Either way, both men need to work on their tie-tying skills. President Obama's tie wasn't tight enough, and the dimple is a wimpy little indent under the knot. Romney was guilty of the same knotting issue, and not only was his tie striped (even I know this TV rule and I've never been on air) it was also too shiny, again distracting to the viewer. The thing men need to understand about the tie is that it is the one article in the ensemble that serves absolutely no purpose. As a rule they should be beautiful, both in appearance and presentation. Both candidates failed on this front last night.
Accessories: Just to remind you what country they're representing, both candidates wore American flag pins on their lapels. President Obama rounded out his outfit with a pink rubber bracelet for breast-cancer awareness and a watch. Although he disappointingly opted for what appeared to be a nautical sports watch on a leather band, rather than a true dress watch (can't let the country think you're rich enough to own multiple, nice watches). Romney chose to accessorize his outfit with an American flag pin that was twice the size of President's Obama's (maybe he's twice as patriotic?). This pin also featured another emblem or symbol set into the "stripe" part of the flag -- I think it was the pink breast-cancer awareness ribbon, but as much as I tried, I really couldn't tell. Here's what I don't get: Why are men who are so used to being on TV distracting their viewers with this nonsense? It also looks like Romney decided to further show off and bling out by wearing a shiny silver bracelet. Your trusted committee of one is not generally a fan of jewelry for men, but if this is a veiled political attempt at appealing to the oft-forgotten "gangbanger vote," then I'll have to allow it.
Results: Although this one was a much closer call than the vice presidential debate last week, this committee has ruled that there is inconclusive video evidence that Romney's suit, awful shirt, bracelet, and distracting pin were enough to award the victory to Obama.
Best Effort: This goes to Candy Crowley, the moderator, for leopard print on national TV.
Looking Ahead: How did America get to the point where a political figure can't express himself through his clothes? Female political figures, even the Presidential candidates' wives, wear high-fashion designer dresses worth thousands of dollars, and their style is constantly in the news. So why does the male politician dress his wealth and taste down? Winston Churchill left massive debts behind at his tailor for all his custom-made suits. Did any Brit doubt the man's ability to lead a nation? Did he alienate voters by being obsessed with his dress? What are these debates really telling us about how politicians want to present themselves non-verbally, and what are they telling us about America at the moment, in general?
For Sizing up the Candidates Pt. I: Paul Ryan vs. VP Joe Biden, click here.