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September  12

As Long As I Don't Have To Kiss Him

Patersoncdtour1953_1 Forget his political views. What's really cutting edge about Sen. Jon Corzine is his desire to remain un-cut, at least in terms of facial hair. Does a beard really make a difference to voters? Would some rather he kick it up a notch with one of these looks? Or pull a Yul Brynner and get baby smooth. Seems Corzine and his facial hair have garnered maverick status. From NJ.com, folks weigh in ...

Corzine, who has resisted advisers' suggestions that he shave his graying beard, is currently the only member of the U.S. Senate to wear one. And he'll be the only U.S. governor with one if he beats Republican Doug Forrester in the Nov. 8 election. No sitting governors have beards, nor do any of the three candidates for the job in Virginia — the only other state where a new governor will be elected this year.

While facial hair hasn't been a problem for Corzine to date, some say it could still cost him points with voters. There are persistent, negative connotations underlying the taboo, according to political consultants, image experts and others.

"The problem with beards is the association with the '60s and '70s — the beatnik and hippie movement, the antiestablishment attitudes that were communicated by people in those years by people wearing beards. It's guilt by association, regardless of whether they were part of that," said Judith Rasband, a professional image management specialist.

"In terms of nonverbal communication, by not seeing the full face — whether it's bangs in the eyes of a woman or a man, or a beard — there can be some who perceive the individual is hiding something," Rasband added.

September 12, 2005 in Politics | Permalink


Smoke and mirrors, people. His facial hair, or lack of it, should not be an issue here. The ISSUES should be an issue! Offering favors/loans to top union officials is number one on my list.

By the way, Miss Carla was a participant in the Fallen Heroes 5K race in Elizabeth this weekend, along with myself. I beat her time by about 3 minutes and had NO help, whatsoever from any NJ politician!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Sep 12, 2005 9:25:05 AM

Don't you just love pundits? These professional leeches who claim they know what the voters want and don't want are full of goose droppings. "Shave the Beard! Keep the Beard! Set the Beard on Fire!" All of this camouflage is just a way to keep politicians from having to run on their ideas, beliefs, and intelligence (two out of three is a good average). Whether you are pro-Corzine or anti-, who cares about the whiskers?

(BTW: Check out the photographs in the papers recently of the late Chief Justice Rehnquist going through his congressional nomination hearings. How 'bout them Mutton Chops?)

Posted by: conan the grammarian | Sep 12, 2005 9:34:14 AM

Whiskers didn't hurt Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Sep 12, 2005 9:36:18 AM

From: http://explorers.whyte.com/presbeards.htm

"1860: This election is seen by many as the one that set the trend for the rest of the century, as Abraham Lincoln, famously bearded, defeated Stephen Douglas, incumbent Vice-President John Breckinridge, and John Bell, all of whom were clean shaven. But the fact is that Lincoln too was cleanshaven at the time of the election; Grace Bedell, aged 11, had written to him in September 1860 to suggest he grow a beard, and by the time of his inauguration in March 1861 he had done so, but the voters in 1860 chose between four beardless candidates"

So, Jon, I guess that means you have to shave and run for President as a Republican with a promise to free the slaves. I do believe you could get elected....

Posted by: conan the grammarian | Sep 12, 2005 10:11:34 AM

well we all saw how team W used physical appearance to hurt Kerry in 2004. that was classy.

anonymous bush advisor told the NYT that Kerry looks french

rumors that Kerry had botox


Posted by: jaded | Sep 12, 2005 10:12:11 AM

Haven't we moved past the point of debating hair and beards. Ugh.

I won't vote for Corzine because I don't want people to think my vote was 'purchased'.

Posted by: John L | Sep 12, 2005 10:20:16 AM

You might want to sit out this election, then, John.

McGreevey had a beard, and he got elected.

PS: My never having been elected to office has not affected my ability to grow a beard.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 12, 2005 10:29:57 AM

Miss Martta, I congratulate you on your victory over "Miss Carla" (took me a moment to figure out who that was) this past weekend. Don't get mad, however, if I opine that maybe one minute of that three-minute difference was because she was simply weighted down by her hair. That truly is some left-over vestige of hippiedom mop of communard curls there, and hints to me of why the otherwise pretty boring Corzine may have gone ga-ga over her in the first place.

