• Aaron Hernandez left a message of eternal life as he willfully took his own life in prison - Aaron Hernandez was a gifted athlete who led a troubled life. But his suicide caught friends and family by surprise, a week after an quital in court on another case. ...
• Frosty the Snowman provided a chilly break from Florida’s warmer winter weather - Visiting up North was an experience that a Floridian could enjoy, but coming home to warmer weather makes one appreciate Florida. ...
• Women prisoners count their blessings on a tearful Thanksgiving at Lowell Prison - Visits on Thanksgiving were all too short at Lowell Prison where children were asking "Why can't I stay with Mommy?" Columnist Jack Strickland visits at Lowell and writes a riveting story about the emotions of the day as families got together all too briefly. He came away with both a feeling of sadness and of joy. ...
• “Souls to the Polls” march re-enacts history to inspire students at FAMU to vote in the election - FAMU students recreated history on Sunday with a march to the polls to demonstrate the importance of voting and to inspire students to vote in the national election. ...
• Florida women’s prison is nightmare as prisoners endure humiliation, poor medical care, rip-offs - Florida's major prison for women is an endless nightmare for those who have to endure the permanent psychological scarring that results from little privacy, no meaningful rehabilitation, general neglect of medical care by the prisons, and the rip-off of high prices for phone calls and items supplied by private contractors. ...
• Question is whether Adelson family was involved in Markel murder, and motives of the suspects - Questions remain unanswered about release of evidence and possible motives for murder - were suspects trying to extort money from Adelsons? ...
• Small explosion causes chaos at Florida A&M University - An explosion at the FAMU campus Thursday was actually a dishwasher catching fire. However it did cause a scare among faculty, staff and students at the Presidential Dining Hall. ...
• In a surprise appearance, Shaq has a ball inspiring neighborhood kids to dream big - A surprise visit by the former star basketball player to Gainesville and the police department brought out good feelings all around as kids got to play with superstar. ...
• ‘Cash register justice’ for the poor means no justice for many in Florida courts - Prosecutors now seek to extract fees from indigent defendents to help pay office costs, causing possible miscarriage of justice, says national justice center. ...
• If Jeb Bush ever really went to prison in Florida, he wouldn’t get a happy reception - The disaster of corruption, privatized prisons, and loss of competent leadership in state prisons is Jeb Bush’s legacy in Florida. ...
• Court fails to convict police officer in NC shooting death of former FAMU football player - Family pleads for calm as jury fails to find officer guilty in shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte; no decision yet on retrial. ...
• Carson wins best dressed while Trump brings up the rear in the clash of haberdashery at GOP debate - Who was dressed to win the recent GOP debate? Who wore the most stunning tie, and the best cut suit? Looks like neurosurgeon Ben Carson knows how to dress. Donald Trump, who sells a line of clothing, ironically finishes last. ...
• FSU could receive NCAA sanctions similar to those of Penn State sex scandal - Recent events will add up to more problems for Florida State University when NCAA and Title IX investigators report their findings. ...
• Gators end Florida State’s baseball hopes in big wins in Gainesville; on to the Series - Getting back into the College World Series was a dream for both teams, but the Gators managed to teach Florida State a lesson or two. ...
• Miracle of heart transplant puts ‘inoperable’ Rachel, 10, back in the arms of her new family - The dramatic story of how 10-year-old Rachel McCary got her new heart and a new chance to live is told by Jack Strickland who watched closely at the hospital in Gainesville while a miracle was performed. ...
|Lowest Gas Prices in Tallahassee|
|Tallahassee - Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com|
» By the numbers: How Trump stacks up after 100 days
» How artists are marking Trump's 100th day in office
» Former DNC chair slams Trump's 'irrational and extreme agenda'
» Trump: Don't worry, we'll build the wall
» Protesters take on Trump's climate policies -- and the heat
» EPA removes climate change information from website
» Del. senator slams Trump's N. Korea tweet: 'No longer reality TV'
» Democrats' Senate math problem
» Trump labels MS-13 public enemy No.1
» US yellow fever vaccine supply will run out this summer, CDC says
NPR National Headlines
» U.S. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, First Cuban-American Elected to Congress, Retiring Next Year
» How Lives On Both Sides Of Border Towns Have Changed Since Trump Took Office
» Barbershop: Trump's Contentious, Yet Symbiotic Relationship With The Media
» Trump Invites Controversial Philippines Leader To White House
» Trump Stars On Stage He Built Himself, Far From Washington
» President Trump's First 100 Days, In Photos
» The Los Angeles Riots, Race And Journalism
» Reporters Gather For White House Correspondents' Dinner
» Thousands March In D.C. To Protest Trump Climate Policies
» The Call-In: Your Stories About Veterans Affairs
CNN World Headlines
Carson wins best dressed while Trump brings up the rear in the clash of haberdashery at GOP debateAugust 09, 2015
By: Michael Abrams
Clothes are at the epicenter of self-revelation. A tie is more than a capitalist frivolity, but the very texture of psychodrama.
Choice of a candidate’s clothing in American politics is refereed by public relations advisers when the stakes are high.
