As we face a grueling six months before primary season for the 2008 presidential election begins, it's time to start hunkering down and examining the sad facts that help us pick our candidate. Sure, there's immigration, and social security, and the whole who opposed the Iraq war first/loudest question, but what we've always known was most important was CLOTHES. Well, clothes and grooming! Lest you think they are all dressed the same, our guide to the subtleties of the campaign sartorial code, after the jump.

John Edwards: Classic high-low, the former North Carolina senator accessorizes the $400 haircut with a $10 Livestrong bracelet. Perhaps a subtle nod to "Two Americas"? The red tie indicates: "I am a political candidate."

Joe Biden: Gets the whole "black suit" thing right, but the New England homespun-tie thing (are those little whales?) makes him look like a carpetbagger in N.H. since he's from, ahem, Delaware.


Apparently Bills who become president โ€” you know, like Taft! โ€” are men of appetites, and we bet that if we look a little closer New Mexico governor Bill Richardson's tie might have some stains on it. We hear he likes ladies, and we sense he also likes chalupas, and with the black suit sealing the deal we'd vote for him on the basis of sloppy Clinton nostalgia. Or wait a minute, on the basis of sound immigration policies?


Mike Gravel: Did someone forget to tell former Alaskan senator Gravel that a grumpy face doesn't go with a bright red tie? But still, nice suit! So Alaska elected a Democrat once?

Chris Dodd: Setting himself apart from his fellow candidates, Dodd forgoes the classic politician blue-and-red color scheme for a black suit, white shirt, and black tie. How Lagerfeld! But wait, if we don't know who Chris Dodd is, should he really be spending his money on clothing?


Dennis Kucinich does not have a chance, but he does have a really hot underage wife, who clearly accessorized him for this debate. Still, something about that suit screams "You could vote for me."


Obama goes with the shiny, wide-ish baby blue tie that was a fave of Clinton before being co-opted by Bush II, which is sort of like if Sienna Miller started wearing Burberry plaid again a la circa-1997 Kate Moss. Message: Here is a candidate so "clean" and "bright" he can restore dignity not only to the Democratic Party but to the shiny blue tie! Also: The black suit says "Oval Office Material." Hillary's black suit, incidentally, also says "Oval Office Material" โ€” even if her spruced-up makeup and highlights aren't quite enough to say "getting some in the Oval Office material."

[Images via AP]

Earlier: Liveblogging Letterman: All Mulatto Edition!