Wednesday, April 18, 2007

From your pocket to Edwards' head

I like John Edwards. I voted for him in the 2004 primaries and was glad when he became Kerry's running mate. I'm not sure I'm going to back him this time around, but I like his approach, his position on many issues and I've gone so far as to sign on to his blog network so I can get updates from his campaign.

But stuff like this makes me pull my hair out.

Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies.

The Democrat's campaign committee picked up the tab for two haircuts at $400 each by celebrity stylist Joseph Torrenueva of Beverly Hills, California, according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

FEC records show Edwards also availed himself of $250 in services from a trendy salon and spa in Dubuque, Iowa, and $225 in services from the Pink Sapphire in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is described on its Web site as "a unique boutique for the mind, body and face" that caters mostly to women.

Now, I'm not naive. I know the importance of looking good in politics. I know wealthy people develop expensive tastes. And amid grueling 14-hour days of campaigning, I have no objection to candidates indulging in a little pampering along the way. I also don't buy into the charge that Edwards is a hypocrite for living a lavish lifestyle while basing his campaign on fighting poverty. The dude made his money; he can spend it any way he wants, and being rich does not disqualify someone from caring about social issues.

But c'mon: $400 haircuts? The campaign has to know how bad that looks. Not to mention the practical question: Is this really the best use of campaign funds for someone running a distant third in the money race?

If he really thinks the cuts are worth it, great. But in that case I humbly submit that Edwards would be way better off paying for them out of his own pocket. He'll still look fabulous, and he won't have to deal with embarassing disclosure forms ever again.

Update: Clearly reacting to my massive influence, Edwards does as I suggested.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, ya know Sean---per Edwards we live in this place called TWO AMERICAS. And obviously he's in the ONE that you and I don't live in with his $400 haircuts and his 24,000 square foot home. He's the height of hypocrisy!


4/19/2007 10:40 AM  

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