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  • Presidential Candidates and Their Shoes

       February 26, 2005

    Much has been written in the last couple of days about Condi Rice and her sexy boots. Some may think this obsession with potential Presidential footwear is silly, I think it's important. You can tell an awful lot about a man (or a woman) just by looking at their shoes.

    Condi's boots show that she knows she has sex appeal and she's not going to hide it. She's going to use whatever tools are at her disposal: brains, beauty, wit or connections. Now, that's great, but is this choice an indication that Condi is selling herself as a candidate rather than her ideas? That's my fear. Sure, personality counts, but I do want to know what a candidate stands for, not just that they're "cool".

    Contrast Condi's boots with Rudy Giuliani's understated footwear. Rudy's all about the power of personality, but his shoes certainly don't reflect that. All Giuliani's shoes say to me is "I'm appropriate". Maybe that's the message he's going for. Perhaps his footwear choice is yet another way of reassuring the Republican base that he really does share their values and isn't too liberal to win the nomination in 2008.

    I need two pictures to illustrate how Hillary Clinton must feel about shoes. Hillary does seem to care about how she looks. She gets expensive haircuts (and it shows, her hair looks so much better now than it did back in 1992) and is fond of attractive pantsuits. But look at her shoes. They're horrible. I think you have to purposely choose to wear such ugly shoes. Shoes, jewelry and handbags are, for many women, a way to show their sense of humor and whimsy. She might not be willing to wear an outlandish clothes, but she'll add some color or pattern into her accessories. Hillary doesn't. And frankly, that meshes with her personality. She's not colorless, but she does seem overly serious. It's fine if she wants to live her own life without any fun, but I'm afraid that she doesn't want any of us to have fun. She's a Debbie Downer.

    Finally, we come to John Kerry. When Kerry's biking, he wears bike shoes. When he's windsurfing he wears water socks or goes barefoot. When he's at a formal event he wears black shoes. When he's pretending to be a hunter, he wears brown boots. And, when he's on the campaign trail, he wears flip flops. Okay, just kidding about that last one. But seriously, Kerry's shoes are always appropriate for the activity he's engaged in. In many ways, that's a good thing. It shows you think about what you're going to need in each situation. But, as we saw in 2004, it could also be a sign of pandering - he wants to be all things to everyone.

    Presidential candidates want us to look in their eyes or read their lips. Go ahead and do that, but don't forget to look down and check out their shoes.

    Posted by at February 26, 2005 09:15 AM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: anon at February 26, 2005 09:28 AM

    In Hillary's defense, they don't make a lot of shoes in a size 8 cloven hoof.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 26, 2005 09:39 AM

    Heh. Okay, that's a good one. But, I think the Right has to be careful here. The Left's irrational hatred of Bush and all the Bushhitler nonsense really turned a lot of people off. Conservatives can dislike Hillary Clinton and disagree with her on almost everything, but she isn't the devil. Attack her positions, but don't attack her. It'll just backfire.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Laura at February 27, 2005 06:11 PM

    Okay, I started off thinking this was silly - but then I think shoe shopping is torture and only own 5 pairs of shoes, not including the ones pictured in my profile on this website. :-) My friends say that makes me an honorary man, my husband says that makes me a gift from God, and by the standards of this article, definitely a Debbie Downer. I'll stipulate that you can glean some limited info about a person based on their footwear. But those boots are made for walking, not running for office. Condi will not run in 2008, if ever.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 27, 2005 06:28 PM


    I think your work shoes are adorable. Remember, cute shoes don't have to be uncomfortable, they just have to be cute ;-)

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: John Tant at February 28, 2005 08:27 AM

    Dear Dr. Shoe.

    I have an odd tendency to wear Sperry Topsiders. If I'm wearing khakis and a button down, 99% of the time you'll see me wearing Topsiders with them (obviously, when wearing a suit I'll have on my Bostonians). Inappropriately casual or firmly principled? You be the judge.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 28, 2005 08:42 AM


    Lucky for you, Sperry Topsiders are kind of coming back in style this spring and summer. You can update yours by adding some color like blues and oranges. Additionally, Sperry will have some color-coordinated thong sandals. Guys probably won't like to hear this, but thong sandals for men are way in. Time to learn a little footcare.




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