John Edwards’ $400 haircut

One of my hobbies lately that I usually keep off of my blog is talking with people about politics. Why? Because it usually is a good topic when you meet people who could care less about what Twitter is, or what Silverlight will do, or what the latest gadget is.

Anyway, here in Cancun I’ve been spending the afternoon sitting in the pool and meeting people. It’s amazing how many people have brought up John Edwards’ $400 haircut.

Consensus? That it demonstrates a lack of judgment and an unconcern for how this would play with voters. Neither are good messages to send and they sure aren’t playing well with people in the Cancun pool.

How would I handle this if I were running Edward’s campaign? Put video of the haircut (or his next one) up on YouTube and interview the stylist for why his/her prices are so high. I’m sure John doesn’t think this is important to do, would rather discuss issues of more importance like how we get out of the war, but this is hurting his campaign far more than anything else he’s done lately.

Comments

  1. “One of my hobbies lately that I usually keep off of my blog is talking with people about politics. Why? Cause it usually is a good topic when you meet people who could care less about what Twitter is, or what Silverlight will do, or what the latest gadget is.”

    I, like many, was raised to believe that….you don’t talk about politics, religion or OJ in a social setting. I mean, dude, people get in fights over this stuff because its contraversial as hell. Don’t be fooled, these conversations are shit. The haircut that will make or break his image or run at the presidency? 400 bucks? Alright… Can we talk about something else now?

  2. “One of my hobbies lately that I usually keep off of my blog is talking with people about politics. Why? Cause it usually is a good topic when you meet people who could care less about what Twitter is, or what Silverlight will do, or what the latest gadget is.”

    I, like many, was raised to believe that….you don’t talk about politics, religion or OJ in a social setting. I mean, dude, people get in fights over this stuff because its contraversial as hell. Don’t be fooled, these conversations are shit. The haircut that will make or break his image or run at the presidency? 400 bucks? Alright… Can we talk about something else now?

  3. It’s our pundits that keep pushing the story, creating a story line they can follow for the next year.

    Forget the issues, whats happening in the real world, they keep bringing up
    stuff like that to distract and deflect.

  4. It’s our pundits that keep pushing the story, creating a story line they can follow for the next year.

    Forget the issues, whats happening in the real world, they keep bringing up
    stuff like that to distract and deflect.

  5. Exactly how representative are the inhabitants of that Cancun pool?

    What I’ve seen no one do — mainstream media or elsewhere — is trackdown what the other candidates paid for their last haircut.

  6. Exactly how representative are the inhabitants of that Cancun pool?

    What I’ve seen no one do — mainstream media or elsewhere — is trackdown what the other candidates paid for their last haircut.

  7. There is a video of him on Youtube, but not quite your idea of what it should consist of.

    For a $400 haircut, I wouldn’t expect him to primp so much.

    Mine is a political blog, of sorts, so I wouldn’t bother checking it out.

    Cheers.

  8. There is a video of him on Youtube, but not quite your idea of what it should consist of.

    For a $400 haircut, I wouldn’t expect him to primp so much.

    Mine is a political blog, of sorts, so I wouldn’t bother checking it out.

    Cheers.

  9. “Put video of the haircut (or his next one) up…”

    I think he tried that during his last campaign…

    Didn’t elicit positive PR.

    The reason the issue is out there is because of Edward’s “Two America’s” platform. Obviously Edwards lives in the America the majority of us don’t. Sort of like Gore telling flying around in a Gulfstream telling us about the perils of global warming. I’m sure you see the hypocrisy.

  10. “Put video of the haircut (or his next one) up…”

    I think he tried that during his last campaign…

    Didn’t elicit positive PR.

    The reason the issue is out there is because of Edward’s “Two America’s” platform. Obviously Edwards lives in the America the majority of us don’t. Sort of like Gore telling flying around in a Gulfstream telling us about the perils of global warming. I’m sure you see the hypocrisy.

