Charles Moore

Donald Trump’s secret weapon? Boris-style hair

Donald Trump's secret weapon? Boris-style hair
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It is recognised that the era of television has made it well-nigh impossible in Britain and the United States for a balding leader to win an election if pitted against one with more hair — Callaghan/Foot/Kinnock v. Thatcher, George H.W. Bush v. Clinton, Hague/Howard v. Blair, McCain v. Obama. (The only exceptions I can think of derive from the power of incumbency — George W. Bush v. Kerry, Obama v. Romney.)

Now the voters’ jaded palate seems to be no longer content with a full head of hair alone, but wants it to be strikingly memorable as well, not to say strange. Hence the rise of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Obviously Boris would beat Jeremy Corbyn on this account. If Mr Trump gets the Republican nomination, however, he will almost certainly face Mrs Clinton, who is in no way bald.

The electorate will be in a quandary that may have to be resolved by the Supreme Court, which rises above such considerations. In 2000, the court awarded the presidency to George W. Bush, despite the fact that he had less hair than his opponent, Al Gore.