July 21, 2007

If Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton had been bald, would we have elected them?

Look at pictures, and be honest. But isn't Fred Thompson different somehow? Isn't he "good bald"? Or is it just that I'm used to seeing him bald and shocked at the revelation of how Clinton and Reagan would look? Perhaps Thompson's face is so elaborately creased with character that the blank dome provides needed balance. Hair would seem fussy.

Yet maybe we're moving into a time when a shaved-down scalp will look best on a man and the politician's hair we've been seeing for the last quarter-century will look absurdly wig-like and repellent.

But to look good bald, you need a well-shaped head. One reason Reagan and Clinton look so stupid in the caricatures at the link is because the artist has given each of them a narrowing cranium, a pointy ridge of a head. Compare Thompson's head: high, big and rounded. It may be that Reagan and Clinton had similarly well-shaped heads.

Come to think of it, wouldn't you like to get a look at a man's head before electing him President?

This last question has me off and searching for a picture of Zippy the Pinhead. A cool thing about the Zippy website is this page with a clickable map of the United States, which lets you find old strips set in whatever state you want. Zippy, not being a presidential candidate, has not yet visited Iowa. But here's a strip from Wisconsin. Interestingly, the last panel may give a clue what it is we fear about the bald head.


vet66 said...

Male Pattern Baldness is bad enough. When the average guy attempts to compensate for a bald pate by growing long hair on the sides he does his persona a disservice. Aging hippies growing a ponytail while bald are an entirely different category.

I solved the problem by going military with a number 5 buzz cut with the clippers. It has the added benefit of only costing about seven dollars as opposed to 'Pretty boy Edwards' who pays a thousand plus for the Metro-sexual cut and runs on a platform of helping the poor.

Reagan and Clinton were either really lucky with their hirsuteness or they had help.

elcudo said...

All makes me more likely to vote for Obama.

Paddy O. said...

Related thoughts from Berkeley Breathed.

Headless Blogger said...

No, they'd be unelectable. Ron & Bill would look like the caricatures. Feeble dirty old men, instead of the youngish, vibrant look we all know.

I have long believed that Clinton was and is bald. No human being has a natural hairline that approaches what is on Bill's forehead. The only way hair gets there is with a wig or some major league weaving.

There was also a photo of Bill from behind in that receiving line with Monica which revealed thinning on the back of his head. Clinton's hair is all smoke & mirrors.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I am glad that after his cancer treatments, Rudy ditched his annoying combover for his present Bozo bald.

Bruce Hayden said...

By all indications, Reagans hair, including the color, was totally natural. The WH barber was interviewed at some point, and he pointed out that you can tell whether someone's hair is naturally dark like Reagan's if there are a small number of white hairs in it, as were apparently present in his. And I do know a woman in her mid eighties who seems to have the same Irish dark hair that refused to go gray. She now has the sort of graying temples that most of us had in their 40s - 40 years later.

Clinton is a different story. At least he is fessing up to the color, which his wife isn't yet. Gray looks good on him. But I would not be the least bit surprised to find that he was doing something to look like he has more hair than he really does.

That said, I have long been complimented on how much hair I still have. And, for the front, it still looks like I have a full head of very thick (gray by now) hair. But I am thinning in the back. But since I only notice this at the barber shop, when checking the back in the two mirrors, I don't obsess about it. But if it gets to the point where I really do notice it if not really looking for it, I might do something.

So, from personal experience, I can attest that Bill Clinton could conceivably have that much hair, and a reasonably low hairline in the front, but have a little thinning in the back - since that is pretty much what I have.

AllenS said...

My forehead is growing.

Modern Otter said...

During all the reminiscences and punditry following Reagan's death, my favorite quote involved a prominent Democrat (I think not Tip, but I can't remember who...) who, when asked if he disliked Reagan, answered "How can you hate someone who has hair like that?"

Balfegor said...

Perhaps Thompson's face is so elaborately creased with character that the blank dome provides needed balance. Hair would seem fussy.

Reagan had a heavily creased face too, though (if not quite so heavily as Thompson), and he still looks weird without his hair on top. I think it's that we're accustomed to seeing Thompson without hair. In any event, for him suddenly to sprout hair now would seem a bit vain -- inconsistent with his "homespun" appeal.

Mike said...

No chance. Anti-bald bias and discrimination is alive and well and not even considered bad -- along with discrimination against short people (men at least) and fat people.

Forget president, how many bald Congressmen or Governors are there? The bald guy, short guy, fat guy -- at best they can aim to be the power behind the throne, not the face of power.

Important exception -- bald black men. They pull it off for whatever reason, look at Michael Jordan. The next bald president will probably be black.

vnjagvet said...

Ahhh. I am experiencing nostalgia for the fifties when the two major candidates for President in '52 and '56 were the longtime chromedomes Adlai Stevenson and Ike Eisenhower.

No wigs or treatment for them.

And during that time the hair-challenged Robert Taft, Harold Stassen also ran for President and Sam Rayburn ran the House with an iron hand.

Hair did not seem to be an issue in those days.

And remember Kruschev?

lee david said...

Once we have started down this road of true seriousness when pondering the qualities of our presidential candidates, can a phrenologists political commentary be far behind as the next crucial insight into a candidates potential for sucess?

How can we live without this information? Surely the new media will be able to provide close-ups of every lump, bump, and cranial depression along with expert analysis to help us out.

I predict a call for shaved heads all around so that none of the candidates will have an unfair advantage by hiding their true natures and qualifications, under that deviously styled hair. All will be revealed.

On a lighter note. How could those Brits have been duped into voting for that bald guy, you know the one, that Churchill guy? By todays lights, such a thing would be unimaginable. We've come a long way baby! We the people, have gotten beyond seriously considering men like Washington, Franklin, Adams, and Madison for public office because of that all important hair deficiancy. I'm so comforted by this advance in popular politics.

Simon said...

vet66 said...
"It has the added benefit of only costing about seven dollars as opposed to 'Pretty boy Edwards' who pays a thousand plus for the Metro-sexual cut and runs on a platform of helping the poor."

LOL - I'm glad someone drove that knife in. Any man who pays that much money for a haircut isn't fit for a job involving the public's money! ;)

Simon said...

lee david said...
"On a lighter note. How could those Brits have been duped into voting for that bald guy, you know the one, that Churchill guy?"

Technically, they didn't. A majority of the voters of Epping - probably no more than about 12,000 people - returned him to Parliament, and the King appointed him as Prime Minister on the advice of the leaders of the three major parties in the House of Commons.

lee david said...


Yea, you know thats how it starts. Some know nothing bumkins from some inconsequential district sends a bald guy to the national deliberative body and before you know what's happened the bald guy gets his esteemed collegues to vote/advise him into a posistion of real power. We know that it doesn't happen very often but we need to prevent such a diabolical bit of history from repeating itself ever again. We know how badly it's always turned out.

Sorry, I can't help it. (being a wiseass) I would welcome someone on our national stage of Churchillian eloquence and character, follical profusion or no. The current crop is a comparative laugher.

Steven said...

Why is Senator Chris Dodd shown with Clinton and Reagan?