Looks go a long way in politics, and the U.S. is just like Mexico in that regard. While Vincente Fox cut a striking image, because he “looked like a president,” Felipe Calderon acts like a president. And, quite frankly, he was the best-looking of the lot during the 2006 Mexican presidential campaign. A president needs to be good-looking, but not too handsome.
Looking at the other early contenders in the game, Santiago Creel had the right appearance, carrying himself with a certain presidential bearing. Would-be independent candidate Jorge Casteñada had that come-hither look that just made you want to sit down and knock back a few with him, but he was just too intellectual to be saddled with the business of running a country. Andres Manuel López Obrador, often referred to as having that Dennis the Menace look, had that touch of the common man, but he just didn’t have the bearing which portraits on every office of importance demand. Roberto Madrazo was clearly the best-groomed, but he was just too well-manicured, never a hair out of place. Calderon’s stylists found the Goldilocks point, and it served him well.
The appearance of the the First Lady, or if we’re going to be politically correct, the First Partner or First Significant Other, is equally important. The Mexican First Lady, Margarita Zavala, looks and acts the part.
And that brings us to all of the folks in the running for the U.S. Presidency. The most handsome couple, standing head and shoulders above the rest, are the Romneys. Sure, Fred Thompson’s wife is attractive, but she’s just too much so, too much a trophy wife, and none of that can offset Fred’s chiseled visage. Rudy Guiliani may have solved crime in New York City, but he still looks like the kid whose life’s ambition was to be a hall monitor or an S.S. guard, and his third wife carries just too much baggage, the least of which seems to be deciding what name she’s asking others to call herself this week. The Clintons? Don’t make me go there. Obama’s ears just get in the way of everything else, so much that the everyday, casual appearance of his wife goes unnoticed. Barbara Richardson has got what it takes to be First Lady, and the Richardson’s child-free life make them all the more appealing. The U.S. government could save a lot of money not having to assign Secret Service to the Presidential Progeny.
The Best Looking Award from Staring at Strangers goes to the Romneys and the Richardsons.
Barbara and Laura Bush were their spouses’ best selling points. Both knew how to conduct themselves as First Ladies. And that makes up for a lot. Well, that’s why I voted for Bush I and Bush II.