Tancredo Gets $400 Haircut in Edwards Dig

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Nov 16, 2007 10:41am

ABC New’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Just when you had forgotten about the price of haircuts for Presidential candidates, the issue returns today when Rep. Tom Tancredo sits down at the Hair Biz Salon in Concord, New Hampshire for his very own $400 haircut.

John Edwards may have gotten the most grief for his expensive coif, but he will not, by a long shot, be the only candidate to get such an expensive ‘do.

The folks at the Hair Biz Salon in Concord, New Hampshire, have marked up their normal prices ("about $17 dollars for a man’s haircut") just a little bit today, but for charity. The $400 will go to the Autism Society of America.

Tancredo, whose spokesman says usually spends $12 on his coif, is always game for charity – in this case the Autism Society of America. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, also seeking the Republican nomination, got his hair cut back in September.

At first blush it seems like a shot at former Democratic Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who got some grief earlier in the campaign for his $400 haircuts and ensuing estrangement from his Hollywood-based stylist. Edwards opponents used the issue to cast him as a phony even as he campaigned on a platform to end poverty and provide universal healthcare.

While Tancredo might be making fun of Edwards, the owner of Hair Biz says he is not.

"No way," said David Holden, who has run the salon for ten years.

"This has never been a dig for me. Its not a political statement against him. Quite frankly I’m happy we’re able to take this $400 story and raise awareness of autism and the need for early detection," according to Holden, who said he is a registered voter, but was coy about which way he leans politically.

For more ABC News coverage on autism and early detection, click HERE.

Holden, 52, is a licensed barber and hairdresser, so when the Edwards haircut story broke, he saw an opportunity for some publicity and made an open invitation to all Presidential candidates from both parties to get his $400 haircut for charity.

He and his wife Nancy have two children, adopted from Romania. Their boy, Costica is 12 and autistic, so Holden donates the $400 to the Autism society and advertises the events to raise awareness.

"The Good lord gave us kids with significant challenges," Holden said over the phone today. "But they’re Awesome kids." He said its important to bring attention to autism because the instances of the disease are rising.

Holden said more candidates are planning to stop by for his overpriced trim, including, next Tuesday, a Democrat, though he would not say who the shaggy-haired Democrat is because he did not want to take any attention from Tancredo.

It would not the first time Huckabee or Tancredo has taken a jab at Edwards over the hair issue.

At a Republican candidate debate, Huckabee, quite the comedian, said "We’ve got a congress that is spending money like John Edwards at a beauty shop."

Earlier this year, Tancredo’s campaign filmed him preparing to go into the Cost Cutter’s Family Hair Care in Mason City, Iowa. Tancredo tells the camera he usually goes to the MasterCuts, a chain with locations in his native Colorado.

Tancredo then flashes his Master Cuts frequent customer card and says, "three more and I get a free one, but I can’t find a Master Cuts here.

Edwards himself has made light of the hair care issue, producing his own video, posted on Youtube, which tried to change the subject back to policy issues. It started with close-up shots of the hairlines of the President and various administration officials and then pulled back to reveal them.

With the song "Hair" from the musical of the Vietnam generation anti-war musical of the same name, it ended with a montage of still photographs of violence in Iraq and suffering in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and asked at the end, "What really matters?"

But all that was months ago and the hair issue seemed to have been, ahem, combed over. Asked today why he was getting the $400 haircut today, Tancredo’s spokesman said the salon offered and Tancredo accepted because the $400 dollars the salon will charge (and pay as gift) will to charity — the Autism Society of America. No real other reason.

Except he’s getting this blog item … And, if you think about it, a free haircut.

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