Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he is embarrassed about his much-discussed $400 haircut.
Campaign records show the Edwards campaign paid a Beverly Hills stylist $400 to cut the candidate’s hair and Edwards told reporters in Iowa on Friday that he’s "actually embarrassed" he spent such a "ridiculous amount of money" on a haircut.
Edwards actually joked about the whole thing a few moments earlier when he was speaking before an audience in Adel. "Everybody’s supposed to have a chance in the United States of America. Why do we think people want to come here? That’s why they want to come here. They want to come here because people like me can come from nowhere, the son of a mill worker — y’all have heard me say that before — and now be running for the President of the United States and pay $400 for a haircut," Edwards said, pausing to laugh, as he got a mixture of applause and laughter from the crowd in response. "People are the world look at us and say, ‘That’s what we want. We want that kind of chance.’"
Edwards told reporters afterwards that the hair stylist had to travel to where Edwards was on the campaign trail, but Edwards claimed not to have known the bill would be that high. "Hopefully, I’ll have enough sense not to do that again," he told reporters.
Edwards rejects the idea his costly haircuts conflict with his campaign conversation about "two Americas" — one in which the rich are growing richer and the poor are falling farther behind.
During his weekend trip to Iowa, Edwards is stressing his proposal for "rural recovery" that he says will help small farmers and small business owners. "We want our children who, like me, grow up in small towns if they choose to to be able to stay there or go back there when they get out of school," Edwards says. "…We want to save rural America. That’s what this is about."
Edwards has proposed a national ban on packer ownership of livestock. He says that would help stop the spread of corporate hog farms. Edwards says additional federal investment and incentives for ethanol, biodiesel, wind power and solar power could help create thousands more jobs in rural areas, too. "Having grown up in a small town in North Carolina — my hometown was about 1000 people — and having seen what’s happening in rural America, I think we desperately need a president who’ll stand up for rural America," Edwards says.