Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

With California’s primary behind her, GOP Senate nominee Carly Fiorina was able to ask the question that has, so far, defined the general-election campaign:

“God! What is that hair?”

The query about incumbent Barbara Boxer’s mop was rendered offhand into an open microphone. It has been the object of much tongue-clucking on the part of the media, who regard the comment as beneath the dignity of a senatorial contest (as if that were possible nowadays).

But, should the question be lightly dismissed?

Neuroscientists long have held that flyaway hair such as Boxer’s is likely to be rooted in similarly disheveled gray matter. Jill Poke, who holds the distinguished barber chair in follicular science at Dateline University in Guam, reminds us that erstwhile presidential candidate John Edwards’ precious pelt ultimately was proven to reflect his inner vanity and arrogance.

The phrenology of fuzz is not a trivial science, for how we choose to appear says something about our internal persona. We could pose hairy queries about many politicians, but for now let us limit ourselves to Californians:

  • Why is Boxer’s hairstyle, as Fiorina put it, “So-o-o-o yesterday”?
  • Why does Sen. Dianne Feinstein appear ready for a Betty Crocker look-alike contest?
  • Even more significantly, why does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look like she is ready for a Nancy Reagan look-alike contest?
  • Why does billionaire Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman display such a generic “do”?
  • Does the fuzz around Democratic Party candidate Jerry Brown’s shiny pate make him a “fringe” candidate?

We expect answers will emerge over the course of the next few months, and, of course, your interpretations are solicited.

Fiorina enjoys an unfair advantage. She is limited to a post-chemo coiffure, and so we may have only a similarly limited view of her subdural self.

As we await developments in the California contests, let us divert ourselves with a look at deposed Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s poofy pelage. Who among us has not wondered if it’s his natural scalp covering or if he has a wolverine on his head? Says Prof. Poke, “His hair shows an obfuscatory density. Clearly, he’s hiding something.”

Last week’s item about the slandering of South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley brought a strong response from Christopher K. Sivley. You will recall that political operatives Will Folks and Larry Marchant claimed to have had affairs with Haley. Sivley wrote:

“Southern chivalry is not dead, it’s just that these two @$#!%#@! good-for-nothing cowards are not Southern gentlemen!

“If someone had said this about my wife, sister or mother, they would be in hiding because I would give them a good old-fashioned horsewhipping! I know quite a lot of Southern gentlemen from Alabama would agree with me on this.

“I am sure that if you ask those from Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee,
Virginia, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and certain areas of Old Florida they would agree.

“These two deserve whatever they get from whoever can give it to them. They
are certainly just trying to smear this fine Southern lady just to keep her from winning the election.”

We would add to Sivley’s remarks that in the days before sensitivity training, the reaction would have been the same throughout the United States. (Haley, by the way, is in a runoff for the GOP nomination.)

Questions for a later date: President Obama’s main response to the great Gulf of Mexico oil blowout has been to try to push his so-called energy policy through Congress. Our question: How many of you see this as the desperate effort of an already-lame-duck president to do as much damage to the American system as he can in his single term?

Now that the Army reports trillions of dollars of mineral wealth in Afghanistan, expect the Left to start saying that’s why our soldiers are there. What? I’m already late with this prediction?

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