  11. Robert,
    I’m a conservative Republican – and while you’re right on how this plays out with voters, I have to stop and wonder… Why is Edwards paying $400 for a haircut news at all?

    Almost anyone with substantial financial resources (compared to most of us) is always going be spending more on products & services than the average person. There is nothing wrong with this at all. It’s all relative to an individual’s perception of value. It just shows how much BS we have to muddle through in the MSM to get at the meat of the real items on each politician’s platform and how they handle themselves on those points.

    And your counter-point to Mike’s comment above brings into sharp focus the problem with the MSM. They are too afraid of real conversations about real political positions of the candidates, and that they’ll lose that margin of control they believe they have in helping direct popular opinion.

    Just how many more “haircut” type stories will we have to deal with between now and the election – for either party? I don’t even want to know.

  12. Robert,
    I’m a conservative Republican – and while you’re right on how this plays out with voters, I have to stop and wonder… Why is Edwards paying $400 for a haircut news at all?

    Almost anyone with substantial financial resources (compared to most of us) is always going be spending more on products & services than the average person. There is nothing wrong with this at all. It’s all relative to an individual’s perception of value. It just shows how much BS we have to muddle through in the MSM to get at the meat of the real items on each politician’s platform and how they handle themselves on those points.

    And your counter-point to Mike’s comment above brings into sharp focus the problem with the MSM. They are too afraid of real conversations about real political positions of the candidates, and that they’ll lose that margin of control they believe they have in helping direct popular opinion.

    Just how many more “haircut” type stories will we have to deal with between now and the election – for either party? I don’t even want to know.

  13. As an NC’er and an acquaintance of part of the Edwards’ family, it’s amusing how the media creates a story, maintains a story, won’t let go of a story, and then wonders why it’s a story at all? If the other candidates had hair as good as John’s, they’d spend a bunch to keep it up – and I wonder how much Rudy’s hairpieces cost over the years…but whether Elizabeth Dole colors her hair just isn’t a topic.

    Robert, I think you’re partly right. John could make a really funny video for YouTube and it’d show what kind of sense of humor he’s got. In addition, I’m tired of apologizing for being liberal and having a few bucks and deciding where to spend them.

    You have an inordinate amount of geek toys, from TVs to computers to games to phones and it’s simply part of who you are and it’s your money, so spend it where you want. I have 3 monitors – again, my money, my business.

    Why the foo-fah over John’s haircut?

    Because the media invented it and keeps it on life support. It’s easier than doing research and writing real news.

  14. As an NC’er and an acquaintance of part of the Edwards’ family, it’s amusing how the media creates a story, maintains a story, won’t let go of a story, and then wonders why it’s a story at all? If the other candidates had hair as good as John’s, they’d spend a bunch to keep it up – and I wonder how much Rudy’s hairpieces cost over the years…but whether Elizabeth Dole colors her hair just isn’t a topic.

    Robert, I think you’re partly right. John could make a really funny video for YouTube and it’d show what kind of sense of humor he’s got. In addition, I’m tired of apologizing for being liberal and having a few bucks and deciding where to spend them.

    You have an inordinate amount of geek toys, from TVs to computers to games to phones and it’s simply part of who you are and it’s your money, so spend it where you want. I have 3 monitors – again, my money, my business.

    Why the foo-fah over John’s haircut?

    Because the media invented it and keeps it on life support. It’s easier than doing research and writing real news.

  15. I doubt we’ll see any more “haricut” stories as I think the other campaigns will learn how dumb it is to try to pass off the cost of a haircut on ones campaign. Pay for grooming out of your personal funds instead of using campaign donations and it won’t be a problem.

  16. I doubt we’ll see any more “haricut” stories as I think the other campaigns will learn how dumb it is to try to pass off the cost of a haircut on ones campaign. Pay for grooming out of your personal funds instead of using campaign donations and it won’t be a problem.

