September 22, 2011

If politics is showbiz for ugly people ...

... where'd the GOP get all these male model types? Rick Perry is 61 and Mitt Romney is 64. Scott Brown, who launched the GOP resurgence by winning Ted Kennedy's seat, is 52, but looks like like a wily veteran big league pitcher of 37. And he really was a male model, posing nude in Cosmo in 1982.

Heck, George Clooney looks older than these guys.

And, of course, on the distaff side there's Bachmann and Palin.  

Do successful people not get old anymore, or does the GOP have some master plan to only run good-looking candidates? 

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

TV weeds out out the ugly and old looking. Also, cosmetic surgery and hair dye.

Daybreaker said...

As a reaction against the candidacy of John McCain, a full head of hair and the ability to appear youthful have been made mandatory, for now.

It might have been better, ideally, to bar candidates with ideas like McCain's, but it's notoriously hard to know what politicians are really thinking. Selecting against candidates who are bald, grizzled, old, short and notoriously grumpy is easy.

Anonymous said...

Hair dye is helping a lot. It's surprising that no one ever talks about it. But to judge from various pictures, even Obama is using it.

I speak from experience, having been handed a bottle of Just For Men by my wife upon my 34th birthday. Being a few years younger than me, she promptly informed me she was too young and pretty to be married to someone who looked so old. A couple years on, I'm still not sure whether she was kidding or not, but I now look like I did when I was 23.

If you've got 'good bone structure,' as the ladies are always noticing about guys, you can shave years and years off your appearance with a 5-minute treatment and a modest outlay of about eight bucks. Clooney is a real man, so he doesn't bother. But that's why he looks older than these politicos.

Kalim Kassam said...

...and then there was Newt.

Anonymous said...

My wife is convinced that Rick Perry is wearing some sort of hair piece. His hair does look a bit too perfect for a 61-year old man. So either it's a piece or he's blessed. Which is more likely?

Anonymous said...

Behind-the-scenes types in politics really are ugly. The abundance of unattractive young women in DC compared to other places I've lived (NYC/Boston/Atlanta) is striking.

does s/he or doesn't s/he? said...

"TV weeds out out the ugly and old looking."

that's what they said 50 yrs ago, after the Kennedy-Nixon debates on TV. Didn't really take.
Till now.
In the book, "Zorba the Greek", Zorba felt and acted years younger when he died his gray hair, and that was back in early 1900s.

Anonymous said...

It is a natural side-effect of the female vote.
Women will never vote for an ugly or bald or short male candidate, no matter what he stands for.

Vandelay said...

I've never thought Palin was good looking. She's got a boxier jaw than Ron Perlman.

Anonymous said...

Bachmann is not good looking. She looks like an android.

Anonymous said...

Looks count less than personality and charisma. Clinton was rather nice looking but nothing special. But he sure had a way with people. Obama has the voice. I can't stand it but it has a certain body to it.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Did TV turn politics into showbiz or was this inevitable regardless of the medium? Would we still have 6' guys in tailored suits wearing hair dye who read their script off teleprompters if, instead, they had to write compelling essays or project without close-up shots and a giantscreen TV on the wall behind them?

Why don't we save a bunch of time and money and just do an internet poll for one of the network news anchors for president? They're all attractive, fairly intelligent and dress well and the mandarin class that does the actual governing is already there.

JerseyGuy said...

Steve,
OT but saw a link to this on the BusinessInsider website:

http://cis.org/immigrants-filled-most-new-jobs-in-Texas

Fully 81% of Texas state job growth from 2007 - 2011 went to newly arrived immmigrants (and 40% to illegal immigrants)!

This is essentially what happened to Britain over the past decade as well. Can we please, please, please just admit that the "race to the bottom" economic policies of globalism and neoliberal economics has been a complete disaster?

How is it that a 27 year old middle-class auditor could see that globalism has been terrible for 1st world countries but Larry Summers, AEI, Heritage, Council of Foreign Relations, etc. could not see this? Ok, enough of this rant. Love to hear you comment Steve.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Need a good looking guy to attract the woman vote.

Anonymous said...

It's the Democratic party that's Showbiz for ugly people. Debbie Wasserman Schultz looks like something the cat dragged in from the desert, Hilary Clinton appears to be Betty Crocker's ugly, jealous cousin, and Obama resembles Curious George played by Andy Serkis. This makes sense because Dem pols and voters come from the extreme and unhealthy tails of the bell curve, hence their obsession with socializing health care.

Republicans look more or less normal. Yes, even swarthy Darrel Issa looks a million times more photogenic than any Dem pol from SoCal. Republicans are the genetically healthy, rock solid middle.

dearieme said...

