyone who isn't him today
He feels charming
Oh so charming
It's alarming how charming he feels
And so pretty
That he hardly can believe he's real

(This lack of being "real", of course, is the problem for Edwards, because, while I'd bet that he has personal qualities, politically there seems to be no "there" there. )

dix said...

For John Edwards, it's his lovely, silky, oh-don't-you-just-want-to-touch-it hair. It's not going to cost him the election.

Agreed. Americans looking for someone to face down Al Qaeda or Kim Jong Il would have no problem electing someone like this

Kirk said...

"oh-don't-you-just-want-to-touch-it" hair? For me, the answer is "No".

Wade Garrett said...

Oh yeah? Well, our current President is a manly-man and he's not doing so great of a job of staring down Al Queda and Kim Jong Il. Maybe, just maybe, the lesson we can take away from ths is that nobody with a brain gives a shit? There was a flurry of news stories about Bill Clinton's expensive haircuts back in 93/94, and they quickly went away. A President is supposed to look good on tv, even if looking good on tv is his only virtue, as was the case with Ronald Reagan. Nobody should hold his expensive haircuts against him.

Classic Stephen Colbert joke: "In today's news, John Edwards spent $400 on a haircut. In other news, Dennis Kucinich spent $100 on a suit."

Seven Machos said...

I am confident that lefties like Wade Garrett truly believe that John Edwards will be "staring down Al Queda and Kim Jong Il" a lot better.

Wade: tell us about the differences between Clinton policy and Bush policy toward North Korea, and how do both fit in with the overarching policy since the end of hostilities in the Korean War?

Looking forward to your answer.

ShadowFox said...

At least, Dowd is a columnist. What were AP and the Politico doing writing about Edwards's haircut? Is this what oppo research has come to these days? Planting stories about opponents getting $400 haircuts?

But let's see what these guys missed--and these are supposed to be investigative reporters!

The much mocked "spa" expense turned out to be make-up for TV a appearance. Care to guess how much McCain spends on make-up when he has a scheduled TV appearance? Or maybe we should ask Fred Thompson.

From Hilzoy:
"Pink Sapphire co-owner Ariana Franggos said the two payments last month - $150 on March 7 and $75 on March 20 - were for doing Edwards' makeup for television appearances. She handles makeup for local television personalities and was referred to Edwards through that connection."

As for the haircuts, there is a simple explanation for the cost:

"One reason the cost of the cut was so steep even by Beverly Hills standards is that Torrenueva went to Edwards rather than the candidate coming into the stylist's salon a block off Rodeo Drive."

This is why we have a moron who is unable and unwilling to read as president--because the half-assed media trivializes personal qualities of the candidates and is utterly unable to do investigative reporting.

I am not even going to bother responding to comments here, because they are so patently stupid.

downtownlad said...

$400 does not seem that extravagant. I spend $100 on a haircut, but John Edwards is a lot richer than I am and can afford to spend $400.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, Shadow. You bring such sophistication and wit -- real insider stuff regarding Beverly Hills salon costs and the best bits about the makeup industry.

I'm really hoping you can tell us about Edwards's big plans for North Korea, since one of your fellow partisans brought it up.

Also, is it possible that maybe, possibly spending $400 on a haircut and living in a 20,000+ square-foot house is relevant when the same candidate also blathers on about the terrible two Americas?

Fen said...

but John Edwards is a lot richer than I am and can afford to spend $400

But of course. Haven't you heard? There are, apparently, Two America's.

This is why we have a moron who is unable and unwilling to read as president--because the half-assed media trivializes personal qualities of the candidates and is utterly unable to do investigative reporting. I am not even going to bother responding to comments here, because they are so patently stupid.

Three levels of irony here. Do I get bonus points?

Seven Machos said...

Fox sounds like he is of the ilk that believes CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, and the major newspapers and magazines in the country were for Bush in 2004 (and 2000). People as irretrievably out of touch with reality as this are unable to carry on a reasonable conversation.

downtownlad said...

There's two Americas?

So John Edwards wants everyone to be poor???? I don't think so.

Seven Machos said...

If John Edwards becomes president, people in wheelchairs will walk again and everyone will have $400 haircuts and live in 20,000+ square-foot houses. He has a five-year plan to heal the afflicted, guarantee employment, and increase production 30-fold.

Wade Garrett said...

Seven - Does the fact that George W. Bush coasted through 10 years of Andover, Yale, and Harvard by pulling strings and dropping names necessarily make his goal of raising educational standards illegitimate? I bet that you would argue that it does not. By the same logic, Edwards can work to improve the quality-of-life discrepancy between the rich and the poor in this country while living in a mansion and getting $400 haircuts.

Seven Machos said...

Wade -- still waiting on you to evince any understanding of U.S. policy toward North Korea.

As for your grades analogy, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with $400 haircuts or 20,000+ square-foot houses. I'm saying that only a totally incompetent, out-of-his-league, half-retarded nincompoop would get one or live in one, then try to talk about how sad it is that there are "two Americas."

