Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Plastic surgery and the campaign 

This is a slightly new twist on an old story.

I spent most of the afternoon in New York at a meeting of facial plastic surgeons. Me being me, I asked a couple of them whether they thought John Kerry had Botox injections last winter. The unanimous conclusion of my small and unscientific survey was (while chuckling) "of course" or "obviously," notwithstanding Kerry's protestations to the contrary:
Kerry "absolutely" denied receiving Botox treatments, and added: "I've never even heard it. Where did this come from? ... I've never even heard of it. Never heard of it."

Never heard of Botox? C'mon.

There has been much made in the last few days of Kerry's loss of the traditional advantage of Democrats among women voters. Various reasons have been adduced for this, including his perceived weakness in the face of Islamist terror. But could it be more than that? Could it be that women just think that he's full of it? I mean, it would be one thing to smoothly dodge the question about Botox with a self-effacing joke ("If this face were the product of Botox treatments the Allergan folks wouldn't be making so much money with the stuff!"), but that would require that Kerry be able to joke about himself, which he apparently can't. Instead, he "absolutely" denied having injections when all sorts of observant people believe that he has, and then destroyed the credibility of his denial by claiming that he has "never heard" of Botox. So the average female voter -- whatever she might look like -- might reasonably conclude that Kerry is either an insecure liar or hopelessly out of touch with American pop culture. Just like Bush 41 and the barcode scanner, only insincere.


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