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Harvey Gotliffe, Ph.D. Headshot

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

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Since the start of the GOP presidential campaign, stalwart candidates have fallen away like hair from worn and weary follicles. Gone are Thad McCotter, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain, the latter now wants to be Secretary of Defense, but not under Obama. There have also been several potential candidates who have declined to compete, including the self-declared hair apparent Donald Trump. Their qualifications were debatable.

The 18th and final official GOP presidential campaign debate took place in Sioux City, Iowa. There have also been some two-candidate "discussions" which the media incorrectly labeled as Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Most debates have included all of the presidential candidates who believed that showing would benefit their chances.

Iowa is the launching site for the 2012 presidential nomination, and each candidates is trying to relate to Iowans by emphasizing their own down-home, "ich bin ein Iowaner" qualities. This may be difficult to pull off in a state where the median household income in 2010 was $49,177. The two leading candidates have incomes and wealth far beyond the ninety-nine percent people who will be selecting the winner in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

Newt earned $2.6 million in 2010 and has an estimated net worth of $6.7 million. Mitt has an estimated net worth of $250 million. Should either be nominated, they will still have to get deeply involved with big-time fundraising. Many Republicans have wondered if Newt was raising moneys for his presidential run or for his own coffers, as he combined his campaigning and selling and signing his new $25 book A Nation Like No Other. At times, Newt shared the signing table with his third wife Callista, author of the children's book Sweet Land of Liberty. Were they playing a recording of Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" at their booth?

Such a motif works well in Iowa where the Johnson County Auditor's web site has affixed upon a blue, white and red tri-color outline of the state the words "Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain."

Should Newt get the nomination, it is doubtful that sales of his book and hers will raise enough money to make any difference in what will be needed to compete against Obama. The Democrats hope to raise $1 billion for the presidential race to be used when the real, two-party campaign begins.

In 2008, the presidential campaign spending for all parties exceeded over $1 billion for the first time in history, and an additional $4.3 billion was spent for all congressional and senatorial races. This year the combined total for all national offices should reach between $6 and $7 billion. That's a hair-raising amount of potential influence peddling that will be taking place between now and November 6, 2012.

American media are now lost in the Iowa maize, continually competing with one another searching for any story no matter how picayune it may be. By the time the election takes place in a little over ten months, they will have the opportunity to inform the voting public about important issues regarding the presidential candidates and they already have a head start.

An article in the New York Daily News on August 30 showed that they were serious about their GOP candidate coverage. One intrepid reporter interviewed hair-stylists across the country, including Michele Bachmann's who allegedly was paid $4,700 for hair and make-up bills. The stylist would not reveal any coloring secrets. The reporter made important follow-up calls to stylists around the country and discovered that some of their liberal customers "guiltily requesting the Bachmann look." Perhaps like the Ping-Pong Diplomacy of 40 years ago that helped open up ties with China, this will help open across-the-aisle civility in the congress and the senate.

Not to outdone, the New York Times, our nation's newspaper of record, offered a November 24 story with the headline, "Image Expert Shapes Romney (His Hair, Anyway). The piece described his "impeccably coiffed black hair" as being "commanding, reassuring and presidential" to his fans, and too stiff, too slick, too perfect" to his detractors.

Time magazine
jumped into the hirsute coverage in its December 19 issue when one of their leading columnists wrote that Romney had "the organization, the money, the endorsements and the hair." He then described a meeting between Romney and Trump as one of two opposites in "both temperament and hair."

Newt was not immune and on December 12, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist Mike Lukovich depicted Mitt with white hair and a huge pillow stuffed under his shirt, while a woman on the side said "Mitt Romney's desperate." On a small table sat a box labeled "Men's Hair Color-Grey."

Intelligent citizens can turn to Yiddish to voice their concern and gey shray gevald (holler in protest) as the media makhn a tsimes (making molehills into mountains) on the subject of hair, preferring that they would do better if they zog gornisht (say nothing). Apropos Yiddish expressions can be found on web sites such as www.theoyway.com.

The media seems obsessed with the anything trivial that will entertain its audience; even in one of the most important elections we have ever had where like the 2000 election, the results may hang by a hair.

On December 12, a CNN reporter was describing how difficult it was to get an interview with George Romney, and the afternoon anchor disconsolately remarked, "Romney has been standoffish with the media."

Any wonder why?

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332 206
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Popular Vote
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Holdover
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Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
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* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
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