But, anyway, please continue with your standard litany about how dumb Republicans are.

Wade Garrett said...

Seven - I'm sorry, I thought this was a thread about haircuts. Who are you to make it one about our government's policy towards North Korea? That is, assuming our stance towards North Korea constitutes a coherent 'policy.'

Torn ligament said...

'How do you know what Dowd usually writes if you don't have TimesSelect?'

For anyone interested the blog 'Welcome to Pottersville' routinely posts Rich and Dowd columns in their entirity.

As for MD getting snippy about haircuts, holy crap, does she think any really cares? I routinely pay $200.00 every six weeks on my hair. If my hairdresser came to where I was I expect it would cost me $400. as well. Maureen Dowd must go to Quickie Cuts for her own hair.

Seven Machos said...

You brought up North Korea, Wade. I happen to know a great deal about that particular situation. I thought we might see if you had any, you know, actual knowledge when you imply that the Bush administration is handling North Korea (and the absurd number of issues at play there) poorly.

Apparently, you know nothing of any substance about it. Given the vapid content of your posts, I assume that you have nor real knowledge regarding most of the subjects you you write about as well.

Thanks for playing.

Seven Machos said...

Torn ligament -- Do you give a lot of speeches about "two America's" and poor kids not being able to afford winter coats?

ShadowFox said...

I happen to know a great deal about that particular situation.

Given what I've seen from you so far, somehow I doubt it, seven. In fact, it looks rather doubtful that you know a great deal about any "particular situation". A snark here, a snark there, but nothing of substance.

But, since you asked, what exactly is the Bush "policy" toward North Korea? And how effective has it been over the past six years?

Thanks for playing...

Torn ligament said...

Torn ligament -- Do you give a lot of speeches about "two America's" and poor kids not being able to afford winter coats?'

Wow, perhaps you should go to bed and sleep it off. Why are you trying to pick a fight over my comment?

Seven Machos said...

Not trying to pick a fight at all. You pay all you want for haircuts.

My point is that this is only a big deal because of the rhetorical box that Edwards has painted himself into.

Seven Machos said...

Well, Shadow, that's the thing, isn't it? The Bush policy is remarkably simpliar to the Clinton policy, and to previous policies. The primary reasons for this are: (1) China is looming right there, (2) we don't much care about North Korea and to the extent we do care about it, our policy is that Korea will eventually unify, (3) we probably have good intelligence suggesting that North Korea's nuclear program isn't tremendously advanced, and (4) even if it is advanced, we can't do much because China is looming right there.

But people on the left only want to carp and complain that Bush isn't properly "staring down" the problem. Meanwhile, a guy gets a $400 haircut while claiming that poor kids are running around under-nourished and without coats.

Palladian said...

"I'm not saying there's anything wrong with $400 haircuts or 20,000+ square-foot houses."

O.K. then, I'll say it. There is something wrong with $400 haircuts and 20,000 square-foot houses.

Larry in Gibbsville said...

Downtown Lad said:

"$400 does not seem that extravagant. I spend $100 on a haircut, but John Edwards is a lot richer than I am and can afford to spend $400."

I think the point of most of the criticism is that Edwards didn't pay for the haircut, his campaign did.

I don't think I'd be a happy Edwards supporter if my contributions to his campaign went to his tonsorial artist, and not to getting his message out!

Roger said...

I honestly don't care how much he spends for a haircut, and if his contributors are stupid enough to entrust their money to him, they deserve to lose it. I simply don't understand why any sentient human being can't understand the rhetorical disconnect between Edward's lifestyle, and his two America's theme. Even if there were two America's as he suggests, the image he has created vitiates his message.

Wade Garrett said...

1) Actually, Dix brought it up, not me.

2) Seven - nothing you just said about North Korea couldn't have been learned by reading wikipedia.

3) Sure, his campaign paid for it. Its his campaign's job to make him look good on tv. Bush's campaign paid for him to go to hate-mongering Bob Jones university, and for Reagan to go to Philadelphia, Mississippi and talk about State's right, which was a slap in the face to every black person in the United States. In the long history of presidential campaigns, $400 have been spent in more harmful ways.

4) The Edwards family gives a lot of money to charity. Trust me on this one. Also, Edwards left an enormously profitable law practice to run for the Senate to talk about the issues he cared about. In six years in the Senate, he probably passed up six-ten million dollars. He gives a lot of money to charity. he's helping the other America more than the President, who enjoys taking a month-long vacations to pull weeds on his luxurious hobby ranch, just like all regular Americans do!

ShadowFox said...

Well, Shadow, that's the thing, isn't it? The Bush policy is remarkably simpliar to the Clinton policy, and to previous policies.

Well, seven, as I expected, you ignorance is exceeded only by your ego. I am going to assume you meant "similar"--otherwise, it makes even less sense.

