The Primaries of Style

Mitt Romney just took the New Hampshire primary over Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, but as the Republican race picks up steam, let’s talk about what’s really important: wardrobes. After all, we’re in an age where more than ever, a politician’s look carries at least as much weight as his or her personality and, you know, actual

Mitt Romney Style: A Mormon temple president in California. Pros: Mittens rocks well-tailored suits and tasteful ties. His gubernatorial portrait shows him in a Salt Lake City Olympics tie, but you'd need a magnifying glass to tell. Cons: We're pretty sure shellac is his hair-grooming product of choice. Our vote: 7

Newt Gingrich Style: A history professor at a mediocre Southern university. What else would you really expect from a former history professor of a mediocre Southern university? Pros: Newt boasts an impressive number of ties in Republican red. Cons: He's badly in need of a tailor. Note to Newt: stop trying to fit into the suit and let the suit fit you. Our vote: 2

Rick Santorum Style: The frumpy, long-lost Kennedy brother. Pros: We'll say this, the man knows how to pick a suit off the rack. Cons: Badly in need of a decent haircut and a bespoke suit. We're guessing that 90 percent of why the media doesn't take this guy seriously is his sartorial failures. The other 10 percent? Try Googling “Santorum.” Our vote: 4

Jon Huntsman, Jr. Style: Your friend's lawyer dad on his day off. Pros: Achieves a laid-back look without doing the unemployed hipster lumberjack thing most candidates fall into when going out to meet the common people. Cons: We plead the fifth. The dude rides a Harley, and rumor has it he knows jiu-jitsu. Our vote: 10

Ron Paul Style: Little kid in his dad’s suit. Pros: Paul wears ties with patterns as bold as his plans to dismantle the federal government. He’s not afraid of pinstripe, which we’re big fans of. Cons: Someone get this man a tailor who doesn’t want to make his head look tiny with huge lapels and shoulders. Our vote: 5

Rick Perry Style: Conservative businessman and pillar of the community. Pros: Of all the candidates in the race, Rick Perry might have the best tailor of all. His suits are smart, sharp and fitted. We’re not generally a fan of huge lapels, but Perry is rocking them. Cons: Someone needs to have an intervention about his ties, specifically his tiny knot. He looks like he’s going to watch his mom get remarried with that four-in-hand nonsense. Our vote: 8

Fred Karger Style: GOP precinct chairman of a small town in the Midwest. Pros: Karger goes simple, slim and basic, all moves we support. The man knows from power ties. Cons: Only five people have heard of him, so his impeccable style is wasted. If a man is well-dressed in the forest and no one is there to see him, why do we care? Our vote: 7.5

Buddy Roemer Style: A news anchor from Atlanta. Pros: Roemer has a simple and classic style that wouldn’t make him out of place as a general contractor, lawyer or businessman. Cons: He also looks totally generic. There’s nothing lively or exciting about his manner of dress. Our vote: 5

Stewart Greenleaf Style: Middle school vice principal. Pros: His tie matches his suit. What? He’s not giving us a whole lot to go on here. Cons: You could walk past this guy on the street every day and not notice him. He has the fashion sense of a total non-entity. Our vote: 1

Jimmy McMillan Style: A perennial fringe candidate with OCD from the 1890s. Pros: Unlike other fringe candidates who wouldn’t look out of place ranting at the bus mall, McMillan wears handsome, basic and well-tailored suits. We’re loving the gloves, by the way, but... Cons: We sort of wish he’d take them off inside. Our vote: 6