When Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz revamped her hairdo in April, our commenters bristled at the ensuing headlines: "Can't wait for a similar story about a man's grooming." Turns out, they were right: The Democrat's curly locks were dramatically-overplayed! As evidence, we offer this morning's revelation that Michael Steele has trimmed his mustache, documented by New York magazine's Daily Intel blogger Dan Amira. Mystifyingly, Steele's buzzed upper lip is picking up zero traction!
This is possibly the cleanest test case we will ever get in the long-simmering issue of women's appearances in politics. You've got Debbie, head of the Democratic National Committee, known for her trademark curly waves on the one hand and Michael, former head of the Republican National Committee, known for his avuncular mustache on the other. Both debuted their new looks on MSNBC. But... oh what a difference the Wasserman Wave made!
Comparatively speaking, Wasserman Schultz was everywhere. Stylite's screaming headline read "PHOTOS: Is This The Most Drastic Makeover Politics Has Ever Seen?" Fishbowl DC rolled out a reader poll: "How do you like Debbie Wasserman Schultz's hair?" The Washington Examiner aggregated reactions on Twitter: "She looks beautiful. Like a completely different person," wrote one reporter. But Steele and his newly baby-soft upper lip? Just one* measly blog post.
Naysayers will brush aside the comparison, saying the Wasserman Wave, with its generous New York Times treatment, was always a bigger deal than the Steele mustache. But that ignores the fact that Steele's mustache was masterfully recreated in puppet form on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and was a constant source of speculation in the blogosphere. Matchpoint to the Wasserman defenders.
Meanwhile, we advise Jon Stewart's prop handlers to update the puppet:
*Update: While coverage of the Wasserman Wave continues to dwarf the Steele Stache, Politico's Dylan Byers alerts us to his newspaper's enterprising coverage of the event. "Well here’s the deal," Steele told Politico in an exclusive post-shave interview. "My mustache and my razor got into a fight and I arrived too late to break it up. Consequently, the mustache got nicked up pretty bad and I had to put it down. Sad."
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|Michael Steele Plays the Race Card|