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Politicians and Suits

MrDaniels

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So, what's the deal? Am I imagining it, or is there some sort of rule/ standard that politicians are only allowed to wear solid navy blue or gray suits?
 

Film Noir Buff

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Originally Posted by MrDaniels
So, what's the deal? Am I imagining it, or is there some sort of rule/ standard that politicians are only allowed to wear solid navy blue or gray suits?


Well, Id imagine they need to appeal to a broad constituency. The well dressed politician might be viewed as getting fat on too much pork. Notice also that the aplogists for crooked politicians are likewise draped in bland outfits. That's dishonesty squared after all.
 

DocHolliday

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A few things that may contribute to it:

1. Suits with patterns often look bad on TV. Glen plaid, for example, looks distractingly "wavy." I'm not sure if high-def TV fixes this, but I would guess so.

2. Politicians don't want to look too well-to-do or dandified, for fear of alienating the common man.

3. The red-white-and-blue look is pleasingly patriotic.

4. Many politicians are no better at dressing themselves than any other guy on the street.

There's was a bunch of coverage of Tony Snow's wardrobe when he took over as White House spokesman. That he continued to wear pinstripes was something of a scandal among Washington insiders.
 

grimslade

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Recently saw Arlen Specter. He was in a navy suit with red pinstripes, a T&A shirt and sporting a pocket square. The tie was a distinctive rose color and clearly very thick, nice silk.


EDIT: I strongly recommend Manton's hilarious six-page history of 20th-century politics as told through the clothes our presidents wore. It's fabulous (in "The Suit").
 

JRinDC

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You remember the fuss that was made when Al Gore started wearing brown suits on the advice of a consultant? Didn't work out too well for him.
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by JRinDC
You remember the fuss that was made when Al Gore started wearing brown suits on the advice of a consultant? Didn't work out too well for him.

he invented the brown suit!
 

lasbar

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All that image consultant malaki is just making one point:If people were to start voting for ideas ,values and policies instead of pure presentation ,the world will be a better place but as ever form is overlooking substance...
The interesting point is the difference between countries in terms of presentation and public relations ....
You have to look elegant without been perceived as a dandy, different,having the common touch without being common,knowledgeable without being patronizing ...Very hard to do!!!
People like to think they are not influenced by the consultants but that is the worse intelectual mirage....
We're all manipulated by all kind of imagery ,symbolism and little sentences...
In that area ,dressing up or down is part of the game....
You also have to take into account your family ,place in your community,etc....
The main difference with Europe is the place of religion....We tend to believe that religion is a personal matter having no central place in the political debate....Abortion ,stem cell research are not hot potatoes here..... We 're always amazed of people voting for a candidate on religious grounds...
In Europe ,there is a distrust for political newcomers.....Nobody would have gven a vote to candidates such as Arnie or Ronald Reagan for example...
The upcoming trend in Europe is being a woman (Mrs Rice andClinton?) but as any fad ,this could be short-lived (just have a look at Angela Merkel popularity ratings)...
 

Britalian

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Whenever I've seen George Galloway on the box, including being questioned before the US Senate committee (?), he's always looked immaculate. (He's probably none-too-chuffed about Saddam getting the noose..)
 

Patrick Bateman

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Mark Foley wore some pretty nice suits. In particular the fit was very good.
 

Manton

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There is a tie I like to call the "government repp." It has a dark red ground, and an alternating mulit-bar blue and white or silver stripe. When you get elected to Congress or nominated for an Assistant Secretary level post or above, you are mysteriously mailed this tie from a warehouse in Washington and expected to wear it for as long as you stay.
 

Mentos

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As long as we're on the general subject, can we note that James Carville looked like hell on CNN the other night? Pink oxford? Unfortunately, it matched the quality of his commentary.

And why would Keith Olberman on MSNBC wear a pink tie? It's November, in case the elections didn't tip you off. But I thought the MSNBC coverage was far superior to the other cable networks, so I forgive.

And, off subject, why is Katie Couric allowed near a microphone when there's not a human-interest story in the room?
 

FLMountainMan

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I have sat in the pew behind (now FL governor) Charlie Crist in church for as long as I can remember. When he was just state rep, education commissioner, etc. he dressed pretty liberally - always in seersucker on Easter, some plaids, etc. Once he won attorney general, he switched to the same navy and charcoal as the rest of them. I've ribbed him a good bit about this and his serious response (one that has been echoed in this thread) is that once you get high-profile you really have to watch what you wear in order to avoid giving your opponents any fodder. Opponents will do anything to make you look like a rube or overly flashy.
 

FLMountainMan

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I went to college with Mark Foley. One night we were up all night studying, books scattered about. I had my books annotated and used a lot of bookmarks to...well....mark my place in the book. I asked Mark if he wanted to borrow some bookmarks, but he said he just likes to bend over the pages.

Crist story is true, Foley is obviously not. My apologies.
 

grimslade

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Boo.
 

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