I've been doing Mitt's hair for years. He tried an expensive Beverly Hills hair stylist once -- Raoul -- but the guy took too much off the top and Mitt had to go into hiding for a month. Mitt's very particular about his hair. Once, he had a cowlick and his wife had to put him on suicide watch until it went away.
Gels and dyes are the most important factors in styling Mitt's hair. Over the years, we've experimented with hundreds of products, but nothing worked, so I had to cook one up myself. The concoction I finally came up with is a simple mixture of black shoe polish and kindergarten paste. Epoxy was too strong and it made his hair stick to the pillow every night. Giving a campaign speech with a pillow stuck to the side of your head is never smart politics unless you're campaigning in San Francisco on Halloween.
Speaking of politics, I often give Mitt campaign advice. He trusts me. I'm also his political fashion consultant. Mitt never knows what to wear when he's campaigning.
For example, he asked me the other day, "John, I'm campaigning in rural Iowa tomorrow. What should I wear?" I thought about it for a second. "That's easy," I said. "We're talking serious hayseeds, so a flannel shirt is probably a good idea. Roll up the sleeves. Do not wear the jeans with the creases. Wear overalls. What's that? You don't know what overalls are? Just Google Image it. Get a tractor and stand next to it, but don't sit on it -- remember Dukakis and the tank?"
"How about Mississippi?" he asked once. I thought about it. "If I were you, Mitt, I wouldn't even go there," I replied. "They'll never like you down there, no matter what you say. But if you've got to go, you should probably wear a white suit. It'll make you look like God. God dresses in white." Mitt nodded. "So a Confederate uniform with my black Gucci loafers would be too much?" he asked. I stared at him. "You really want to see a picture of that on MSNBC?"
"That car parts plant in Detroit?" he asked. My answer: "Hard hat, work boots, not Dockers." Mitt looked sad. "But I love my Dockers," he said. I rolled my eyes. "Okay Mitt," I said. "Wear your Dockers, the light gray ones, but smear some axle grease on them first."
One day, he was supposed to eat with some voters at an IHOP in Scranton, PA. "Remind me, John," he said, "do I like blueberry pancakes or waffles?" I had to think about that one. "Well," I said, "you liked waffles when you were governor of Massachusetts, but now you like pancakes. Pancakes versus waffles is a powerful issue. You should probably play it safe and just order eggs, but not a Denver omelet. Save that for Colorado."
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"People think I'm robotic," Mitt complained one day. "They say I'm emotionless." I shook my head. "Nonsense," I opined. "I saw you smile once at a debate." Mitt tried to recall. He shook his head. "No, that was a grimace," he said. "I had to pee really badly."
"Look, just be yourself, Mitt," I told him one day when he was sitting in my barber chair for his hourly sideburns tune-up. Mitt swiveled to face me. "Okay," he said, "that's good advice. But who am I?'
John Blumenthal has been a professional comedy writer for 25 years. A former associate editor and columnist at Playboy Magazine (following a short stint at Esquire), he's written 8 books and 2 produced movies. His films include "Short Time," (major (more...