Politicians' Shaves

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
BeatlesFan
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Politicians' Shaves

Post by BeatlesFan »

We've probably touched on this sometime or another around here, but here's a question:

Here we are in the USA just shortly before a Presidential election.

As some of the older members may recall, TV viewers of the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates felt that Kennedy was more fresh-shaven than Nixon; the latter appearing to have a 5 o'clock shadow.

Anyone know how either of those gents shaved? Or for that matter about any other politicians' shaving habits?

Adlai Stevenson (the 1952 and 1956 Democratic Presidential contender, both times running against Dwight Eisenhower) once said, "The best reason I can think of for not running for President of the United States is that you have to shave twice a day."

Do political candidates still do that -- i.e., shave twice a day? If so, how do they keep from beating their faces like a rented mule?

I also think I heard somewhere both LBJ and Lloyd Bentsen (Dukakis' running mate) -- both of whom, probably coincidentally, were Texas politicians -- shaved with electric razors. (Dunno where I Hoover'd up that useless little bit of info, but there it is!)

Disclaimer: This post is intended to be completely content-free as regards the politics of any candidate, or my own political views. In other words, I am not trying to violate any rules about injecting political opinion into an SMF posting, or trying to start any kind of political discussion. Democrat, Republican, Labor, SNP, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, . . .whatever. Just trying to find out if anyone has any stories about politicians and shaving.
Esoteric83
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Post by Esoteric83 »

I dunno, the schedule political candidates (national) subject themselves to just seems like it is more hectic in this day and age. I wouldn't hold using an electric against either one of the two chaps running for office. Sadly with the trajectory of using negative BS against each other, I could see one party using that against the other; he takes 20 minutes to shave and uses a brush from FRANCE - made out of a poor animal.
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Post by brothers »

Interesting, perhaps?

Slightly on and slightly off topic, holding a public office is not limited to males.

Pondering this, maybe males in office should resist a discussion of their shaving habits, lest the same question or issue might be applied to females, and their choice of attire, i.e. pants vs. skirts/dresses. (Did I shave my legs for this!)

See, anything related to politics and politicians is fraught with politically incorrect issues and remarks!
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Post by Esoteric83 »

Must resist a Secy of State landing strip pun as this is a gentemans forum! :lol:
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Post by Esoteric83 »

Kevin Coster (Kenny O'Donnell) in 13 Days shaves with a DE in the White House.
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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets »

Must resist
hahaha thanks for the laugh

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ateace
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Post by ateace »

I believe that JFK shaved with a straight and Nixon shaved with an electric.
FWIW, Nixon seemed to have a heavier, darker beard.

Also, IIRC, Kennedy was made up for the TV cameras and Nixon was not.
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Post by EL Alamein »

ateace wrote:I believe that JFK shaved with a straight and Nixon shaved with an electric.
FWIW, Nixon seemed to have a heavier, darker beard.

Also, IIRC, Kennedy was made up for the TV cameras and Nixon was not.
There is an article online that details an interview with a White House barber who spanned several presidents, I think. I have lost the link to it so one will have to search for it as I haven’t had time lately to find the link again.

Going from memory LBJ shaved with a DE (the first President served by this barber), Nixon shaved with a cartridge (first president to do so) as did Ford and Carter. Reagan shaved with an electric shaver (adopted in his Hollywood days as the best means for male actors to remain clean all day yet not irritated with multiple touch ups throughout the day). Bush the Elder used a cartridge as well while Clinton used an electric. I *think* that’s where the interview ended but can’t recall.

There is also an old Time magazine article online regarding Ted White’s “The Making of a President”. In it Ted asserts that JFK woke up the day after election day in 1960 and shaved with a straight razor after learning from his aids he had won the election. This is now something that’s been called into question with the lately released interview tapes of Arthur Schlesinger Jr with Jackie Kennedy recorded in March 1964. When recalling the day after the election Jackie gives a completely different account of what happened stating that JFK didn’t know he had won until past noon and the aides are no where to be found in her retelling of that day’s events.

A commentor by the handle of TopGumby on another forum pointed out a long time ago when I brought up the Ted White story of JFK shaving with a straight that Ted White was a conscious “myth-maker” and that one has to take his accounts with a grain of salt. Indeed he may have been correct. JFK being portrayed in 1960 as using a straight razor may have been a ploy to make him look more like the common man or to make him look more rugged when in reality he may not even have been close to either portrayal. Makes a great story though.

Can’t say I have any info on the current occupant of the Oval Office and what he uses to stay clean shaven.