Posted by: cathar | Sep 12, 2005 11:03:32 AM

Hmmm, interesting thought there, Cathar. Vestiges of hippiedom, indeed. And I also wonder if that loan was interest-free.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Sep 12, 2005 11:08:58 AM

I wrote about this issue yesterday. What I find amazing is that Corzine states that he wouldn't discard something he has had for 25 years to re-shape his life to get elected. Didn't he do just that when he left his wife for a union boss when he ran for the US Senate?

Posted by: Bob | Sep 12, 2005 11:28:48 AM

Really, Bob. And, he kinda blames the whole thing on Torricelli, and what a bad influence he was, blah-blah-blah. It's "the Devil made me do it!" all over again.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Sep 12, 2005 11:34:21 AM

Very well noted, Bob (whichever Bob, I better hasten to add).

Posted by: cathar | Sep 12, 2005 11:35:58 AM

"In terms of nonverbal communication, by not seeing the full face — whether it's bangs in the eyes of a woman or a man, or a beard — there can be some who perceive the individual is hiding something," Rasband added.

What he lacks in chin view he makes up for in enhanced forehead. What's the problem? (sez someone whose hairline has been receding for a while now...) ;)

Posted by: The Prop | Sep 12, 2005 12:27:50 PM

Bob, your statement is illogical. What did leaving his wife have to do with getting elected? Usually the public does not look kindly on men leaving their long-term wives for younger models.

Posted by: latebloomer | Sep 12, 2005 12:32:02 PM

And you wonder why more well-qualified people don't enter the political arena ... thanks, Associated Press, for reporting such news-worthy journalism!

Posted by: Jim | Sep 12, 2005 12:39:47 PM

According to a poll reported in today's press Corzine is 20 points ahead of his opponent -- so the 'beard issue' should not make a any significant difference!
As if potential voters really care.

Gosh I just hope there isn't a tattoo issue waiting in the wings...or even a case of body piercing!

Posted by: Franklin | Sep 12, 2005 1:58:01 PM

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Our last full-time governor had a beard and even had a name for it: Dina Matos McGreevey.

Posted by: Notteham | Sep 12, 2005 2:05:41 PM

And we can't forget the old saw about the taller of the two candidates always wins.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Sep 12, 2005 2:07:46 PM

In memory of Will Shakespeare -- this is much ado about NOTHING!

Bring on some REAL campaign issues!

Posted by: Franklin | Sep 12, 2005 2:38:41 PM

i guess when 2 millionaires duke it out no one seems to care about the real issues. Candidates: boxers or briefs?

Posted by: John L | Sep 12, 2005 3:59:43 PM

Men grow beards for only a few reasons. Their companion enjoys the feel, they are compensating for baldness, they think they look wiser, they are hiding a bad jaw line, or they are trying to appeal to baby boom or senior voters. In his case, the gray makes him look older than the hair over his ears, so he must be going after the senior citizen vote.

Posted by: LetThemEatWords | Sep 12, 2005 5:32:24 PM

Since the NJ gubernatorial campaign is clouded by non-issues and mud-slinging between two billionaire candidates for the state's highest office it is time to take seriously the issue of campaign finance reform!

Posted by: Franklin | Sep 12, 2005 6:33:02 PM

Neither is a "billionaire," Franklin. Neither is even close to that heady world. Both are very wealthy even by a standard that might bring even Plofker to envy, but it'be be chump change compared to, say, the Sultan of Brunei.

I like it when rich guys pay for their own campaigns. Better them than me, and you certainly know they're not going to be in it just for the money (unlike someone like, famously, Hugh Addonizio back when he was Mayor of Newark).

Posted by: cathar | Sep 12, 2005 6:46:05 PM

latebloomer, the illogic is in Corzine's question about why would someone reshape his life to get into politics? It is interesting to note that he used that to defend his beard, but he cast aside his wife of 33 years for a union boss that brought an endorsement of 9000 state workers.

Posted by: Bob | Sep 12, 2005 7:30:47 PM

Hmm-- somehow I doubt that he ended his marriage to get the vote of 9000 workers.

Posted by: latebloomer | Sep 12, 2005 10:26:14 PM

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