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July 23, 2004
Kerry/Edwards Flip-Flop On Edwards' Looks

The Kerry/Edwards campaign would like all of us to quit focusing on John Edwards' fabulous good looks and focus on his qualifications, while promoting their VP candidate as the nation's sexiest politician. Connie Cass reports for the AP that the campaign seems of two minds on the one-term politician's looks and its affect on their electoral chances:

[I]t appears Edwards isn't above capitalizing on sex appeal. At campaign rallies, he often walks on stage in a suit, then slowly removes his coat and proceeds to roll up his shirt-sleeves slowly, almost teasingly, drawing "ooohs" of approval from women in the audience. "He's hot!" is a commonly heard phrase.

At a joint appearance, Kerry followed Edwards on stage and mimicked his coat-off, sleeves-up routine, to hearty laughter from the crowd. ...

Edwards sometimes acknowledges the issue with self-deprecating humor. He opened his remarks to a dinner for journalists and politicians with the line, "I know what you're thinking. He's better-looking in person." But he dismisses any suggestion that looks could kill his credibility. "The American people are good judges of character. I think they go right past the superficial," Edwards told CNN's Larry King.

At least the serious Americans go right past the superficial. However, the Kerry/Edwards campaign doesn't seem to be able to get past it, treating the campaign trail more like a Monkees reunion tour with just Peter Tork on stage. I suppose the stump slogan could be, "Not Just Another Pretty Face," although with only three years in the Senate to his credit before mostly dropping out of sight to run for President, it would be difficult to point to anything else he might be.

I love the note at the bottom of the article most of all:

EDITOR'S NOTE Connie Cass has reported from Washington for The Associated Press for 11 years.

What is that -- a disclaimer? Connie Cass has reported from Washington for the AP for 11 years, and has never before filed such a lightweight article for us. Or, perhaps, Connie Cass has reported from Washington for the AP for 11 years, and can't believe that after all that time, she's on the middle-age political version of Tiger Beat Magazine. Or, possibly, Connie Cass has reported from Washington for the AP for 11 years, but she lost a bet with her editors and has to watch John Edwards strip for the next four months to pay it off.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 23, 2004 6:15 AM

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