Sartorializing the Republican Debate
Everyone who knows me knows I’m a liberal, so it should come of no surprise that the content – what little content there was – of Tuesday night’s debate amongst potential Republican Presidential nominees disgusted me. In particular, I liked the moment where Texas Governor Rick Perry and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had a screaming match to decide who hates “illegals” more. Classy, guys. The fact that these two candidates were forced to distance themselves from their most positive and progressive policies (healthcare reform in Romney’s case and secondary education funding for undocumented Texas youths in Perry’s case) shows just how intellectually bankrupt the Republican side has become.
But let me tell you what really boils my blood.
Not a single man seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States knows how to wear a suit. I wasn’t sure if the men on stage had been dressed by their moms and pushed out the door for their first Bar Mitzvah or had all (except Newt) gone on starvation diets to prepare for their big TV spot. Furthermore, no one heeded the advice of wild card candidate Michelle Bachman, who, in her one moment of charisma, almost inexplicably shouted the phrase, “NO PASTELS, BOLD COLORS!”
I will address the issues I have with each candidate’s wardrobe in turn, and try to mention my thoughts on their policies, if time permits.
Ron Paul – the “champion of liberty” (and the man I have the most respect for out of the entire lot), looks to have either dressed himself from his father’s closet or stumbled into Willy Wanka’s Chocolate Factory and eaten the wrong drop of multi-flavored gum. Does anyone remember when Spanky stood on Uh-Huh’s shoulders and tried to get a loan from Mel Brooks in The Little Rascals? Huge suit, tiny man. The shoulders of Paul’s jacket miraculously hovered several inches above the shoulders of his body, somewhere near his ears. I do, however, applaud Ron for a nice tie pattern and an appropriately sized knot.
Newt Gingrich – the candidate with the most political experience, and the closest-to-fitting suit jacket. Overall, I approved of Newt’s outfit; I felt as though it matched his general attitude and personality. To me, it said, “Hey, I’m here, I’m not pretty, but I’m a professional; I’ll get the job done but I’m gonna incur a lot of mustard stains while I do it”. Newt went with the purple tie, which, if you’re paying close attention, is the color that occurs when BLUE is mixed with RED. Very clever, Newt, you wily old dog, you.
Rick Perry – the biggest asshole of the evening, by a long shot. Rick is the proud owner of a suit jacket that is approximately two feet too wide in the shoulders and a tie so red, it has actually been commissioned for color analysis by Ferrari. Extra points for Rick for being so conservative that his tie actually veered to the right side of his chest and exposed his shirt buttons. Also, someone please tell Rick that the phrase “illegal” reads like a racial slur and that his hair looks like a large dust bunny that naturally floated down from the rafters and settled on his head.
Herman Cain – the latest frontrunner (?) and engineer of the tax plan that sounds most like a Domino’s – er, Godfather – promotion. Herman’s jacket was too big in the chest, but what I really want to discuss is his tie. A NOTE ON TIES: It is helpful for me to think of the tie as the politician’s lightsaber; the varieties are more than one, but less than several, and bad guys usually go for red. For the most part you see blue, red, and purple, but Herman threw us all a curve ball and went with gold – this is like (forgive me) Mace Windu (sorry) going with the purple lightsaber (I’m really sorry but the analogy is just about perfect, otherwise). Another thing about Cain’s tie; how the fuck did he get that knot so small???
Rick Santorum offended little, but still managed to look eighth grader-esque in a denim-hued shirt and polka dot tie. Google Santorum and tell me which outfit you like best.
Last but not least, we have Mitt Romney – the man we all know is going to eventually win the nomination. Mitt is not only a card carrying member of the My Jacket Is Too Big For My Body Club, he is the club’s Secretary of Monochromatics. How a blue suit can seem to blend right in to a man’s skin-tone is beyond my comprehension. On the bright side, Mitt has – literally and figuratively – the slickest hair of the bunch and I like the Cruella Devil white streak he’s got going on (or is it more Rogue from X-Men?). Could this man be the next President of the United States of America? Considering that, on this night, he commanded so little respect amongst his peers that he was forced to shout the phrase “I’M SPEAKING!” several dozen times, I’m guessing no.
On a more serious note, this debate was an embarrassment – to Republicans, to Americans, and to the human race. I don’t know whether to be glad that the Republicans lack a viable candidate for President, or depressed that the discussion had me pulling for a guy who wants to abolish all forms of public health care.
Whatever, I’m just thankful the podiums hid their shoes.