Danny Glover at Beltway Blogroll reports that John Edwards and his loyal campaign staff refuse to let the haircut story die. Now, they’re using it to–snort, snort–raise money:
Since the first round of campaign finance reports went public almost three months ago, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has been ridiculed mercilessly in the blogosphere and in the press for because he paid $400 each for two haircuts.
Edwards’ defenders have tried to turn the tables on his critics for obsessing over a trivial matter, but even Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of Daily Kos, the most prominent of the liberal bloggers, has chastised Edwards and his campaign over the haircut blunder. While blaming the press for driving the story, Kos said the haircut “really was a disaster on way too many levels to completely ignore and shrug off.”
With that in mind, why in the world would Jonathan Prince, Edwards’ deputy campaign manager, have sent a fundraising e-mail that draws more attention to the haircut? Titled “Haircuts And Hatchet Jobs,” the e-mail solicitation blasts “political mercenaries and the chattering class” for attacking the messenger in personal ways because they don’t like his message. “Like many of you, I’ve been with John since 2004,” Prince wrote. “The same folks who are attacking him now went after him then. … Last time they attacked his hair; this time it’s his haircut. But it’s the same sad game.”
But as a PR move, the pitch is foolhardy. It keeps the haircut story alive another day — or week, or month. It’s also questionable as a fundraising tactic. While the e-mail might motivate Edwards supporters to back their candidate with more bucks to fight his enemies, it also might make them think twice about bankrolling a candidate who can afford $400 haircuts.
Here’s a flashback from 2004. Because, well, they asked for it: