Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Friday, October 15, 2004

That Thing on Edwards' Lip

posted by Jazz at 10/15/2004 05:55:00 PM

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Recently, Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune posted a blog entry where he suggested that John Edwards needed to have the mole (or whatever it is) removed from his lip. His reason was that it was distracting. I wrote him an e-mail expressing my disappointment with this position. In his blog entry for today he took the time to respond.

Jazz Shaw-- Have we come no further than this? Are we really going to suggest to a politician that they should have elective cosmetic surgery just to look better on TV?
Yes. I think appearances matter and that if an aspect of a politicians' appearance causes a distraction, as John Edwards' lip mole does, he should have it removed. For the same reason he combs his hair in the morning and puts on make-up when he goes in front of the hot TV lights.

Distraction? I'm still not buying it. There is constant criticism from all quarters when Hollywood starlets go under the knife to look better. Why would a politician get a pass on this? More to the point, not everyone is physically perfect, and yet many are of sufficient interest to interview. Were you to question Bob Dole, would his injured arm be a distraction? Would Max Cleland lose points on a talk show because he's in a wheelchair? It's certainly uncomfortable for a person with no disabilities to initially meet a handicapped individual. But haven't we come further than that? I don't believe that you can equate elective surgery, no matter how minor, to grooming.

I understand that a mole on the lip of John Edwards is not in the league of a missing limb, but the point still stands. Obviously the mole isn't malignant or a doctor would have long since moved to have it taken off. It doesn't seem to bother Edwards very much or he'd have chosen elective surgery long before running for the vice presidential slot. If we're going to deduct points from his message for something that trivial, we have a long way to go as a society.