Alexandra Petri Drops the Mic on the ‘Presidential Look’

"Dress up, halfheartedly, as a vampire."

The idea of looking presidential, whatever that means, got some attention this week thanks to Donald Trump, who in an interview told ABC’s David Muir regarding Hillary Clinton, “Well, I just don’t think she has a presidential look. And you need a presidential look. You have to get the job done.”

Let’s ignore, for the purposes of this post, this focus on appearance over substance and action, and examine what is on the outside on its own terms.

Alexandra Petri did just that for her ComPost column in the Post, offering her an assessment of the “presidential look” of all of America’s presidents, along with helpful hints on achieving each.

To get Gerald Ford‘s, for example, “Perfect the smile of someone just now getting a joke that was told half an hour ago.”

Harry Truman? “First, announce that you have the nuclear bomb. Then, ask whether anyone thinks your glasses are right for your face.”

Perhaps you want something a little more historic. Try the James Madison. “Forget to sleep for four days. Dress up, halfheartedly, as a vampire. When asked to pose, think about people who annoy you and children who have done some nonsense.”

Collect all 44 here.

Publish date: September 9, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT