February 1, 2008

Should Romney have dyed his hair gray?

As part of my intensive journalistic quest to discover why almost nobody is terribly enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, I finally watched three or perhaps even four minutes of a Youtube video of Romney making a speech.

As a speaker, he seems about as boring as most candidates. I didn't notice the Ned Flanders similarity that several readers have stated they see in him. His persona is not overwhelmingly masculine, but he's not deficient in that regard either.

But what I kept getting distracted by was trying to figure out how old he is. Romney looks like he's, what, 48? But it says on Wikipedia that he'll be 61 in six weeks. He's less than a year younger than George W. Bush, who reportedly takes good care of his health (at least since he stopped drinking 20 years ago), but who has aged a lot in his looks over the last 7 years. (Here's a picture of Bush this week.)

Romney's handlers claim he doesn't dye his hair. And nobody seems to mention "Romney" and "facelift" on the same web page. Maybe he just has good genes due to some Mormon eugenic magic.

For whatever reason, though, he looks like a damn male model. He resembles a model playing an executive in a fashion layout for a men's business attire chain, or the CEO bad guy in a movie on the Lifetime channel about children being poisoned by corporate toxic waste.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

34 comments:

dearieme said...

My wife saw John Edwards on the telly the other day and asked why his hair was so badly dyed.

Hoosier Comrade said...

Funny you should mention Mormon eugenics. A handful of highly gifted males offered a profound genetic contribution. Folks like Joseph Smith Jr., Parley Pratt, and Brigham Young acquired impressive harems, using their political power to get the most attractive ones.

You know how successful Mexican men are always going for the attractive blonde? Well, polygamy amplifies that effect. It's what made White people White to begin with and it's what made Mormons Whiter within a handful of generations.

professor said...

Yes, Romney looks fake, like a soap-opera star or Mark 1 Standard TV Commercial Actor. It's a turnoff, I've noticed it, and I am surprised that no one has written about it before now.

max power said...

Wikipedia on Ned Flanders:
Despite a meek outward appearance, Ned hides an exceptionally well-built physique. He is in his early 60s and Ned claims his deceptively youthful appearance is due to his conformity to the "clean living, chewing thoroughly, and a daily dose of vitamin church!"

Rosamund said...

Your readers who brought up Ned Flanders may be right after all! There was a Simpsons episode where Ned reveals that he is 60 to the the shock of Springfield. I believe it was determined that the secret to his youthful appearance was a very clean lifestyle.

Robert said...

I think to some people he comes across as a character playing a candidate on the TV show The Office. Maybe he looks too much like a model and not enough like a serious candidate. Also many people are like you Steve, they just haven't had a chance to hear him speak. For some reason he hasn't tapped into the right areas of the media to get his message across. He maybe assumes that he just has to announce that he is a candidate and the news media will put his message out there. Or maybe ther is a bias in the news media toward certain candidates, or certain candidates have a message that pulls the right strings with the public, and the news media then just covers those candidate's appearances more than the others.

Concerned Netizen said...

In 2008 Romney looks like a male model.

If it were 1948, you'd say he looked like a Broadway baritone. Think John Raitt, Richard Kiley....

Half Sigma said...

Romney seems creepy in his perfectness, which I think is why he has problems getting votes because other people sense this as well.

But he's better qualified than McCain, which is why I support him.

David Davenport said...

Romney looks like he's, what, 48? But it says on Wikipedia that he'll be 61 in six weeks.

So he's the logical heir to Ronald R.'s legacy.

More seriously, Mitt's basic problem may be a lack of nationwide name recognition. He's just not that well known outside MA and MI and similar places.

People ask themselves, "Romney? What TV show did he he used to be on? Can't remember, let me think."

Anonymous said...

It's not the hair, it's his attitude.

He's comes across as too damn nice, but he must have a deep carnivorous competitive streak in him if he cofounded Bain Capital, kicked ass at Harvard, cleaned up some Olympic corruption and succeeded as a Rep governor in the most liberal state in the union.

Romney needs to loosen it up a bit and start holding back in attacking McCain on all Juan McAmnesty's numerous shortcomings. McCain is a brittle, egotistical, short-tempered jerkface and it should be easy to wind him up (I'm sure the Clinton's could do it).