Yet, oddly enough, even a newcomer with fashion sense can win this beauty contest.
The GOP sartorial debate first round was won by a knockout punch, as candidate Ben Carson showed the rest of the field exactly what a well-dressed political prospect ought to be wearing.
The rest of the candidates ranged from “conservative warm” to the tent-like suit worn by billionaire Donald Trump, who also came accoutered in a flashy-red tie similar on television to the cheap polyester Chinese ties flooding the market. Does the man actually merchandise a line of ties?
Here are our ratings: 1. Carson; 2. Kasich; 3. Bush; 4. Rubio; 5. Cruz; 6. Walker; 7. Christie; 8. Paul; 9. Huckabee; and 10. Trump.
The dead end in the fashion show was inhabited by candidates Paul, Huckabee and Trump.
Connoisseurs of ties know the range, from Duchamp and Burberry in London to Italy to private American manufacturers like JZ Richards. Ties range from stunning expensive London woven silk to conservative Ermenegildo Zegna Italian pieces to less prohibitive pieces sold by the clothiers even in Tallahassee, Florida, from where this column is written.
Nice ties can be had wherever buyers find them within their budgets. For wealthy GOP candidates, this process ought to be a slam dunk.
Yet, for Christie, who appeared on television to wear the proper plain gray suit, inexplicably chose a semi-formal aqua-blue 1950s patterned tie that not only clashed with what appeared to be the red and blue flag -striped New Jersey pin stuck to his lapel, but fought the chartreuse rubber bracelet which adorned his right wrist. It’s the sort of tie that will sell furniture and swimming pools.
Paul adopted an innocuous red tie to go with a flag lapel pin, but in a plain dogfood conservative black suit and grayish shirt, offered absolutely no character to his appearance. It may be that such sartorial inelegance was purposeful to tone down his facial impression of Danny Kaye, clownish and perhaps insouciant if unleashed. Nevertheless, it left little to talk about.
Walker’s ineffectual light blue tie was knotted too tightly, like a clip-on or noose. One offers him some extra credit on the collar, which had a sexy downward curve for a buttonless piece. A lifeless tie testifies little for its owner, especially comported with a white shirt. All too often buttonless collars, which everyone wore, spread out too wide and flat.
Cruz oddly wore no patriotic lapel pin, joining Huckabee and Kasich. A patriotic lapel pin is certainly something that could have added to his color scheme. The diagonally striped tie, black and silver, was a nice complement to the dark suit, but the overall color scheme was spaghetti with no sauce. Overall, unfortunately, he displayed the countenance, in some respects, of an employee of a mortuary that one sees at a funeral directing the cars.
The young Robespierre, Rubio, wore a red patterned tie that seemed to have silk embroidered lines. The knot was classic, neither tight nor loose, reflecting what could be mistaken as a generous nature. In his blue toned shirt and with flag pin, what we had was a nice combination. This was an excellently tailored suit across the shoulders.
Jeb Bush’s flag pin was a stylish shtick, active, bustling as it curved downward. Bush, a hale fellow to all, garbed himself in a diagonal striped berry-colored tie that gave just the right impression of a risk-taker, Bush is a combination of the formal and informal, and often appears without a tie. It’s the kind heterogeneous ambulation that may appeal to middle-of-the-road voters.
We will offer a bold genuflection to the fashionable blue tie worn by Kasich, one of the dark horse candidates. He not only knows how to wear a tie, but his collar inscribes a perfect curve as it descends to the body of the shirt. The tie, a skyish blue, indented with with lighter ivory marks, set an air of professionalism that floated well. He appeared relaxed. He was born to wear that tie.
Now we come to humble Ben Carson, the noted neurosurgeon, whose blue pin-striped suit stands out from the crowd of conservative black and grays. With deep red tie with a design that looks like small white flowers on a darker pattern, the combination makes a handsome statement. The tie is knotted gracefully. Everything is just right with this combination, and so he wins the contest. He’s willing to take a mild risk, but does not present anything radical. No one in the pack reached his sartorial level.
Taken one with the other, the Republicans seemed to be a dour group, but within certain parameters, fit nicely into what might be considered the deacon league.
There is some hope along the way, however. If there is any redeeming quality to GOP fashion, the GOP radio idol Rush Limbaugh sells or used to sell a line of outrageous adventurous ties that were closer to what Salvador Dali might wear. Anyone who sells those ties can’t be all bad, and this is written by an unreconstructed liberal Democrat.
It is probably only the women, the political wives, who have the freedom to present themselves in ways that appeal to the glamour magazines, if there are any of those left. Nixon kept his poor wife Pat in a plain Republican coat made of cloth, as we recall, but times have changed. Jackie Kennedy set a goal for first ladies.
Whether handsome dressing is a key to an election, is something we have wondered about. In the last election, no one wore ties more handsomely than candidate Romney, yet he lost the election. Clothes may make the man, but they don’t always assure that he will win, in contest with another man. This year may bring a different set of variables if Hillary Clinton takes the nomination for the Demcrats.