Baldness And The Presidency

by James Kirchick | October 31, 2007


A correspondent e-mailed me today from Los Angeles with the suggestion that I do a piece about baldness and the American presidency.  He writes that not since Dwight Eisenhower have the American people elected a bald man to the White House, that's five and a half decades.  He also points out that the only hairless candidate this year is Rudolph Giuliani.

Well, Time magazine has an article, "The Bald Truth," in this issue enumerating the full-maned presidents since Ike: especially JFK, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.  Of course, the electorate in 1952 (and then again in 1956) had no choice between a hirsute candidate and a bald won.  Both Ike and Adlai Stevenson were without hair on their heads, and Adlai made his eggheadedness a theme of his campaign.  In truth, he was a weakling with only his eloquence to inspire the voters.  But even his eloquence was an expression of his indecisiveness.  Stentorian but frightened.

On to 2008: if Giuliani is the G.O.P. nominee, will he be able to beat Hillary--if, that is, she is the nominee?

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