This season, voters are looking for someone who has mastered public speaking and has a strong public image — and perhaps a better half with a good sense of fashion.
President Barack Obama’s polished image allowed him to draw support from younger generations in 2008, a direct relation between age and appeal, political consultant Seth Pendleton told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Obama won strong support from voters aged 18 to 29.
Looks do make a difference, so let’s turn our eyes to the closet.
“Historically, image has always been important for political reasons,” Veronica Hernandez, history and philosophy major, said. “It makes a big difference. When Ann Romney would wear something less conservative, it worries the Republican people because that’s not someone who they want representing them.”
Michelle Obama and Ann Romney play key roles in snagging female voters because they’re both so popular, but these two are making their proposals to two extremely different audiences. The first is an African-American ex-lawyer who earned more than her husband used to; the second a blonde housewife, devout Mormon and mother to five boys.
First lady Obama is lauded as a style icon recognized by the fashion industry. She wears bold statements like her bare shoulder dresses and her lacy black gown.
“Michelle always looks nice and as the first lady she definitely has a sense of style,” Hernandez said. “With her forward fashion sense, she somehow connects with the people and makes it relative.”
On the other hand, Ann Romney is ignored by the world of fashion. This seems to be because the fashion industry leans left.
According to the Women’s Wear Daily, 53.9 percent of fashion industry campaign donations went to Democrats, while only 45.9 percent went to Republicans this year. When Ann Romney wore her Oscar de la Renta to the 2012 Republican National Convention, no one from de la Renta’s public relations team said a word.
When Romney wore a wrap dress by designer Diane von Furstenberg, the fashion mogul’s PR team questioned how she obtained the dress, according to Business Insider.
Although Romney and Obama differ on many counts, they share their husbands’ ambitions for victory and a common goal: making a lasting impression to win the White House.