Has hair care become the third rail of politics?
It sure seems like it. Leaving the house Wednesday morning, I caught a segment on "Today" about Newt Gingrich's foundering presidential primary bid. According to the report, Gingrich's wife Callista (she of the Tiffany bill) butted heads with Gingrich staffers because she didn't want any campaign flights scheduled for early morning -- because she wanted to have time to get her hair done. (Whether or not this is actually the case, you have to admit, Mrs. Gingrich the Third has a flawless coif so solid it could easily have been cast in solid platinum.)
Add in the mockery -- and "Breck girl" nickname -- Sen. John Edwards earned for the follicularly focused faux pas captured on video (long before there was so much more to mock him for), and the fallout from President Clinton's trim on the tarmac at LAX by Christophe of Beverly Hills to name just two, and it seems that this kind of tonsorial attentiveness is not a trait that plays well with John and Jane Q. Public.
While it's still a long road to the Oval Office -- for any candidate -- it's clear that the presidential primary preening watch is already in full swing.
So here's our advice to current front-runner Mitt Romney, who has been accused in the past of having a too-perfect head of hair: Throw away the comb, ditch the product and jam a knit wool cap on your head. Remove the knit cap only for campaign speeches. Repeat as necessary. This will make you look like you've got more going on in your head than worrying about what's on top of it.
And, for a brief moment, it might make some people think about wool-cap-wearing U2 guitarist The Edge.
Which can't hurt your chances one bit.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Callista Gingrich (credit: Mike Stewart / Associated Press) and Mitt Romney (Charles Krupa / Associatited Press) are among those in the political arena who've caught heat for their hair care.