April 18, 2007

How Many Donors Paid For Edwards' Hair?

I'm the last person who should tallk about hair, I suppose, although I can talk a good game of scalp. The only reason I pay as much as I do for haircuts these days is because my stylist charges a finder's fee. Still, I pay the square root of what John Edwards pays for his haircuts, and unlike Edwards, I'm not using political contributions to pay for mine:

Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies.

The Democrat's campaign committee picked up the tab for two haircuts at $400 each by celebrity stylist Joseph Torrenueva of Beverly Hills, California, according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

FEC records show Edwards also availed himself of $250 in services from a trendy salon and spa in Dubuque, Iowa, and $225 in services from the Pink Sapphire in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is described on its Web site as "a unique boutique for the mind, body and face" that caters mostly to women. ...

Campaign records also show the former North Carolina senator's campaign paid $248 on March 1 to the Designworks Salon in Dubuque.

I guess there really are Two Americas. One believes that it contributes to presidential campaigns to support electoral events and efforts, and the other thinks that those contributions can go to personal grooming and luxurious living.

Not long ago, people rightly criticized Bill Clinton for delaying flights out of LAX while he got a $200 haircut from Christophe. The notion that a President required a Hollywood hair stylist seemed tailor-made for ridicule. For a candidate that made fiscal responsibility a primary campaign theme. In this case, we have someone who wants to win office by campaigning on class warfare -- while building himself a 28,000-square foot mansion with his own money and taking trips to fancy hair stylists and luxury spas with the money from his political contributors.

Edwards has plenty of his own money for haircuts and visits to spas. Money that people send to his campaign for his election should not go to his hairstylist and manicurist. If Edwards has this kind of judgment about his campaign contributions, imagine the kind of judgment he will have about federal funds while in charge of the executive branch.


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Comments (17)

Posted by TheConfusedOne [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:37 AM

Actually, I think the bigger problem with Clinton's hair cut wasn't the $200+ but the fact that it was on Air Force One sitting on a runway holding up other planes. That struck me as the pinnacle or arrogance.

I'm sure if you dig into the return of every candidate you'll see expenses for personal appearance (hair, make-up, whatever). I guess I'm a little surprised that campaign contributions are paying for suits and dresses too. Is it right? No. Is it surprising? Unfortunately not.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:49 AM

Oddly enough, I don't really have a problem with Edwards' campaign paying for his hair (though the fact that he went into a place called "Pink Sapphire" kind of... gives me the creeps).

Image is a vital part of any campaign, and it's not unreasonable to expect that campaigns pay quite a lot of money for just the right clothes, hair, makeup, etc, just as they pay a quite a lot of money for speech writers, handlers, and (for Slick Willie) lap dances and Big Macs.

In Edwards' case, good hair with lots of body and no split ends is absolutely vital. After all, his hair and the "mee-yuhl" his father worked in are the only campaign issues he really has.

Posted by Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:57 AM

Add me to the bandwagon, Cap'n. When so much is made of an image these days, it makes sense to prepare for the medium through which your message is being carried... if you are going to be on Television, you had better come prepared. If that means top flight hair styling, then go big or go home. How much does a good suit cost? Shoes? I've noticed that a tie at Nordstrom's can set you back $50, and the salesperson won't even blink at charging that much.

Check the price of top notch hairstyles for women, and I'll bet you'll find they cost more still. Hillary probably has to pay $800 for a top style, and her campaign contributers should know upfront that it's the cost of doing business up there in the rare air...

No controversy here... The Confused One has it right about the Clinton Cut... it wasn't the cost, it was the rather blythe way he halted all hair travel for a non-emergency. It showed that he had either no compassion, or no clue, neither choice helped him.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:29 AM

Edwards has to keep up the image he has carefully cultivated, in order to become the first woman President.

The next questions is: Who looks more comfortable in a dress? The Shyster Fop, or Ms. Rodham?

Posted by onlineanalyst [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:05 AM

What else could we expect from a self-serving, youth-worshipping generation that embraced "Hair" as the ultimate politicalstatement?

Jawn Carry's "better hair" claim back in the 2004-election cycle encapsulated the shallowness of the heroes of the "me generation".

Posted by dave_rywall [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:08 AM

All the candidates are rich.

All the candidates enjoy "luxurious living".

As for the haircut, it's important that he look good.

Are you going to impose a ceiling on how much candidates can pay for clothes so they don't make the rest of us feel poor?

What a petty and meaningless snorefest of a story this is.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:23 AM

I pay $15 for a haircut.

My barber is from Korea, doesn't speak a lick of English and has a business card that reads, "Mr. Kim - Excellent Barber".

And he is. Meticulous. Flawless.

Of course, I get a man's haircut, not some androgynous, Prince Valient haircut.

Still, I believe Mr. Kim is a better barber than the Shyster Fop's barber.

And I tip Mr. Kim $5. Does the $400 include a tip, or is that extra?

Posted by nolakola [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 12:20 PM

I'm sure that Romney goes to the local $15 chain, right?

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 12:30 PM

No Donk...you overpaid. I say it's the "Flowbee" or nothing. But your Prince Valient comment knocked me to my knees!!

As long as the shyster documents what the campaign funds go to...who cares?

Posted by DC [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 3:48 PM

from the LA Times...some facts on Edwards' spending:

"His $3.3 million in expenses were significantly less than those of his two main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Based on his campaign reports, Edwards flies on commercial airlines and stays in chain hotels.

At a recent Bay Area fund-raising stop, he traveled with a single aide and rode in a minivan, rather than the limo or SUV favored by some candidates."

The man is constantly in the public eye--cameras, public appearances, tv interviews, etc...let him spend some money on a nice haircut.

Hey, our First Lady spent $700 on a haircut--so what!

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 4:38 PM

Actually, I think the bigger problem with Clinton's hair cut wasn't the $200+ but the fact that it was on Air Force One sitting on a runway holding up other planes. That struck me as the pinnacle or arrogance.

My how innocent that seems now compared to the last 6 years of Bush II. Darn, those were the days when all the GOP could find to complain about were haircuts on AF1 and fired ticket agents in the white house ... and a soiled dress or two. How I wish Bush could only be as boring ...

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:47 PM

OK, now that I've seen this, I'm disturbed.


Posted by Cain [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:47 PM

I'm with the monkei on this one. Let's get back to having a president that ignores threats to our nation's security and focuses on the important stuff like blowjobs, land scams, and ensuring our good friends the Chinese have the very latest missile guidance technology.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:10 PM

Image is important and I guess a candidate should pay more than I do for a haircut but DON'T TELL people you're paying $400! Unless you want voters to think vain or dandy. Presidential candidates need at least a few votes from the manly men out in fly over country.

Clinton got away with fancy haircuts cause he had that lip-biting move and because he actually liked gnawing on a bigmac. Edwards doesn't have a good lip-biting move. Probably doesn't like bigmacs either.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:20 PM


I miss those days on the USS Saipan, getting a free haircut before a port visit on the Med . . .

But I tell you what - for $15 I get a haircut and the traditional Korean massage that goes with the haircut (and no, it's not like that funny Thai massage, just a good rub to the neck/shoulders).

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 12:37 AM

He keeps the party line.

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 1:45 PM