  17. I get a haircut once every two weeks which costs me $10. This means that my annual haircut expenditures are:

    $260 (52wks/2 * $10)
    $ 52 (%20 tip/haircut)
    $ 50 (Christmas tip)
    —-
    $362

    So, what John Edwards spends on ONE haircut (how many haircuts does he get a year?) is more than what at least one Finance IT professional in NYC spends on a year’s worth of haircuts.

    Which of the two Americas is John Edwards living in again?

  18. I get a haircut once every two weeks which costs me $10. This means that my annual haircut expenditures are:

    $260 (52wks/2 * $10)
    $ 52 (%20 tip/haircut)
    $ 50 (Christmas tip)
    —-
    $362

    So, what John Edwards spends on ONE haircut (how many haircuts does he get a year?) is more than what at least one Finance IT professional in NYC spends on a year’s worth of haircuts.

    Which of the two Americas is John Edwards living in again?

  19. @9 “I’m tired of apologizing for being liberal and having a few bucks and deciding where to spend them.”

    Well, you could always send them to Washington so others can use it ;-)

    I agree its his money. . Hell!, spend $1,000 spend $10,000 of YOUR money. But, when someone is applying for the job of running the country, and that person will be responsible for submitting budgets to Congress, you gotta wonder if he really understands the value of a dollar. Not sure I want a guy like that being in charge of spending my tax money,because I’m not sure he would be able to tell what the true value of something is.

  20. @9 “I’m tired of apologizing for being liberal and having a few bucks and deciding where to spend them.”

    Well, you could always send them to Washington so others can use it ;-)

    I agree its his money. . Hell!, spend $1,000 spend $10,000 of YOUR money. But, when someone is applying for the job of running the country, and that person will be responsible for submitting budgets to Congress, you gotta wonder if he really understands the value of a dollar. Not sure I want a guy like that being in charge of spending my tax money,because I’m not sure he would be able to tell what the true value of something is.

  21. zb42: the problem is that John Edwards is rich and that his time is worth a lot of money. So, is his time better spent by going into a barber, like you and me do, or by having a barber come out to meet him? The problem is the barber probably charged him $20 for the haircut and $380 for coming out to his house, or wherever, and waiting around for him.

    A good barber can do, what, three haircuts an hour? So, that’s $60. What if it took a few hours to drive to where John was and back? What if he needed to wait around for John to arrive on his busy schedule?

    These people live in a different world than you or I do.

    Oh, and remember, you spent more on a Starbucks latte than about half the world’s people need to survive for an entire day. So, to most of the world you are just as extravagant as John Edwards is to you. Think about that one for a while.

  22. zb42: the problem is that John Edwards is rich and that his time is worth a lot of money. So, is his time better spent by going into a barber, like you and me do, or by having a barber come out to meet him? The problem is the barber probably charged him $20 for the haircut and $380 for coming out to his house, or wherever, and waiting around for him.

    A good barber can do, what, three haircuts an hour? So, that’s $60. What if it took a few hours to drive to where John was and back? What if he needed to wait around for John to arrive on his busy schedule?

    These people live in a different world than you or I do.

    Oh, and remember, you spent more on a Starbucks latte than about half the world’s people need to survive for an entire day. So, to most of the world you are just as extravagant as John Edwards is to you. Think about that one for a while.

  23. I think you should spend the extra time to add “be” to your “cause.” Why? Cause it might make your writing look less sophomoric. That alone would be worth $400.

  24. I think you should spend the extra time to add “be” to your “cause.” Why? Cause it might make your writing look less sophomoric. That alone would be worth $400.

  25. Robert, he has the money and his time is valuable, that is true… If he had paid for it out of the wealth he has accumulated this would never have been a story. The problem is that he tried to pawn it off as a campaign expense and use donated money to cover his grooming expense and now he has to deal with the repurcussions.

  26. Robert, he has the money and his time is valuable, that is true… If he had paid for it out of the wealth he has accumulated this would never have been a story. The problem is that he tried to pawn it off as a campaign expense and use donated money to cover his grooming expense and now he has to deal with the repurcussions.

