If anyone still doubted the fact that the Obama camp is embracing former President Bill Clinton and vice versa, last night’s convention put an end to it, not only because of what the former President said, very eloquently, but because of how the two men looked. I mean – this is like high school: they’re almost matching!
Despite having displayed an admirable consistency during the campaign thus far, dress if not policy-wise, yesterday night Mitt Romney gave up the sartorial fight, and switched sides. Yes, like so many of his winning predecessors before him, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush (once), for his speech accepting the Republican party nomination for President, he wore…a red tie. Why do we care?
A number of questions were answered about Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s VP pick, during his speech last night at the Republican Convention last night. Would he come out fighting? Check. Would he address the Medicare issue? Kind of. Would he make winning jokes about his new boss? Check. Would his famously ill-fitting, too baggy suits, which Esquire likened to a trash bag, be given a Sarah-Palin-type makeover? Nope. Now the question is: why not?
Allow me to toot our own horn here for a moment, and note there’s a very interesting piece today in the FT by my colleague Stephanie Kirchgaessner on various industries and the presidential candidate they support. Romney seems to have come out on top in a bunch of them, at least as far as donations go but at least one other industry that wasn’t on the list skews very heavily BO (unfortunate initials, I know): fashion.
Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney celebrate their victory in the Illinois GOP primary. Getty Images
The elevation of Mitt Romney to Republican nominee presumptive appears to have acted as a sort of spur to his wife Ann when it comes to her entrance into the imagineering race.
Michelle Obama famously has a blog (mrs-o.org) devoted to her style, after all, which puts her front and centre in many cultural conversations and positions her as a champion of business without her or her camp having to say a word — other than “J Crew” or “Jason Wu” or ”Narciso Rodriguez.” It’s taken until now for Mrs Romney to begin to fight fashion fire with fashion fire.
Mitt and Ann Romney on 'CBS This Morning'. CBS image
Or so it seems. After a primary season marked mostly by a sea of unidentifiable red suits, earlier this week Mrs R appeared with her husband on “CBS This Morning” wearing a T-shirt printed with bird images by the New York designer Reed Krakoff. It was the first time as far as I know that Mrs Romney had dipped a public toe in the branded fashion world.
And it was an…interesting choice, for two reasons.
The colour gurus at the Pantone Colour Institute have released their predictions for top colours of Fall 2012, just in time for New York Fashion Week. And why, you ask, should non-fashion people care? Because, I say, this will give us a sense of what we are going to see on the general election trail this fall.
(It is also an indication of the shades we may be inexplicably, but inexorably drawn to as we embark on post-holiday, back-to-work shopping.)
Today Jacob Weisberg coined what I think should become a representative catch-phrase of the 2012 US election along the lines of James Carville’s “it’s the economy, stupid,” in 1992 and Ronald Reagan’s “it’s morning in America” in 1984. To wit: he noted that Mitt Romney suffers from “the affliction of excessive handsomeness.”
Who knew there was such a problem? Such is the reality, it seems, of 21st century, recession-ridden America.
Last night’s various post-nomination speeches in New Hampshire were mesmerising, for a variety of reasons, from the ridiculous quotes (Ron Paul: “We ARE dangerous;” Jon Huntsman: “Third Place we’re on the hunt” — you have to wonder what genius strategist thought that one up) to the way battle for hearts and eyes is shaping up. The Republican stump style is solidifying.
I was wrong yesterday — at least partly. In the end, after campaigning down to the wire in Iowa in shirts with sweater vests (Rick Santorum), shirts and tees (Ron Paul), and V-neck grandpa numbers and jeans (Mitt Romney), the big three Republican presidential rivals all disappeared into their various hotels — almost as good as a phone booth — and changed into suits and ties for the final tally. It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Mitt Romney by eight!