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Bysiewicz is a 'Shoe-in' For CT Senator

Based on her impeccable fashion sense alone, the former Secretary of State wins this writer's vote.

The results are in, and I’m pleased to report that — based on some highly unofficial poll numbers — Susan Bysiewicz is a shoe-in to become the next U.S. Senator from Connecticut.

Literally, a shoe-in.

I mean, have you seen those pumps? The darling black ones, which despite being oh-so-functional, boast a surprising beige streak befitting a sartorially tasteful senatorial aspirant.

Middletown’s own Susan B caused a minor stir when she wore them a while ago while stopping in for her morning cuppa Joe at Klekolo World Coffee on Court Street. Exiting a black Ford four-door, she turned customers’ heads with those patent-leather show-stoppers.

“Now, there’s a woman who knows how to shop for a pair of shoes,” my friend Claude exclaimed.

You got that right, pal.

Could Congressman Chris Murphy do that? Hardly! Murphy, another highly touted Democratic hopeful to replace Connecticut’s departing senior U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, has a personal style that lies in that vast netherworld between frat-boy chic, sincere bureaucratic dweeb and hopeless policy wonk.

In a word: boring.

Lieberman’s style, for that matter, isn’t much to get fired up about. It’s Brooks Brothers Bland, the kind of look one associates with aging Ivy Leaguers who, perhaps, have overstayed their welcome. (Well, Joe, if the shoe fits …)

Republican businessman and failed gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, who’s also being touted to fill Lieberman’s slot, is a pretty prosaic dresser, too, though his white hair and ruddy good looks give him an appealing gravitas that could prove problematic come November 2012. 

Susan B’s personal style is, well, comfortable. She seems pretty at home in everything, whether she’s rocking the de rigueur red power suit, the classic LBD or the cornflower blue frock she was seen wearing the other day around town. (“Heck, she looks pretty good even in jeans and a T-shirt,” one fan told me.)

In a manner appropriate to a politician, Bysiewicz walks a fine line between practical and just-stylish-enough to raise approving eyebrows.

In my own defense, I’m NOT a male chauvinist or sexist. Whether we like to admit it, politics, especially in the digital age, is performance art, an art in which personal style has tremendous power to move a fickle electorate. That is true whether the candidate is male or female.

Face it, would Barack Obama have been elected president if he looked like Barney Fife? The guy looks “presidential,” to use a phrase pundits, regardless of their party affiliation, toss around liberally come election season. It’s that presidential quality that has the GOP taking yet another look at Mitt Romney, a guy whose political negatives have, in the past, branded him an outcast.

I’m not saying that style trumps substance, or that style should trump substance, or that style ranks among the important qualities people ought to think about when they enter the voting booth. It’s part of the mix.

The fact is, ever since the highly-telegenic John F. Kennedy mopped up the proverbial floor with Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 presidential race, style is something all voters are aware of, consciously or not, when they’re deciding on which candidate to pledge their allegiance.

So, Susan, my hat’s off to you. You’ve got my vote on style points alone.

As for the all you undecideds out there, take a tip from this guy — who for the record is partial to all clothing bearing the affordable Wal-Mart tag — consider everything when casting your all-important ballot.

By all means look at the candidate’s stance on issues like taxes, trivial things like the federal budget deficit and continued funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read their policy statements. But don’t disregard their fashion statements, either!

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Violet July 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM
If she were a man, we wouldn't be talking Little black dresses or leather patent pumps- let's get back to the issues at hand.
Saul Freedman July 18, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Although I hope this is satire, it does shine light onto the silly issues some people actually do use to decide how to vote in a race for a particular office.
Ray Williams July 18, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Shoes! Maybe she could be a good shoe saleperson, because she sure as heck showed hr incompency as secretary of state!
Barb R July 28, 2011 at 06:55 PM
A delayed comment but I'm still willing to say it. Just because the lady has good taste in shoes does not mean she would be a good "fit" as Senator.
Noel Coonce-Ewing August 26, 2011 at 10:15 AM
I have seen SB speak, whether you like her or not she DOES have substance, (and Style ). If you think this is sexist? it's not (Please read the whole article) It is a tongue in cheek fun to look at our current Politics, which have become to hate filled and not at all well researched. If you take offence in this wonderfully fresh article you miss the point Walt Kita proves that SB is of the people and connects with her constituents, if you are in Middletown you see her in her community, and let's face it. Klekolo Is a LOCAL business, Serving LOCAL Coffee (See Zen Roasters Article on the Patch). She could go to big corporate (Dunkin Donuts) but she goes to her community. And that is a quality that any smart voter should look for in their Politicians.
Sunshine August 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Susan B would vote with all of the other liberal dems to give away more of our children,s money. the H**L with her shoes, give her the boot.
Phil Stull August 26, 2011 at 07:47 PM
I seem to remember it was the Conservatives Republicans that doubled the National Debt with Tax cuts and unfunded wars, and it was those crazy liberals that voted against going to War and those tax cuts for the job creators. How did that work out for our children?

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