  27. Geesus, you are sure behind the news curve…this was well before even Baldwingate.

    But typical of the bleeding heart richie liberals, that jet set around, telling us to bike and use less toilet paper. Two Americas, indeed, and Edwards ain’t in mine.

  28. Geesus, you are sure behind the news curve…this was well before even Baldwingate.

    But typical of the bleeding heart richie liberals, that jet set around, telling us to bike and use less toilet paper. Two Americas, indeed, and Edwards ain’t in mine.

  29. Starting a war in Iraq and refusing to deal with the consequences demonstrates a lack of judgment and an unconcern for how this would play with voters. The price of a haircut is meaningless.

  30. Starting a war in Iraq and refusing to deal with the consequences demonstrates a lack of judgment and an unconcern for how this would play with voters. The price of a haircut is meaningless.

  31. If I was John, I’d pledge my hair to Locks of Love right now. Shave it off. Donate it to kids who can’t even get a $10 haircut. It’s even more appropriate given that Elizabeth has cancer again.

  32. If I was John, I’d pledge my hair to Locks of Love right now. Shave it off. Donate it to kids who can’t even get a $10 haircut. It’s even more appropriate given that Elizabeth has cancer again.

  33. @Christopher – I don’t know where you’re from, but John Edwards is *not* a bleeding heart liberal by most people’s standards.

    @Scoble: I agree with Your Biggest Fan. Spend the extra three seconds and write the letters ‘b’ and ‘e’. You might actually sound professional if you started doing that.

    /wink

  34. @Christopher – I don’t know where you’re from, but John Edwards is *not* a bleeding heart liberal by most people’s standards.

    @Scoble: I agree with Your Biggest Fan. Spend the extra three seconds and write the letters ‘b’ and ‘e’. You might actually sound professional if you started doing that.

    /wink

  35. OK, OK, I added “be”, jeez.

    Christopher: I try to ignore news about superficial crap. If I wanted that kind of news I’d watch CNN.

    But this one kept coming to me in conversations so figured I might as well report it and see where it went.

  36. OK, OK, I added “be”, jeez.

    Christopher: I try to ignore news about superficial crap. If I wanted that kind of news I’d watch CNN.

    But this one kept coming to me in conversations so figured I might as well report it and see where it went.

  37. “Well, you could always send them to Washington so others can use it ;-)”

    Why do you ass.u.me that I don’t? Ask Robert – he knows I put my $$ where my usually-open mouth is :)

  38. “Well, you could always send them to Washington so others can use it ;-)”

    Why do you ass.u.me that I don’t? Ask Robert – he knows I put my $$ where my usually-open mouth is :)

  39. “Why the foo-fah over John’s haircut?

    Because the media invented it and keeps it on life support. It’s easier than doing research and writing real news.”

    ========

    The reason it became a story was because his staff reported the $400 haircut as a campaign expense. (IIRC, there were two such haircuts reported, for a total of $800.) If I had been one that contributed to his campaign, I’d be quite pissed that campaign donations went to $400 haircuts that Edwards should’ve and easily could’ve paid for out of his own pocket! That’s why this became an issue. His campaign belatedly saw the error of this (only after the horrible PR), and paid back the campaign funds with Edwards’ own money.

    The transposing of his $400 haircuts with his “There are two Americas” line only gives the story more legs.

  40. “Why the foo-fah over John’s haircut?

    Because the media invented it and keeps it on life support. It’s easier than doing research and writing real news.”

    ========

    The reason it became a story was because his staff reported the $400 haircut as a campaign expense. (IIRC, there were two such haircuts reported, for a total of $800.) If I had been one that contributed to his campaign, I’d be quite pissed that campaign donations went to $400 haircuts that Edwards should’ve and easily could’ve paid for out of his own pocket! That’s why this became an issue. His campaign belatedly saw the error of this (only after the horrible PR), and paid back the campaign funds with Edwards’ own money.