"Selecting against candidates who are bald, grizzled, old, short and notoriously grumpy is easy." No Churchill required.

Anonymous said...

I think the visual ideal of each party generally floats to the top, regardless of experience or quality. That's what happened with Obama, right? The visual ideal for GOPers is Hemingway meets John Galt, for the Dems it's Morgan Freeman meets Ira Glass.

L said...

Kalim Kassam said...
"...and then there was Newt."

And Ron Paul.

Kylie said...

"Male models" is right. They all (Clooney the Looney included) have all the SA of a Ken doll.

Things aren't any better overseas. The wimpy schoolboy Cameron, the over-sexed banty roosters Busconi and Sarkozy, etc.

There's only one real man in politics as far as I'm concerned.

Putin

Anonymous said...

Having many millions of dollars and never having to worry about paying the bills probably has something to do with it Mr. Sailer.

Carol said...

You always know who the lefties are because they don't dye their hair. So you have all these old greybeard guys, and women with severely short or straggly gray hair. Because it's natural.

That's strictly local, though. National pols have to keep up appearances.

Dutch Boy said...

The absence of substance in politics (as the campaigns have degenerated into what Pat Buchanan called a "pillowfight where we argue about whether there should be a dinky tax cut or not") leaves the field open for the pretty face (whether or not it is attached to a sharp brain).

Anonymous said...

"Selecting against candidates who are bald, grizzled, old, short and notoriously grumpy is easy."

Ironcially, the thing that would have worked most negatively against Haley Barbour is not his hair nor his height, but his accent. It's still not cool to be white, middle-aging, and Deep Southern with a thick accent. Too bad.

On the other hand, it would have been interesting to see if being olive-skinned,from Jersey (it's not enough to say "Eastern" here), blunt, humorous, and obese would have been enough to stop Christie.

BTW, it would be interesting, Steve, if you could do a post on what it required for Romney to pull together the failing Olympics and see if that particular accomplishment reveals something of worth about his strengths and management style. I'm guessing it really does, but I admit knowing little about management.

Anonymous said...

"Clooney is a real man, so he doesn't bother."

Those who think highly of Clooney (I am a woman and although he has classically handsome good looks, I don't find him sexy), take heart: he was on a tv show Facts of Life many years ago when he was quite young and he was as gawky-looking as young men come.

not a hacker said...

I knew I'd lost my looks, at 52, when the gay men stopped hitting on me.

Anonymous said...

"...and then there was Newt."

Yeah, Newt looks like a saggy-faced older woman dressed as a man.

Polichinello said...

A presidential candidate has to appear on television constantly. Audiences will turn off the ugly guy, like it or not. Nixon learned that in 1960, and he was lucky enough to run against uglier candidates in his subsequent national contests.

It's not fair, but that's life in our modern times. Here, Ray Bradbury showed himself to be rather prophetic when he forecasted how television would affect modern society in Fahrenheit 451.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. Republicans run the gamut. The talked-about include:

portly Christie
diminutive "Bobby" Jindal
short Cain
odd McCotter
homely Pawlenty
mushtachioed Bolton
plump Barbour
baby-faced Ryan
repulsive Trump

Anonymous said...

Steve, didn't you know? Everyone with money and power is using steroids and human growth hormone.

Keeps you young and strong!

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Ron Paul would earn a "Chili Pepper" on RateMyProfessors.com

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Politics is more superficial than ever. Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Barack Obama - seriously?

But a large part of the well-aged men aspect of it is that so very few of the middle and upper classes do anything like hard labor anymore, neither in their adulthood nor in their youth. A/C 24/7, and no more wrinkled, sun-damaged skin.

We like to think of ourselves as more tolerant than ever, but do you think we'll ever have another wheelchair-bound president, or another redhead president?

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Hair dye makes Arnold Schwarzenegger look like Ronald McDonald.

ON TV it may look youthful.

Up close it reads pathetic

jerry said...

The answer is that the Republican Party and the Conservative movement don't stand for anything but big business and funneling the nation's wealth toward the rich, and that's a hard sell in a democracy. If your party is hollow and your platform a fraud you can't afford to run an ugly candidate. Republican candidates look good because they are selected on pretty much the same basis as spokes models. (The harder the pitch the poorer the product is the old saying.) The plain truth is we're a one-party state due to the lack of free debate and press, our democracy is a fraud, and the Republican party is Potemkin opposition, almost as fraudulent as former East German opposition parties - thus hollow pretty-boy and minor TV star candidates. They're crooks only interested in gaming a crooked system, only interested in money, and good looks are a powerful asset for a con-man.

