During TNR's roundtable on the Edwards selection, Jonathan Chait wrote:
Let me raise another point. I find it noteworthy that Edwards is frequently described as "handsome." It's kind of a slur--it suggests he's shallow, what Seinfeld would call a "mimbo." The interesting thing is that George W. Bush, who is a very handsome man, is almost never described as handsome. I'm not trying to suggest that Edwards's handsomeness is a net detriment to his career--surely the opposite is true--just that there is a downside in having that fact be pointed out so often that it becomes the only thing many people know about you. Bush, who is handsome but rarely described as such, has the best of both worlds.
Isn't the reason that Bush doesn't get pejoratively slapped with "handsome" that he's too busy getting pejoratively slapped with "dumb"? I'd rather be handsome than dumb any day. Luckily, I am both.
As big of an Edwards groupie as I am, I do, actually, have a bit of a worry. Though I'm confident that Edwards would have looked great against Bush in a debate, I'm sort of worried about how he'll look against Cheney. Edwards v. Bush would have been two charismatic guys with modest foreign policy knowledge going at it, and Edwards' speaking ability could have won the day. But against Cheney, there is a real risk of Edwards looking like an uppity kid that just needs a good spanking. I know that he's been brushing up on his foreign policy, and that everyone has listed his activities in the Senate that indicate a lot more foreign policy acumen than he gets credit for. But it's still scary.
Also: Under no circumstances should Edwards allow himself to be interviewed by MTV. He is, by far, the least hip of all candidates involved. When Chris Matthews asked him about his favorite movie, it took him ninety seconds to come up with something, and even then he couldn't remember the name of The Shawshank Redemption. And his favorite book? The DaVinci Code. (The Onion sums up my thoughts on that work of genius here.) The dude hasn't had any time to suck up pop culture, so, if you want to help, just don't ask him about it, okay?