At first, the haircuts were free. But because Torrenueva often had to fly somewhere on the campaign trail to meet his client, he began charging $300 to $500 for each cut, plus the cost of airfare and hotels when he had to travel outside California.Response from the Edwards campaign?
Torrenueva said one haircut during the 2004 presidential race cost $1,250 because he traveled to Atlanta and lost two days of work.
"He has nice hair," the stylist said of Edwards in an interview. "I try to make the man handsome, strong, more mature and these are the things, as an expert, that's what we do."
"Breaking news -- John Edwards got some expensive haircuts and probably didn't pay enough attention to the bills," said spokeswoman Colleen Murray. "He didn't lie about weapons of mass destruction or spring Scooter Libby; he just got some expensive haircuts."This story has been dogging you for weeks and that's all you can think of to say? Others did worse?
But why is the friendly hairdresser coming forward with the story of a haircut that cost 3 times as much as the one that already drove people nuts. The hairdresser has feelings. He has pride. When Edwards was asked about that $400 haircut he posited that "the haircuts were some kind of aberration given by 'that guy' his staff had arranged."
"I'm disappointed and I do feel bad. If I know someone, I'm not going to say I don't know them," he said. "When he called me 'that guy,' that hit my ears. It hurt." He paused and then added, "I still like him. . . . I don't want to hurt him."You don't want to.... but....
There's lots of blogging about this story. Let's see what they're saying.
Captain Ed takes it up a notch: "Now it looks like Edwards has an honesty problem as well as questionable use of campaign funds. This wasn't some one-off; Edwards has used Torrenueva for over three years. The Edwards campaign's attempt to spin this as a single case of bad judgment by a staffer shows a less-than-honest approach to errors by Edwards, which should concern people considering his candidacy seriously, a number that appears to drop on a weekly basis anyway."
TBogg mocks WaPo for following the story at all: "Woodward and Bernstein were pussies compared to Solomon. I smell Pulitzer." Anonymous Liberal takes the same tack: "[T]he article is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with mainstream political reporting... a tour de force of triviality and passive aggressiveness." (A "tour de force of triviality and passive aggressiveness"? -- sounds like everything we want in a blog. How dare MSM horn in!)
The Democratic Daily says: "Didn’t the WaPo’s John Solomon have anything better to do with his time then chase down a prima dona [sic] Hollywood stylist for the scoop?" Brilliant at Breakfast: "If we're going to flog insignificant bullshit, can we at least flog Mitt Romney's treatment of animals just as much?"
Bit of a pattern, no? Let's call it Democratic pattern blogging. Somehow none of the Democratic bloggers can see the deeper credibility issue perceived by our Captain. Which is fine. But must they all say the same thing? And why do they think it's smart just to say that? Obviously, the $400 story hurt Edwards a lot. Now, here's the $1,250 story. It's out. Bitch about The Washington Post's "triviality" all you want, but the story will hurt Edwards, and, really, as self-respecting bloggers looking for readers, why do you all want to keep repeating the same thing?
I take the time to read all the liberal bloggers on the story, and what I learn is that they are boring. They all offer advice to The Washington Post, but look what they are: boring! Clue: You're writers. Say something new!
But maybe you're not writers. You're more good soldiers for the cause. Fine. But I'm not the cause. I'm a reader. If you show your allegiance is other than to the reader, I'm gone.
ADDED: I should say that I think it's important for a presidential candidate to get a proper haircut. The money should be spent on a good haircut, as well as on appropriate makeup and clothes. I'm not shocked that he spent the money, just that he didn't do it in a way that controlled the information. It's obviously the sort of thing that people make a big deal about -- a stupid distraction, but entirely predictable. I can't believe that after making the mistake of letting the story about he $400 haircut come out, the Edwards campaign did not keep Torrenueva happy enough not to opening up to the WaPo. The mistake wasn't spending $1,250 on a haircut. It was calling Torrenueva "that guy."