You've got to give the Republican and Conservative con men credit though, they've managed to string along their white supporters for decades despite the fact that they haven't lifted a finger to save those constituents from utter destruction, literally from cultural and physical genocide. It's been one trick after another, the latest (and perhaps the last) unending wars to give the flag waving yahoos something to chomp on while the Repuli/Cons help ease them into their graves. The old cliche for salesmen was "selling snow cones to Eskimos" but the Republicans/Conservatives have set the bar much higher. But then, they're nothing if not salesmen.

Anonymous said...

distaff == female side of the family

good SAT word Steve!

divinryan said...

You forgot Gary Johnson, former two-term gov of NM. He's a looker too (and far more interesting than Romney et al-for instance, dude climbed Everest).

EYE OF HORUS said...

What about anti-hero Ron Paul? He seems to have a lot of the disaffected vote and he looks positively decrepit. Even if he was twenty years younger, Ron Paul would not be considered good-looking.
But, isn't looking Good on Television a requirement of Modern Politics ever since JFK beat the unshaved Nixon in the 1960's?

airtommy said...

Because old white dudes are the people who ruined this country for 200 years. We are only now digging our way out of the rubble. Isn't that the narrative we are taught nowadays?

Whiskey said...

Women voters. Guys like grizzled old leaders, "the old Ball Coach," etc. Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, Chris Ault, etc. It means they've been around, know what they're doing, have a clue. Classic power-patronage. An older guy with a clue will be successful and bring you along for the ride.

Women voters: looking for signs of virility, dominance, masculine aggression, fertility, etc. But for women, both sorta house-wife fump-a-delic gals like Meg Whitman and Sharon Angle, and "hot" women like Christine O'Donnell and stylish Carly Fiorina did poorly, as conservatives. Only Nikki Haley in South Carolina did well, and there it was a racial breakdown (but Hispanics are still low in that state allowing Haley's victory). Democratic women can run the gamut from stylish/attractive to frumpy without much penalty.

I think the Scott Brown model works, because women will vote for a hunk where they won't vote for a woman with the same exact positions. Women vote far more left than men, the Gender Gap, and the commanding heights so to speak are female voters. Capture them and you have a critical advantage.

Anonymous said...

Your standards are lower when it comes to politics, with good reason.

It's not what you are, it's what you're being compared to:

If you saw those people in showbiz or even in business, they wouldn't stand out. But politics is so full of plain people that anyone who is trim and reasonably well groomed is automatically considered to be a hottie.

Or maybe I'm just too picky - none of the politicians you mention strikes me as being particularly attractive.

josh said...

I remember as a mere yoof,watching the State of the Onion address with me family, on TV. This being the 60's and there not being much in the way of cable TV,(I think only weird unwashed guys living in the mountains had it)we couldnt switch to,say,an episode of "Hung". We were stuck.I recall LBJ bloviating and behind him,what caused my sister and me to laugh,was the visage of the immortal Speaker John MacCormack. First he was so old he looked as if he had passed away and was left propped up in the seat. His recessed eyes,closed,missing only the pennies placed upon them,and his sunken cheeks made him look like a character from the Addams Family. Not only are they better looking now but except for old hands like Teddy and Byrd,they arent old and monstrous looking so much either. With the rise in female politicians,that is something to be gratful for.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Miller, referring to Vice-Presidential candidate James Stockdale, once said that the only unpardonable sin in our culture is to be bad on television.

Kevin said...

Romney and Perry look like what Hollywood envisions presidents should look like. They are a little too coiffed for me. If we are strictly judging looks here, and not policies, I prefer someone who looks like they don't spend too mch time in front of a mirror.

As for dyed hair, it rarely looks good. Get a short, trim haircut, get to a gym, and your wife will not care if you have a little salt and pepper going on. Especially when she sees other women paying you attention.

Steve Sailer said...

Ron Paul looks good for 75 years old. And he was above average looking in old pictures, too, although not Scott Brown looking.

Anonymous said...

"Dennis Miller...said that the only unpardonable sin in our culture is to be bad on television." Does that include Monday Night Football?

Anonymous said...

As for dyed hair, it rarely looks good. Get a short, trim haircut, get to a gym, and your wife will not care if you have a little salt and pepper going on. Especially when she sees other women paying you attention.

Listen to Kevin. He's giving you better advice than any PUA.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Paul Bremer and Paul Wolfowitz both look much younger than they actually are. Rumsfeld as well, but he's been in the public eye for ever, so you know he's older.

