The Tie-Less Trendh

A few years ago, I authored a column for Campaigns & Elections Magazine on the topic of "Dress for Political Success" (here's the PDF), so I feel somewhat capable of addressing the sartorial conundrums that come up on the campaign trail.

Despite the fact that the Boston Globe recently noted the trend of politicians sporting blue neckties, a good friend of mine recently pointed out the trend among Dems of eschewing the tie. As my friend notes:

The tie-less, open collar thing is a real trend among Democrats. The only Democratic candidate you can find wearing a tie on their front-page/blog is Bill Richardson. You've seen Biden's page. Then ...

Hoover's successor, FDR, was a rich kid from Hyde Park, New York. Because of the Great Depression, Hoover (the self-made man/humanitarian) is remembered as being "uncaring," while FDR (the rich man) is celebrated as the "poor man's president."

A more recent example is in the world of heavyweight boxing and, to be more specific, the Muhammad Ali/Joe Frazier trilogy.

"Smokin' Joe" was a dark-skinned son of a sharecropper who grew up on the mean streets of Philadelphia. Conversely, Muhammad Ali was an educated middle-class kid who went to the Olympics and defied the draft. Ali called Frazier "ugly," "a gorilla," and an "Uncle Tom." Ali won the PR battle for "streed credibility." Frazier became a "poseur." Go figure.