Huckabee in for a Trim
By Libby Copeland
DES MOINES -- Mike Huckabee got a haircut this afternoon.
Ordinarily, this might not be such a big deal, but this is Iowa three days before the caucuses, and the campaign put it on their calendar. Besides, Huckabee had just held an unusual press conference in which he announced a sudden decision not to air an attack ad against one of his Republican opponents, Mitt Romney.
So, about 35 reporters, photographers, and television people crowded into a small barber shop meant to hold about four people, prompting a madcap scene involving looming boom mikes, a falling tape-recorder and photographers jostling behind a man holding a straight razor to the chin of a presidential candidate.
Huckabee was greeted at the door of the Executive Forum Barbershop in downtown Des Moines by owner Scott Sales, who has groomed him once before and plans on caucusing for him Thursday night.
"Careful, I'm wired," said Sales, who had been miked by a local television station in anticipation of the big event.
"Are you with the FBI?" joked Huckabee. "Am I going to be waterboarded or just get a haircut?"
"Uh, just a haircut," Sales replied, after pausing uncertainly.
In fact, the lengthy haircut and shave looked quite soothing -- what could be seen of it through the crowd. There was even a neck massage. At one point, a satisfied "Mmmm" could be heard from the direction of the barber chair.
Huckabee and Sales made chit-chat about the perils of jogging in the winter, and about Sales' mom. Huckabee told the shoe-shine guy, who was polishing his black cowboy boots, about the days when barbers performed surgery and used to hang bloody towels outside their shops. The shoe-shine guy looked rapt.
"Can you tell us why you decided to pull that television ad?" asked TV newswoman Judy Woodruff, looking rather well-coifed herself.
"Just didn't feel right about it, Judy," Huckabee said as his hair was being combed.
"You should've seen the ad I wanted him to run," said the barber.
The press corps did take a brief break from asking questions when Huckabee's face was covered by a hot towel.
The cost: $32 for the haircut and shave. Huckabee left $60.
A reporter asked Huckabee how he felt as he left.
"Groomed," he replied.
Web Politics Editor
December 31, 2007; 6:25 PM ET
Categories: A_Blog , Mike Huckabee
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