Chris
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Post by bernards66 »

Long after he left the White House former president Hoover was still purchasing straight razor strops from Caswell-Massey. We're talking the later 1940s here, well after safety razors had been adopted by most American males. I'm kind of surprised to learn that LBJ was the last president to shave with a DE though.
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

Well, we've trod down this path once before. As I said then: I don't know why Teddy White would see the need to embellish that detail, but something tells me as President, Kennedy may have shaved with an electric. Being the latest 'sexy gadget' & the space age/new frontier and all. Just a hunch on my part nothing more.

I also up-loaded this picture once prior. The travel-set was given to JFK by his dad (whilst) he was serving as private secretary to him at the Court of St. James's. When it was time to head back "stateside" he left it behind in a dresser drawer. Jack was notorious for being careless/indifferent like this his entire life. The set was found by an American pilot ,killing a few hours antiquing during a London layover, and is in the possession of a Kennedy memorabilia collector to this very day. The second picture is poor ,however, clear as to whom and what is occurring.



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Post by jww »

Ottawa's Imperial Barbershop has been frequented by many politicians since 1888.
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Post by Rufus »

I think they all should have to use straight (I prefer the appellation "cut-throat") razors and slip every so often as they're shaving their throats/necks. :P :twisted:
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Post by kingfisher »

Nixon definitely had a darker/thicker/tougher stubble.

So far in this thread one poster claimed that Nixon shaved with an electric razor and one claimed that he shaved with a cartridge razor.



I don't know for sure about all that, but I do know that the Stahly company (which made the Stahly Live Blade razor) said that Nixon claimed that the Stahly Live Blade was the only razor capable of effectively getting through his tough stubble. They claim that Nixon was a regular user of the Stahly.


Maybe all three stories are true. Maybe he switched from the Stahly to a cartridge at some point during his presidency, or maybe he used the Stahly before he was elected president.
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Post by jww »

Rufus wrote:I think they all should have to use straight (I prefer the appellation "cut-throat") razors and slip every so often as they're shaving their throats/necks. :P :twisted:
That story's been done -- Sweeney Todd anyone? :shock:
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Post by Icarus1 »

jww wrote:
Rufus wrote:I think they all should have to use straight (I prefer the appellation "cut-throat") razors and slip every so often as they're shaving their throats/necks. :P :twisted:
That story's been done -- Sweeney Todd anyone? :shock:
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

I can't help but notice the Shulton milk bottle below the mirror in picture. Recall ,too, Gary Young mentioning a couple shave brushes being made for two President's! They wouldn't have ordered them to use with Barbasol, Rise, Molle or an electric!

Shaving is ,in the end, still a very intimate act even for very public men. Therefore, not easy to locate photos of them shaving, or being shaved. I think of different generations trying to fathom a shave forum! It would almost be like a bunch of guy's getting together over bourbon, steaks, beer & then discussing men's hosiery!
Last edited by F.W. Fitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Icarus1 »

F.W. Fitch wrote:I can't help but notice the Shulton milk bottle below the mirror in picture. Recall ,too, Gary Young mentioning a couple shave brushes being made for two President's! They wouldn't have ordered them to use with Barbasol, Rise Molle or an electric!

Shaving is ,in the end, still a very intimate act even for very public men. Therefore, not easy to locate photos of them shaving, or being shaved. I think of different generations trying to fathom a shave forum! It would almost be like a bunch of guy's getting together over bourbon, steaks, beer and discussing men's hosiery!
I think it would make many of the gentlemen around even today uncomfortable. Can you imagine saying to a co-worker, "So I came across a really nice discussion about which DE razor blades are the best on the shaving forum I frequent..."? :shock: It rolls of the tongue a bit oddly.
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

Oh, I've experienced it firsthand! I was working alongside my boss once and brought-up something about shaving. His response was a very perplexed look on his face and muttering to himself: "shaving?"
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Post by brothers »

I remember a long time ago when I was in my early 20's, my dad and I were going into a local coffee shop and bumped into my cousin, about my age. As we walked, he stated that he had just experienced a nice shave, something about cold water, I can't remember exactly, but I remember at the time that my dad and I were simply speechless, not knowing exactly how to respond to such an unusual topic for casual conversation. None of us mentioned it.
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Post by dosco »

Esoteric83 wrote:Must resist a Secy of State landing strip pun as this is a gentemans forum! :lol:
I threw up a little bit in my mouth upon reading your post ...

<retch>
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