I don't understand why Romney and Obama are letting McCain and Clinton get the initiative by playing dirty, selectively ignoring facts/truth and shaping the debate to their favor.

I'm not sure Jimmy the Gent strategy is going to fly beyond the very few informed and undecided voters.

Anonymous said...

The Ned Flanders and Guy Smiley parodies of Romney don't work on a number of levels. Romney is not unrestrainedly solicitous like Guy and isn't by any measure a simpleminded average Joe evangelical next door type. Romney needs an acting coach to learn how to emote and connect with people.

The most accurate parody of the candidates I've heard so far is Rudy Giulani as Mr. Burns in the Simpson.

I'm wondering if anyone has heard of any good parodies for McCain from popular media.

McCain is a cantankerous, stubborn, short tempered and foul mouthed old coot. Serial polygamist alpha male with more balls than brain - a trait that he seems to have never outgrown since his testosterone drenched top gun days.

Born into military royalty, married into money that put him into politics where he rides whatever contradictory wave of what his current obsession is ("banana" amnesty, S&L scandal Keating 5, Campaign finance reform vs biggest lobbyist receiver).

McCain really defies the stereotype that men gain restraint, perspective, calmness and wisdom with age and experience. I can't think of a character type like this in our popular media - probably because it's unacceptable to portray elders with these traits that are amusing in 22yo, but pathetic in 72yo. Closest:

Ice - Top Gun (Val Kilmer)
Norman Thayler - On Golden Pond (Henry Fonda)
Rooster Cogburn - same (John Wayne)

Any parodies for Hillary, Obama, Huckabee, Paul or the others that capture the essence of the individuals?

jody said...

i liken mccain to a sith lord. except, he has no powers and no cunning intellect. he's an annoying old codger, decaying right before our eyes, and we all wish he would just go away.

i propose we call him darth john, or more accurately, darth juan.

can't you just imagine him wishing he had the ability to mentally choke people who were beating his ass in a debate?

John Mansfield said...

I thought the Star Wars Guide to the Candidates was a pretty good parody.

Ron Guhname said...

Hoosier: Have you ever been on BYU campus? Those chicks are HOT, Man.

I was completed stupified when Mark Twain wrote that Brigham Young was not lucky because, have you seen those hags?

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are exactly right about his looks; my husband says the same thing. If he dyed his hair gray, he'd just look like the the "before" of the Just For Men hair commercials. He can't win with his looks. His problem seems to be that he engenders the same reaction that beautiful women do; a combination of, "He must be an idiot, really", and "Waaahh, it's not fair that one person has so much going for him. I hate him."

That said, I agree with Anon who pointed out that Romney's real problem is that he's too nice and won't come out fighting, goad McCain into an image damaging blow up, force McCain to be specific about his stand on illegal immigration, etc. If Romney wants to win, he'd better take off the white gloves, because McCain did so, long ago. If Romney came across as more forceful and masculine, his Dapper Dan appearance wouldn't be such a liability.

Another man who looks almost shockingly younger than he actually is, is ex- presidential envoy Paul Bremer. He's pushing 70 and I defy anyone to say that he doesn't look 25 years younger.

Stan said...

People can watch Mitt Romney's speeches on YouTube. His speeches lack conviction and passion. He has the blandness of the businessman. He needs to have the passion of a man who wants change America, a hard act for somebody with a Harvard degree and a couple of hundred million in the bank.

Rain And said...

Romney seems creepy in his perfectness, which I think is why he has problems getting votes because other people sense this as well.


I don't understand this at all. Why do people want flawed leaders?

The Los Angeles Times even had an entire article about how Romney's high IQ, vast earned fortune, movie star looks, and perfect wholesome family actually scare some voters!

anony-mouse said...

1/Interesting thing about Dubya is that his Dad dyes his hair and his Mom doesn't.

2/ And what about boyish looking 60-something Jim Webb. Wig or dye?

Anonymous said...

Passion etc. I think is shorthand for will. A lot of bad Presidents have been half-way smart or seen danger, but lacked will to force their policies or desired outcome. Will can count for a lot:

Buchanon lacked it, and so let the nation drift into Civil War. Lincoln had it, and preserved the Union. Jackson had it in bigger spades and threatened (credibly) to hang the entire South Carolina Legislature if they voted to secede over tariffs.