    The transposing of his $400 haircuts with his “There are two Americas” line only gives the story more legs.

  41. @18 “Starting a war in Iraq and refusing to deal with the consequences demonstrates a lack of judgment and an unconcern for how this would play with voters”

    Last I checked Bush got re-elected AFTER the war started. So…it seems it did play pretty well with the voters ;-). And it also seems the Congress was unable to overturn his veto…again because Congress knew how it would play with the “voters”

    @13 “These people live in a different world than you or I do.”

    That’s EXACTLY the point! Edwards and even Gore live in their own little world, yet have no problem telling the rest of us how we should live in ours. Walk the talk!!!

    “Oh, and remember, you spent more on a Starbucks latte than about half the world’s people need to survive for an entire day. So, to most of the world you are just as extravagant as John Edwards is to you. Think about that one for a while.”

    I thought about it..and concluded it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. We aren’t talking about the price of Starbucks. Try to stay on point.

  42. @18 “Starting a war in Iraq and refusing to deal with the consequences demonstrates a lack of judgment and an unconcern for how this would play with voters”

    Last I checked Bush got re-elected AFTER the war started. So…it seems it did play pretty well with the voters ;-). And it also seems the Congress was unable to overturn his veto…again because Congress knew how it would play with the “voters”

    @13 “These people live in a different world than you or I do.”

    That’s EXACTLY the point! Edwards and even Gore live in their own little world, yet have no problem telling the rest of us how we should live in ours. Walk the talk!!!

    “Oh, and remember, you spent more on a Starbucks latte than about half the world’s people need to survive for an entire day. So, to most of the world you are just as extravagant as John Edwards is to you. Think about that one for a while.”

    I thought about it..and concluded it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. We aren’t talking about the price of Starbucks. Try to stay on point.

  43. @24 “I’d be quite pissed that campaign donations went to $400 haircuts that Edwards should’ve and easily could’ve paid for out of his own pocket! That’s why this became an issue. His campaign belatedly saw the error of this (only after the horrible PR), and paid back the campaign funds with Edwards’ own money.”

    Speaking of bad PR, isn’t this the same guy that complains about Wal-Mart’s business practices that had a clueless staffer call a local Wal-Mart to ask the manager to set aside a PS3 for the former Senator in order not to have to wait in line?

    Yep, Scoble, he does live in a different world than the rest of us.

  44. @24 “I’d be quite pissed that campaign donations went to $400 haircuts that Edwards should’ve and easily could’ve paid for out of his own pocket! That’s why this became an issue. His campaign belatedly saw the error of this (only after the horrible PR), and paid back the campaign funds with Edwards’ own money.”

    Speaking of bad PR, isn’t this the same guy that complains about Wal-Mart’s business practices that had a clueless staffer call a local Wal-Mart to ask the manager to set aside a PS3 for the former Senator in order not to have to wait in line?

    Yep, Scoble, he does live in a different world than the rest of us.

  45. As has been already mentioned in previous comments, the haircut “issue” was invented and fueled by the media. The Slate article sufficiently explains why the on-site visit costs so much.

    Here’s what bothers me more:

    3,368 dead and 26,188 wounded from a war in Iraq started by a president’s lies.

    With the war costing us more than 423 billion dollars, we could have provided more than 20 million students with four-year scholarships.

    The Bush/Cheney/Rove administration authorization of domestic spying that allowed the NSA to copy our email communications.

    The pathetic response to assisting the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. And the reality that many of the survivors are still living in post-disaster conditions.

  46. As has been already mentioned in previous comments, the haircut “issue” was invented and fueled by the media. The Slate article sufficiently explains why the on-site visit costs so much.

    Here’s what bothers me more:

    3,368 dead and 26,188 wounded from a war in Iraq started by a president’s lies.

    With the war costing us more than 423 billion dollars, we could have provided more than 20 million students with four-year scholarships.

