It’s now becoming evident that Tom Mulcair is starting to wear on Canadians.
It’s too bad, really, because Mulcair is smart, he’s a tremendous inquisitor, and he seems sensible enough.
But that and a deflated dollar won’t get him into 24 Sussex.
People just can’t get past the beard.
Canadians should be better than that but we aren’t. Beards do not belong on an election campaign. They are scruffy and smelly and they catch sandwich crumbs.
They might be fine for a grandpa who’s sitting in a rocking chair. And they might actually rock out a hipster who is going for that look.
But that beard is an albatross for Mulcair. He thinks it makes him look distinguished. It doesn’t. It makes him look creepy.
Men wear beards, generally speaking, because they are hiding something: an unsightly mole, a weak chin, rosacea, a cleft palate or bad yellow teeth from too much pipe smoking.
So what is Mulcair hiding?
Everyone has told him that he should take the thing off. Everybody, even his ponytailed French princess has probably urged him to get rid of it.
But he won’t. That makes him inflexible.
In these days when social media is king, every candidate must look their absolute best. Even Stephen Harper knows this.
Liz May, not so much.
Somebody has to have the courage to tell Mulcair that the beard has to go if he wants to win next time. He’s a smart guy. Whisper the following words in his ear and he’ll get the message, “Richard Nixon.”
It is true that Nixon didn’t wear a beard but he had two other problems that lost him debates. He had a permanent five o’clock shadow and he sweated profusely like he was lying or something.
So dude, eighty-six the beard, and get rid of the back brace while standing in front of television camera. It makes you look like you forgot to take your suit off the coat hanger.
Come on, everybody knows you’re wearing one.