It turns out the public doesn’t agree with Sen. John Kerry.
The Democratic presidential candidate proclaimed that he and new running mate Sen. John Edwards have the best hair in the contest, but a survey taken two months ago found that Americans actually give the best-hair honor to President Bush.
A majority — 51 percent — says Mr. Bush has the dapper dome, while just 30 percent say the “Kerry do” does it for them, according to the Wahl Clipper Corp. 2004 Grooming Survey, sponsored by the company that invented the electric hair clipper.
Nine percent were undecided, while the remaining 10 percent said neither candidate’s coiffure measured up.
That may come as a shock to Mr. Kerry, who since choosing Mr. Edwards has declared several times on the campaign trail: “We’ve got better vision. We’ve got better ideas. We’ve got real plans. We’ve got a better sense of what’s happening to America, and we’ve got better hair. And I’ll tell you, that goes a long way.”
Apparently concerned about such a boast in this 50-50 split nation, Mr. Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, admonished him: “‘You just lost the bald vote,’” she said, according to her husband.
Mr. Kerry is famously concerned about his hair, which has made reporters such as cyber-gossip maven Matt Drudge concerned about it as well.
Mr. Drudge first reported in 2002 that Mr. Kerry paid $150 for his haircuts, then earlier this year reported that Mr. Kerry, before an appearance on “Meet the Press,” flew stylist Isabelle Goetz, “who handles Kerry’s hair issues,” to Pittsburgh to touch up the candidate’s look. Mr. Drudge reported the expense to be $1,000.
By contrast, reports of Mr. Bush’s $30 haircuts abound.
Mr. Kerry may still be right about the battle between the running mates. The Wahl survey of 1,009 persons was taken in May, well before Mr. Edwards was selected, so it’s not clear how the North Carolina senator — referred to derisively by some pundits as the “Breck Girl” — stacks up.
But fashion writer Robin Givhan said in The Washington Post that Mr. Edwards is doing just fine: “He has a precise haircut with artfully clipped layers. His hair is a beautiful shade of chocolate brown with honey-colored highlights. It is not particularly long, but it is smooth and shiny. It is boyish hair not because of the style, but because it looks so healthy and buoyant and practically cries out to be tousled the same way a well-groomed golden retriever demands to be nuzzled.”