Marco Rubio’s Shiny Boots Stir Up the Presidential Race

This week “boots on the ground” took on a whole new meaning in politics.

A surprising focus on Senator Marco Rubio’s shiny, stack-heeled ankle boots, first noted in a desultory Twitter post on Monday by a New York Times reporter, has grown over the last few days into one of the weirder firestorms of the presidential campaign, with rival candidates and the news media adding tinder to the flames.

Senator Ted Cruz’s communications director, Rick Tyler, wrote on Twitter: “A Vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties.” “Rubio has those cute new boots and I don’t want to be outdone,” Senator Rand Paul said before an appearance on “The View.” Carly Fiorina posted a Twitter message with a photograph of her own pair of high-heeled boots, with the message “Yeah, @marcorubio, but can you rock these?”

Note to male political candidates: Shoe’s on the other foot now, boys.

Which actually points up an important lesson about the male wardrobe situation that politicians everywhere might consider.

Namely that it had become almost entirely predictable, especially vis-à-vis the current Republican field. Simply consider the party’s last debate, wherein six of the eight male participants wore almost exactly the same outfit: red tie, white shirt, and dark two-button suit.

On the one hand, this means if you stay within the expected norms, you pretty much ensure that your clothes remain off the table as a subject of conversation and criticism. There is a reason, for example, that Presidents Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes wore shoes by the same shoemaker, Allen Edmonds, for their inaugurations.


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