    The Bush/Cheney/Rove administration authorization of domestic spying that allowed the NSA to copy our email communications.

    The pathetic response to assisting the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. And the reality that many of the survivors are still living in post-disaster conditions.

  47. Keith, it is an issue because he tried to pawn off the expenseon his campaign using donated money to pay for his personal grooming. That is what makes it a story just as it would be a story if if Rudy were getting manicures and charging it to his account or Hillary was buying makeup and charging it to her campaign, etc…

    The media would be derilict in their duty not to report it.

  48. Keith, it is an issue because he tried to pawn off the expenseon his campaign using donated money to pay for his personal grooming. That is what makes it a story just as it would be a story if if Rudy were getting manicures and charging it to his account or Hillary was buying makeup and charging it to her campaign, etc…

    The media would be derilict in their duty not to report it.

  49. 300 to 400 dollar plumber’s house calls, pimp my ****.

    It is time you Americans got to grips with gun control,
    electoral colleges, the distribution of wealth, earth’s survival and how you are perceived by the rest of the world.

  50. 300 to 400 dollar plumber’s house calls, pimp my ****.

    It is time you Americans got to grips with gun control,
    electoral colleges, the distribution of wealth, earth’s survival and how you are perceived by the rest of the world.

  51. To me a voter, this is an issue because I just bought a new set of tires for my car for $260 to replace the old tires that had metal coming through and the rubber is splitting. Elections are no longer about Republican versus Democrat, they are about Haves versus Have-Nots. When I look at all the candidates on both sides of the “fence” I see the same people claiming to speak for the “average” American, but then they can go to $1000 dinners and get $400 haircuts while my wife and I, working full-time, in good paying jobs, struggle to pay bills.

    This is an issue to me because it shows how he and other candidates think about money. Their money, the country’s money, my money. Just like my cup of Starbucks shows that I am indeed in a different place than someone in a poor country. The difference is, I am not trying to get elected to make decisions for that country about how their money should be spent.

  52. To me a voter, this is an issue because I just bought a new set of tires for my car for $260 to replace the old tires that had metal coming through and the rubber is splitting. Elections are no longer about Republican versus Democrat, they are about Haves versus Have-Nots. When I look at all the candidates on both sides of the “fence” I see the same people claiming to speak for the “average” American, but then they can go to $1000 dinners and get $400 haircuts while my wife and I, working full-time, in good paying jobs, struggle to pay bills.

    This is an issue to me because it shows how he and other candidates think about money. Their money, the country’s money, my money. Just like my cup of Starbucks shows that I am indeed in a different place than someone in a poor country. The difference is, I am not trying to get elected to make decisions for that country about how their money should be spent.

  53. I am afraid to say the the free and democratic world lost it when a working or middle class man could no longer afford to have his wife at home raising the kids and investors were no longer content with single digit returns. It seems to me from watching CNN that if a corporation is not seeing 30% growth per annum then it is a nobody.

  54. I am afraid to say the the free and democratic world lost it when a working or middle class man could no longer afford to have his wife at home raising the kids and investors were no longer content with single digit returns. It seems to me from watching CNN that if a corporation is not seeing 30% growth per annum then it is a nobody.

  55. Today, my wife and I tabulated our prescription medications cost for the first four months of 2007 and projecting these figures we must apply for FOOD STAMPS.
    Could Mr. Edwards help retired former corporate managers with pensions that don’t escalate 400% annually.We’ll take his haircut cost as our monthly income.

  56. Today, my wife and I tabulated our prescription medications cost for the first four months of 2007 and projecting these figures we must apply for FOOD STAMPS.
    Could Mr. Edwards help retired former corporate managers with pensions that don’t escalate 400% annually.We’ll take his haircut cost as our monthly income.

  57. What’s all the fuss? So Edwards spent $400 on a haircut! Our President is an idiot…that is the more important news.

  58. What’s all the fuss? So Edwards spent $400 on a haircut! Our President is an idiot…that is the more important news.