The knock on Romney is "passion" but what they're talking about is will. It takes a fair amount of will to succeed at Bain, the Olympics, and MA but Romney coming out of the corporate world has sought to conceal his will because that generally works better (people can quit and work for a rival and raid your staff if you're an A-Hole). Hard to change the habits of a lifetime. People think he lacks will.

In Twain's defense, Mormon women at the time had a hard life mostly outdoors. I was shocked when Misty May (a fairly "hot" Beach Pro Volleyballer) was shown on camera on the Travel Channel on a beach segment in close-up. All those years in the sun made an otherwise attractive woman in her early thirties look like a haggard man in his fifties.

Here is a picture of Misty May and here is her official website. She is quite fit and attractive but the photos don't quite show the sun damage.

Women of a comfortable class in Twain's day spent most of the time indoors.

Rosamund said...

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/06/04/us/04bain_CA0.ready.html

In this pic he looks exactly like Steve Carell in, "The Office"

and this one completes it:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2007/06/25/1182777539_1275.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/romney/part3/&h=310&w=510&sz=40&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=15rA4XL9V84zSM:&tbnh=80&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmitt%2Bromney%2Bbain%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dcom.ubuntu:en-US:official%26hs%3DZKl%26sa%3DN

Anonymous said...

One of the subtle things about Romney is that his clothes fit really, really well. It's not just that they fit, but that they appear to be custom-made. This is in such dramatically sharp contrast to the slobby attire we see in day to day life that it makes Romney seem odd and somehow effete. I guess we've grown so used to ill-fitting jeans and untucked shirts that good tailoring just seems vain and obsessive.

kris said...

A shop dummy could be more charismatic than Romney.

Watch his demeanor when he's around black people... very entertaining:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FKl3YBFjxg

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that Clinton and Bush II intentionally put down a thick layer of self-effacing down-homerism to appeal to the mass electorate.

Romney needs to up his "beer drinkability" index with the masses. Clinton was certainly intelligent enough to change into the familiar NE Liberal elite persona and Bush was born into it, but they both had the politicial savvy to realize they had to market themselves to the majority gut thinking electorate (the minority head thinking electorate are already entrenched in their positions).

Clinton probably realized his Hope, AK story and southern affectations made him uniquely stand out among the NE Liberals in a advantageous way. Huckabee is another corrupt AK governor who easily fools NE Liberals who can't image they are being hoodwiked by such a gomer. Carter was another one of these political "magical whities" (non threating white man - the only one tolerated by MSM and PC dogma) the south produces regularly.

Bush got his arse handed to him after his first election in TX. His opponent painted him as a NE liberal elitist carpetbagger and he apparently learned from this lesson well.

Romney should be smart enough to realize that people need to see a bit of themselves in their candidate - why isn't he loosing up a bit?

Half Sigma said...

"In Twain's defense, Mormon women at the time had a hard life mostly outdoors."

Mormon women have become a lot hotter since Samuel Clemens visited Utah. It's quite mysterious.

But McCain is the candidate with the hottest daughter. Romney, unfortunately, has five sons.

Anonymous said...

rain and, The Los Angeles Times has it's own agenda and the fact that an entire article was devoted to reinforcing to voters the unease they are supposedly experiencing when confronted with Romney could be interpreted as, "Get rid of the one remaining candidate who stands a chance of taking action the public actually wants concerning illegal immigration."

OT, Romney and his wife are a good example of the fact that good looks being passed on is far from a given. He's got 5 sons, most of whom are, IMO anyway, pretty goofy looking. Another example is Bruce Willis and Demi Moore with their daughters. On the other hand, I've seen several stunning stars with their parents, who were quite ordinary looking.

Anonymous said...

There are no hot daughters in this years race (unlike the Gore of Kerry kids).

Meghan McCain has a a fat potato-eating pesant face like her fathers that all the diet, fashion and cosmetic surgery in the world cannot hide. Plus she has something of a decadent Paris Hilton-lite personality for the daughter of a POTUS candidate (or she manufactures it to feed her media whore tendencies).

Anonymous said...

Mormon women are attractive also because they offer a rare throwback of traditional feminine ideals in a pop culture of pole dancing MTV grinding women.

