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Political Style

Sean Fitzgerald and Claire Stephens | Monday, November 5, 2012


Today is Election Day.  You’re on the fence. Who should I vote for? If after three debates, throngs of pundits spouting out opinions, and knowledge of each candidate’s stance on the issues, you still don’t know who to vote for, then you are probably in the Notre Dame Bubble.  Instead of voting for Mickey Mouse, let us help you decide on a much more superficial level: fashion and style.

Dark suit, white shirt, red/blue tie, flag lapel pin, and black shoes … Who are we referring to? Every candidate since the invention of color TV probably.  So who wears it better?  Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney looks comfortable in a suit, which is probably a reflection of his past stint as the CEO of Bain Capital.  After four years of seeing President Barack Obama wearing a suit, it is hard to see him in something other than a suit. In a battle of the stereotypical presidential uniform … it’s a tie. (Pun completely unintended.)

The tie-breaker is going to come down to hair.  Who has been applying Just for Men: Touch of Gray better, is it Obama or Romney?  Romney clearly has more experience with his hair follicles.  No one knows quite how he gets his hair to stay in exactly the same spot without a single strand moving, but he gets it done.  He has a track record for keeping well-groomed hair and it shows. This stems from his natural age advantage. At the age of 65, he has years of experience over Obama in the gray hair arena, but is it enough to trim away enough votes from Obama to win the election?

Even though Obama is only 51 years old, his four years as the President of the United States of America look as if it has shaved 15 years off the life of his hair.  Being in the Oval Office, day in and day out, filled with stress only made the situation worse. However, despite the fact that Obama had to run a country, he somehow found a way to care for that hair of his.  Obama’s traditional haircut also brings out a clear advantage he has over Romney: time.  Do we want our future president spending countless hours getting his hair just right, or running the country?

After all of this hard analysis, we’ve come to the conclusion that what matters is what’s inside their heads and not on top of it.  If you’ve come to this article to decide who to vote for, then you probably shouldn’t be voting in the first place.


After looking at our presidential candidates’ fashion sense and skills, let’s examine their wives’ style. 

Ann Romney

Despite much talk leading up to the campaign about Ann Romney’s role as a stay-at-home mom, Ann has a very professional style. Her stylish business casual fashion makes her look like a broadcast journalist, always ready to be on television and looking 15 years younger. Ann often wears bright, fun colors and pastels with the occasional intricate print, keeping her attire both simple and feminine. 

Ann also dresses well for her age, sticking to short sleeves or longer and often wearing a colored jacket with a bold statement accessory, like a big necklace, bracelet or watch. 

She showed off her feminine work look the best at her speech during the Republican National Convention. The bright, fire engine red Oscar De La Renta dress fit nicely between the strong, symbolic red of the GOP and the more casual, womanly style. A few accessories – a gold watch, gold bracelet, and peep toe black shoes – gave her another splash of style without becoming too frilly or girly. And that Republican red was driven home by the matching nail polish and lipstick – in case you forgot which side she was on. 

Overall Ann finds colorful, but conservatively cut fabrics with strong accessories that make her look both professional and approachable.

Michelle Obama

Four years into the public eye, Michelle Obama has maintained her style of classic, solid colors and had a chance to show off some more elegant, evening attire in her wardrobe. Perhaps the most well known look is the high-necked, bare-shouldered dress with a string of big pearls.

Like Ann Romney, Michelle also dresses appropriately for her age, in Michelle’s case showcasing her youth while keeping it classy. She’s not afraid to show her arms and a bit of leg without showing too much, venturing more toward today’s changing fashion.

As the first lady there have been many occasions for pretty, feminine, delicate looks in the evening wear department, including some flowing, form fitting dresses with more delicate and detailed accessories like earrings. She has also changed the typical straight bob for some pulled back or curly hair styles for fancier occasions, showcasing her feminine charm as well.

She showed off the more youthful, feminine side of style at the Democratic National Convention, wearing a custom-made Tracey Reese dress. The silky rose and gray full-skirted dress flowed beautifully around her knees, with pink pumps to go with the abstract wallpaper print and only small earrings to accessorize. 

Over the past four years Michelle has showcased several different styles: from strong, sleeveless and solid to pretty, prints and pink.


Contact Sean Fitzgerald at [email protected] and Claire Stephens at [email protected]