You Wear What You Are

In reporting on Sen. John Kerry’s appearance in Wheeling, West Virginia yesterday, The Charleston Daily Mail’s Josh Hafenbrack briefly touched on Kerry’s attire: “Dressed in a blue blazer and khaki slacks, Kerry greeted supporters who had endured sporadic, heavy rain showers.” Hafenbrack then moved on to what he apparently saw as more pertinent points — like what Kerry said, and how he was received.

If Hafenbrack keeps that up, he’ll never get hired by a glamorous foreign wire service.

And speaking of same, today we’re lucky to have Agence France Presse — reporting from Kerry’s second stop yesterday, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania — to revisit the matter of Kerry’s duds and to interpret their symbolic import. AFP informs readers that “Kerry wore a blue blazer, tie and beige pants, as his East Coast upbringing and his marriage to a wealth [sic] heiress would dictate.”

The folks who write the Republican National Committee talking points couldn’t have put it better — Kerry’s a rich East Coaster and he dresses the part, too! (Hey, the piece is unbylined.)

Meantime, someone better tell the several million politicians, businessmen, reporters, professors and Gap window mannequins who didn’t grow up on the East Coast and aren’t married to heiresses that it’s time to find themselves a new uniform.

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.