Friday, March 23, 2012

We’re loaded up for political trivia

Mitt Romney’s “Etch-A-Sketch” controversy, or Rod Blagojevich’s inevitably-graying pompadour? I’m not sure which one is more trivial.

I want to say it is the issue involving the former Illinois governor’s hair, now that he is in prison and will not be able to get the same personal attention to his haircut from the barbers employed by the Bureau of Prisons.

AFTER ALL, IT’S only hair. And learning that Blagojevich uses dye to cover up the gray is even less interesting than the eternal debates about how fake are actress Pamela Anderson’s bosoms.

Except for the fact that Blagojevich’s hair color ultimately is meaningless. The rhetoric concerning presidential hopeful Romney’s ideological bearings could have a serious meaning – if not expressed in such a trivial manner.

Then again, I have been observing the political scene for a long-enough period of time to know that it is often the trivia that manages to catch hold in the minds of the people. Which is why it has to be analyzed, studied, and broken down – before we can finally put it to rest.

Yet it is still capable of creating a headache – or a pair of them, as was the case for me on Thursday when I learned of these two “mini-controversies.”

I’M SURE IF Blagojevich still had any influence, he’d issue some sort of order that put out a contract on the life of his barber.

For it seems that in this week after Milorod reported to a federal correctional center in suburban Denver, his barber talked. He squealed. He ratted him out.

Rod Blagojevich’s hair is NOT that luscious, dark shade by nature. He uses hair dye to achieve that color, and countless hours with a brush to keep it that rich texture. (Remember the state police security team that had a member required to keep a brush on his presence, just in case the governor required it at an odd moment?)

The barber said that the most recent dye job the governor received should wear off within two to three months. Prison barbers will try to maintain his style, as best they can. But they won’t dye the hair for him (officials say inmates could use dye to try to disguise themselves in escape attempts).

THAT WILL REVEAL the natural gray in his hair, which I’m sure will intensify in coming years both due to age and stress. Then again, considering that he will be 67 years old when he is scheduled for release, a certain amount of graying would be expected.

A dark-haired, old-man Blagojevich would be even more fake than Anderson’s physique!

And about as fake an issue as the one now confronting Romney, who earlier in the campaign cycle had one of his aides try to explain that the socially-conservative stances he was taking now to appeal to ideologues would not hurt him among “real” people in the general election.

After all, he would alter some of his stances come campaigning in September and October – which is when real people would like to start thinking about an election scheduled for Nov. 6.

THAT AIDE SAID it was like a kid using one of those “Etch-A-Sketch” toys. Give it a shake, and your drawing is gone. You have a blank slate to start all over with, which is what Romney supposedly will do come the general election cycle.

It seems this is sticking. Romney immediately came out with his own statement claiming that he really is sincere in wanting to appeal to the conservative ideologues. He wants their votes.

Yet too many people like the “Etch-A-Sketch” image. He got hit with more questions about it on Wednesday while campaigning at an American Legion hall in Maryland, and stories are now circulating about how President Barack Obama will be able to use this image against him come the head-to-head September and October campaigning.

So much for Romney being able to bask in the sunshine that should have been provided by a solid electoral victory in the Illinois primaries. So much for the notion that the votes of Illinoisans were all that significant.

We were quickly tossed overboard, so to speak, by the image of a child-hood toy. And the decline of a hair-do that, personally, I always thought looked a tad ridiculous.


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