It's similar to the way white guys find Asian women attractive because they haven't been brainwashed by the reminants of radical 60's feminism. It's even happening within Asia where Korean men marry Vietnamese or the Japanese marry Taiwanese or Philipinas because their female counterparts have become too "Westernized".

It's not all just physical, a lot of it has to do with the appeal of traditional roles in male-female relationships.

William said...

A handful of highly gifted males offered a profound genetic contribution. Folks like Joseph Smith Jr., Parley Pratt, and Brigham Young acquired impressive harems, using their political power to get the most attractive ones.

Very true. Romney had several poly ancestors, including Parley P Pratt (for which Parley's Canyon, the canyone leading from Salt Lake City to Park City and points east is named).

I don't know if polygamy made whites white or Mormons "whiter," though. What's that supposed to mean, anyway? Whites in Europe never seemed to have the high tolerance for their leaders having vast harems the way Asiatic leader did, and Mormons were already white, because that's the genetic base they started with. Behind British the largest ethnic group in Utah is Scandinavian.

Romney appears to look not too much unlike his father, who maintained his movie star good looks to a ripe old age. Romney's dad was born in 1907 and ran for president in 1968, meaning he was the exact same age as Mitt during his run.

Any parodies for Hillary, Obama, Huckabee, Paul or the others that capture the essence of the individuals?

I've heard Reese Witherspoon's character from "Election" suggested.

Buchanon lacked it, and so let the nation drift into Civil War. Lincoln had it, and preserved the Union.

Yep - only 600,000 dead to show for it!

Mormon women have become a lot hotter since Samuel Clemens visited Utah. It's quite mysterious.

Basic breeding: start with a large Scandinavian/Germanic base, and have big families. The hotter women tend to marry the richer men and thus are better able to have big families. Being raised Mormon I know this to be true. I dated a Mormon girl who had 5 sisters - all 6 of them were blonde, pretty, well endowed, and smart.

Think about it this way: the richest man in Utah is a guy named Jon Huntsman. Just to maintain his "share" of the population (assuming a stable population) he would have to have 4 grandkids. He has 52. That means his "share" of the gene pool two generations later is 13 times what it should be. If his grandkids have an average 4 kids each (unlikely, I know), that figure will double in another generation. And his kids are all reasonably attractive and smart (his son sucks as governor, but that's another matter entirely).

Mormon women are attractive also because they offer a rare throwback of traditional feminine ideals in a pop culture of pole dancing MTV grinding women...It's not all just physical, a lot of it has to do with the appeal of traditional roles in male-female relationships.

Who would you find more attractive: a 140 IQ woman with a grad degree who wanted to have 1 kid, or a 120 IQ woman with a bachelors who wanted 4 or 5 kids?

If forced to choose I know the choice I would make.

William said...

There are no hot daughters in this years race (unlike the Gore of Kerry kids).

But there coulda been some hot daughters-in-law.

SFG said...

Who would you find more attractive: a 140 IQ woman with a grad degree who wanted to have 1 kid, or a 120 IQ woman with a bachelors who wanted 4 or 5 kids?

The answer to that is going to differ greatly from area to area (which may be, in part, your point.) My first thought on reading your post was, "How am I going to send 5 kids to Harvard?"

Dutch Boy said...

The Mormons received a large infusion of Danes in the 19th century who were converted over in Denmark and emigrated to Utah. Danes are typically fair and relatively good-looking so that has no doubt enhanced the Mormon genetic profile.

William said...

The Mormons received a large infusion of Danes in the 19th century...

Scandinavians in general joined in very large numbers. Utah was even home to one of the largest Icelandic immigrant communities in the US. I recall the president of Iceland visiting a few years back because of that.

John Mansfield said...

Everyone remembers Mitt Romney's father, the Michigan governor. Somehow they overlook his mother Lenore. From Wikipedia:

"She married George Romney while he was a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., after he convinced her to give up a budding acting career in Los Angeles. She abandoned a three-year contract she had just signed with MGM."

Anonymous said...

"Who would you find more attractive: a 140 IQ woman with a grad degree who wanted to have 1 kid, or a 120 IQ woman with a bachelors who wanted 4 or 5 kids?

If forced to choose I know the choice I would make."

Is this another variant on the "one with the biggest tits" joke? Because that's my answer...