The true butt-uglies seem to be Democratic representatives. These districts are small and under the control of the local machine, so appealing to a larger/honest crowd isn't as important.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

Where is Whiskey? I'm sure he must have an opinion on all our sexy Republicans.

Since he's not here at the moment, let me insert a comment about alpha males, beta males, sexy men, immigration, Israel, Iran, the Scotch Irish, nice white ladies, Genghis Khan, East Timor, Gadaffi, Steve Jobs, Ulyssess S Grant, the Eygptian revolution, and the coming Islamic caliphate.

Anonymous said...

i think this is typically meant to describe the young staffers, aides, journalists, etc.

dc is a "young" city filled with ambitious graduates from good colleges. theyre just depressingly unattractive, inside and out.


the real players--the ones on tv who need voters--might be attractive. even then theres probably a difference between political pros/hacks/lifers and people like mittens who were outrageously successful in the private sector (or, say, senators and governors from places like south dakota who arent really in the loop)

Jacob Roberson said...

Welllll...

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-megyn-kelly.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-jamie-colby.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-martha-mccallum.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-kimberly-guilfoyle.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-bill-hemmer.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-steve-doocey.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-gretchen-carlson.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-alisyn-camerota.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/121_dave.jpg

http://tools.foxnews.com/sites/tools.foxnews.com/files/204x204-courtney-friel.jpg

Anonymous said...

"You forgot Gary Johnson, former two-term gov of NM. He's a looker too"

divinryan,

"A looker," you say? Gawd, no. From a woman's point of view that guy comes across as weird, and not "a looker" *at all.*

Anonymous said...

"Rumsfeld as well, but he's been in the public eye for ever, so you know he's older."

Saw Rummy's Princeton pics--he was a hottie when he was young.

JSM said...

What Kylie said

Anonymous said...

American politics is like Toy Story. Neocons in the GOP have their goytoys, and liberal Zionists in the Democratic Party have their goytoys.

It's like neocon puppetmaster with the Perry doll and libzion puppetmaster with the Obama doll.

I think Obama was smart enough to know that he was being used but flattered himself that he would use those who are using him once he becomes president. It might have worked with liberal white goyim, but Jews are a different matter altogether.
John Sayles and Robert Redford are typical white libs: earnest and well-meaning to the point of blindness. Also, wasps have long been so used to holding power that they take power for granted--and even feel generous enough to let it go.
Jews never take power for granted because they lost it so many times. And they reject earnestness as a form of stupidity.
David Mamet and Woody Allen are typically Jewish.
Obama can politically and psychologically run circles around the Redfords and Sayles of the world but not around guys like Allen and Mamet.
Obama realized... his fate is to be used by Jews and that's that. He cannot outmanuever them in the manner of THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR.

If American political power was more dispersed among various groups, Obama might have had a better chance. He could play one group against the other. But US government at high places is pretty much 70% Jewish controlled or maybe more. Besides, even non-Jews almost never say no to Jews.
There is no group Obama can appeal to or deal with to counter Jewish power. They own him lock, stock, and Barry.

Also, Obama must be pissed that Jews are playing him both ways. Liberal Zionists use him to pressure Israel to go easier on Palestinians, but then neocons accuse him of anti-Jewishness. But then, liberal Jews don't really come to his rescue though he's reading from their cue cards.
Well, now Obama knows how it feels to come face to face with the full force of Jewish power.

Anonymous said...

knew I'd lost my looks, at 52, when the gay men stopped hitting on me.
me too. :(

Baloo said...

Kylie always gets it right:
SuperPutin

Eric said...

Oh, come on. Republicans run the gamut. The talked-about include:...

Yeah, but none of those guys made it to the semis.

Anonymous said...

The Swedes still use the expression distaff (spinning) and sword side of the family.

I don't think we Norwegians have ever used it. It might have something to do with the national weapon being an ax.

Another possible evolutionary advantage of blond hair that is not talked about a lot, is that it makes gray hair is harder to see.

For people with sandy hair, they are blond as children, darkest in their twenties, where it starts to look blonder again, as white hair starts appearing.

As for looks becoming more important in politics, it is good for Scandinavians and bad for Jews, all in all not a bad thing for me at least.

It is also my experience that good looking people are kinder and more honest than ugly ones, since people tend to treat them better, and because they don't need to develop their more nasty sides to be able to compete.

David Davenport said...

Did Nixon really need a shave? Was JFK that much better looking?

Or was the news media biased against Dick Nixon back then? He looks OK to me.

Take a look at some pix from 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates:

Kennedy-Nixon+Debate+Photos

Reg C├Žsar said...