Bush policy has been nothing like Clinton's. By all accounts, despite all their blustering, the Koreans actually complied by the terms they agreed to with Clinton until Bush people fabricated a money-laundering charge that has been proved to be utterly baseless.

So, with Bush&Co, having frozen North Korean accounts--in their own fit of bluster--the Koreans reconstituted the program that's been put in mothballs under Clinton. Bush's WH policy of refusing to negotiate with all "enemies" led directly to the complete restoration of N.Korean nuclear program and eventual nuclear test. One could not construct a more disastrous policy (short of actually supplying the Koreans with nuclear materials).

China may have some odd beliefs in its collective system, but self-annihilation is not one of them. They don't want a lunatic with a nuclear weapon next to them any more than Japan or we do. So it is China, in this case, that saved our bacon. And these idiots have been trying to blow it again. Mercifully, Bolton has been gagged.

Lack of diplomacy is not a skill problem for this set--it is an intentional policy. And it's the kind of policy that's unacceptable.

Wade Garrett said...

But thanks for playing!

Roger said...

Shadow Fox--I am confused by this statement: "the Koreans actually complied by the terms they agreed to with Clinton..." When I googled history nork nuclear program, IAEA reported that shortly after the agreement with the Clinton Administration was signed, the NORKS had been extracting plutonium from spent fuel Rods--Indeed Walter Pincus wrote a much the same in a WAPO article. My understanding was the NORKS were to suspend all activity in return for US technology and aid.

As for the assertion about the Bush administration's failure to negotiate, I am assuming you mean failure to negotiate one on one, as the administration has been negotiating in a multilateral arragement for quite some time. I am assuming your position is we should have been negotiating unilaterally with NORKS and it the multilateral versus unilateral approach that distinguished the approaches of the two administrations?

Finally, while I may have missed it, this is the first I was aware that the money laundering (as well as counterfeiting of currency and other US products) were fabricated. Up to the recent unfreezing of NORK assets from Macau, was there ever a definitive finding that the charges of money laundering were baseless? I know the NORK asserted the charges were baseless. Would appreciate your clarification on those points.

tjl said...

"I don't think I'd be a happy Edwards supporter if my contributions to his campaign went to his tonsorial artist, and not to getting his message out!"

The haircut IS his message.

What other tangible credential does Edwards have to offer?

johnstodder said...

The real question is, who is paying for Kim Jong-Il's haircuts?

If the Edwards campaign is paying for them, well then I for one have a major problem with it!

Do you suppose it's possible that John Edwards got his idea for "the Two Americas" from noticing that there are two Koreas? For that matter, there are two Carolinas. Is this a coincidence?

I'm just trying to figure out how this haircut thread became a bitter debate about U.S. policy toward North Korea. Can we say both the Clinton and Bush policies were abject failures? That the old psycho has fooled at least three U.S. presidents (when you include Carter in the mix)? Anyone who is not drowning in someone's Kool-Ade would have to acknowledge this.

As for Edwards' hair, I was kidding around when I suggested I might want to touch it. I don't think his wealth negates his message, nor do his personal style or quirks. On the other hand, if liberals are going to have a cow every time own of their own (Dowd) finds humor in the foibles of one of their own (Edwards), then the Republicans will have no problem winning in 2008, because all the Democrats will have keeled over from stress-related diseases.

Grow. A. Sense. Of. Humor.

dix said...

I'm just trying to figure out how this haircut thread became a bitter debate about U.S. policy toward North Korea.

I apologize for that. I implied that Edward's attention to his hair may not prepare him for Kim Jong Il. It was just easier to spell than the head of Iran. Upon further review, Edwards and Kim may find common ground by sharing stylists.

Roger said...

Does Edwards wear platform shoes? another point he might have in common with Kim

Revenant said...

Does the fact that George W. Bush coasted through 10 years of Andover, Yale, and Harvard by pulling strings and dropping names necessarily make his goal of raising educational standards illegitimate?

That your own education has led you to equate allegations with facts suggests that campaigns to raise educational standards are not merely legitimate, but desperately needed. :)

Revenant said...

As for MD getting snippy about haircuts, holy crap, does she think any really cares? I routinely pay $200.00 every six weeks on my hair.

I suspect that the majority of American men can't imagine spending that kind of money on their hair. This is especially true for Democrats, the majority of whom are in the bottom three income quintiles. You might spend $1700 a year on *your* hair, but the median potential Edwards supporter doesn't HAVE a couple of thousand bucks to blow on haircare each year.

Obviously this isn't a crippling blow to Edwards, but since his entire campaign is based on empathy and charisma (being as he's lacking in any actual, you know -- accomplishments) anything which makes it harder for Democrats to identify with him is going to hurt his chances of winning the nomination.

Of course, the only way he's winning the nomination is if Hillary's Gulfstream crashes into Al Gore's Gulfstream and the resulting debris kills Barack Obama. He could dye his hair green and paint a swastika on his forehead and not significantly harm his chances of being elected President in 2008.