October 17, 2002


SO I'M A HAIRDRESSER- BUT NOT A GAY HAIRDRESSER: We now have the most amusing story of the 2002 midterm election season. Mike Taylor, a Republican state senator in Montana who was challenging incumbant Senator Max Baucus, dropped out of the race last week after the Democrats ran an ad featuring embarrassing video of the candidate from the '70s. How embarrassing? Well, Taylor had apparently once run a beauty school, and his opponents dredged up footage from when Taylor hosted a local news segment called "Beauty Corner." In the ad, Taylor is seen giving a male customer a facial, which includes applying makeup and rubbing the man's head; this is juxtaposed with audio accusing the candidate of impropriety in a student loan scandal and ends with the phrase "this isn't how we do business in Montana." You can view the ad here.
What's funny, as Andrew and others have pointed out, is that Taylor (who is married) was "offended" by the "implication" that he might be homosexual; it would've been even more difficult if it happened to a Democratic candidate in a liberal state, who likely would've had to pull the "not that there's anything wrong with that" line. And this whole thing reminds me of Monte Moreno, a small town hairdresser and ultra-conservative candidate for the Minnesota Republican senatorial nomination in 1994 who ran under the slogan "I'm a hairdresser- but I'm not a GAY hairdresser!," but lost the GOP primary to the more conservative (but less stylish) Rod Grams.
Nonetheless, I look forward to the day when hairdressers, Democratic and Republican, gay and straight, can run for the Senate with impunity.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 17, 2002 10:20 PM
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