Ron Paul looks good for 75 years old. And he was above average looking in old pictures... --Steve

Paul looks and acts the general practitioner sent from Central Casting. Young folk wouldn't remember GPs, but maybe they sense a subconscious connection to the guy who delivered them 20-40 years ago.

Paul is an obstetrician. Would it be churlish to point out that more women have separated their knees for him than for all other presidential candidates in history combined?

I knew I'd lost my looks, at 52... --not a hacker

Steve is 52. No further comment...

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I said Johnson's not a looker, but he got off the best line of tonight's debate: "my neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready projects than Pres. Obama," (pretty close to a direct quote, anyway).

David Davenport said...

"Selecting against candidates who are bald, grizzled, old, short and notoriously grumpy is easy." No Churchill required.

Mentioning Churchill gives an opening for a President Harry Truman anecdote -- and what do the world's rulers really worry about?:

H.T. met Winston Churchill and the man who went by the pseudonym "Joe Stalin" ( "Stalin = "steel' in Russian ) at Potsdam in 1945.

Churchill, Stalin, Truman

According to a biography I read, Pres. Truman was sensitive about his height, which was only 5' 8".

After meeeting Churchill and Stalin at Potsdam to settle the fate of the post-WWII world, Haryy congratulated himself for being taller than the other two.

Winston Churchill was 5' 7" and the Communist man of steel was a real pee wee -- maybe 5' 4".

I also mention Stalin's lack of stature in response to:

It is also my experience that good looking people are kinder and more honest than ugly ones, since people tend to treat them better, and because they don't need to develop their more nasty sides to be able to compete.


Poor little Josef was a victim of height-ism.

...

Harry Truman also liked to remind people that he had more combat experience than Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, which was the truth.

Steve Setzer said...

Anon @8:43 AM

I think the Olympics were actually running pretty well pre-Romney. The bribery scandal and the original visionaries stepping down seriously demoralized the staff, but the project itself was more or less on track. I think Romney and team remotivated the people, but that's really all that was needed.

Organizing any joint effort in Utah is not all that difficult. Mormons and Gentiles alike have an ethos of "git r done", and committees here actually function. (The Post Office is pretty reliable too.)

So, unless Romney plans to stock his administration with Utahns, I don't think we learn much from the Olympic experience.

corvinus said...

Winston Churchill was 5' 7" and the Communist man of steel was a real pee wee -- maybe 5' 4".

The Napoleon complex in action. Putin is also quite dinky.

Eric Rasmusen said...

Don't forget Warren Harding. The handsome face is nothing new.

Charlotte said...

"Did Nixon really need a shave? Was JFK that much better looking?"

That's why I read this blog. Always sure to be at least one jaw-dropper.
Ah, yes, JFK would be considered better looking by a whoppingly huge percentage of the world's population, but I'll await the stats before total commission. Even just going on the shape of the head and splendid jaw line and smile. Yeah, he was a winnner in that department.
But I'm sure there are people who remember Nixon for his grace, charm and good looks, and his warm, engaging smile.

Anonymous said...

Winston Churchill was 5' 7"

But I think he was 6 ft wide.

Anonymous said...

I think a certain character and personality can overrid good looks. W was not good-looking--he looked like one of the flying monkeys in Wizard of Oz--, but many Americans(enough of them at least)saw him as a uh-shucks kindsa beer buddy.

And Ross Perot had great appeal in 1992 as a down-to-earth CHARACTER.
Reagan was good looking when young but was old when he ran for president. But he had a grandfatherly aura.

Dan Quayle and the football guy(I forget his name)were good looking but boooooooo-ring.

Maya said...

Those of you who claim that an average- another head in the herd- man doesn't care about the appearance/charisma/energy of his leader,
have you been shying away from engaging with your peers for so long that you don't even remember how the majority of real people act anymore?
When boys form social groups, bands and school yard sports teams, they always follow the large, good looking and charismatic, not the smartest or most skilled. That's human nature. It's been observed and discussed in literature (with women as a non-factor) countless times. Socrates talks about this phenomenon in Plato's works. Lord of the Flies features it.

Anonymous said...

But if you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife...

Anonymous said...

Obama gets by less on IQ than
I-Cool.

He's not an original thinker but he can be efficient, even elegant, in organizing and recalling what's been fed to him. And he knows how to talk in a measured way that puts the stresses on seeming important points.

Anonymous said...

There's no politics like shopolitics.

Anonymous said...

How about we call 'show politics' SHOPOL?

Anonymous said...

The left is certainly politics for the ugly. I don't care how smart they think they are, it's hard to get past that fugliness.