By George, she's got it. I think she's got it! Hillary's 35 years of service earned her more than experience; it has given her what until now has been impossible for women--presidential hair.
She has battled her way through too long, too short, too frizzy, too straight, too big, too flat, too brown, too blonde...and then there was the headband. But she has arrived at this ultimate moment, a campaign season which, confess it!, is noteworthy for its non-mention of Hillary's hair. If Hillary conquered the hair, even universal health care is possible.
At this prickly pass in her primary season comes important advice: Do not change the hair. Never change the hair. A candidate who changes his or her hair is the hirsute equivalent of a flip-flopper.
Once a candidate attracts the attention of the tress-minded press, it's nuclear winter. Witness Mitt Romney whose carefully graying temples bred speculation about his possible use of hair color, dominating coverage and doubtless contributing infinitesimally to suspension of his candidacy. Ronald Reagan, amidst similar accusations, maintained plausible deniability.
What exactly is presidential hair? It's JFK hair, Ronald Reagan hair, George Bush -- '41 and '43 -- hair, John Kerry hair, Bill Clinton hair. Hair that can withstand a sailboat ride without a baseball cap. Hillary has found the women's equivalent: thick, full, matching the guys' weekly brush cuts strand for strand. Swept back from the forehead, a subtle part on the left, familiar graduated layers, long enough to be feminine, no troublesome tresses requiring adjustment in the middle of a debate. That's presidential hair.
Clinton won her Senate seat wearing a much-celebrated black pantsuit. Presidential candidate Clinton also has managed to translate the black pantsuit into presidential ensembles that are remarkable for being unremarked on. Okay, there's the occasional Maureen Dowd snipe at Hillarywear and the Colbert Report's "lady in the yellow jacket '08" dig. But the guys have taken their share of hits. "What's up with Barack's tie?" one young reporter asked me, referring to the lilac cravat Obama wore in Barack and Hillary's last debate.
McCain's wife draws the fashionista fire away from her husband. She's a little Stepford-y, no? Huckabee's wife is charmingly real, if not quite the note-perfect Michele Obama. Barack has the presidentially untested "fade" haircut going on. Come to think of it, if Hillary were to become president both she and the First Gentleman would have presidential hair. Another potential American first.
Make no mistake, it takes a village to make presidential hair. Never mind if Hillary bombed in the Potomac, the hair is a victory for the ages. And now that the Writers' Guild of America has gone back to work, it's probably the last chance to commend the presidential-do in an open field.