Politicians In Cowboy Hats

- July 10th, 2012

Mulcair-calgary-stampede-sun

UPDATE: Look who’s wearing a cowboy hat — Tommy Mulcair. And he doesn’t look half bad in it.

 

Everybody loves the Calgary Stampede (except, of course, for  PETA and friends).

 

But few people understand the true catnip of that love affair. It’s got nothing to do with horses or cows or corrals or clowns (well, not in the rodeo sense). Nope. It’s all about the hats. Cowboy hats.

 

Taking part in the Calgary Stampede allows everyone from royalty to the Dalai Lama to Joe Schmoe from corporate accounting in Mississauga to strut around town wearing a cowboy hat without feeling like a freaking idiot — a freaking, make-believe, wanna-be idiot at that.

fergie-andrew-1987

DaliLama-CalgaryMayor-DaveBronconnier-2009

Basically, the only way you stand out in Calgary during Stampede is by NOT wearing a cowboy hat. (NOTE: It really, truly has to be a Stetson™ to feel right on your head; I’d substitute “Stetson” for “cowboy hat” in this piece but some jokers out there haven’t got the message and are wandering around in knockoffs — and they can’t figure out why they’re feeling like jerks.)

 

Anyone can get away with wearing a cowboy hat during Stampede. Just look at this silly fellow.

harper-hat

The hat fetish is very much a case of living out childhood fantasies for most of us. In general, the cowboy hat’s pull has far more to do with Saturday afternoon movies and backyard gunfights than it does with any sort of modern reality.

 

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

 

A healthy fantasy life supposedly keeps us sane and balanced as we slug through the daily drudge of life. Just don’t confuse fantasy and reality.

 

In that regard, I have more than a little trouble with politicians (of all stripes) who flock to the Calgary Stampede just so they can wear cowboy hats. Or, more precisely, so they can be photographed and videotaped wearing cowboy hats.

 

Because everybody loves a hero, too. And nothing says hero like a white cowboy hat.

Trudeau-Cal-Sun-Stampede-2012

Of course, there are those rebellious punks who wear black hats just to cock a snoot a society and say “I’m an outlaw in my heart — just like Willie and Waylon.”

Harper-Cowboy-Hat

Or maybe the black hat just says Snidely Whiplash, the nasty mortgage-flaunting banker who wants to get his hands on Sweet Nell’s, um, homestead.

Anyway, politicians flock to the Calgary Stampede every year like mice to cheese so they can gladhand and backslap and smile for the camera. But most importantly, I think, so they can wear cowboy hats without looking like complete fools. Most of them fail in that regard. But here’s a selection of our boys and girls trying their best to look like Western heroes and heroines.

chretien

 

Trudeau-lariat

martin-stampede

ignatieff_cowboy

hat-redford

hat-clark

may

naheed-nenshi-calgary-stampede

Jean_Charest

JackLayton

Well, Jack Layton looks the best of the bunch (Redford and Trudeau — dad — are pretty good, too). I wonder if we’ll ever see Tommy Mulcair wearing a Stetson in Calgary? Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a photo of Mulcair wearing a hat — of any kind.

But then, some people just shouldn’t wear hats — of any kind.

Willem-Dafoe-hat

Canadian politicians aren’t the only ones who glory in the macho image a cowboy hat imparts. Wearing a cowboy hat is just part of being an American president.

obama_cowboy_hat

Cowboy_George_W_Bush

Cowboy_Bill_Clinton

RonaldReaganCowboyHat

 

LBJ-stetson

nixon-lone-ranger

Eisenhower-Wearing-Cowboy-Hat

fdr-stetson

calvin-coolidge-stetson

Roosevelt

Even American presidential wannabes use the cowboy hat.

herman-cain-in-cowboy-hat

 

And presidents of other countries — like South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Salva-Kiir-with-Ban-Ki-Moon

Ato Girma Wolde Giorgis-Ethiopia-prez_cowboy

And prime ministers of countries other than Canada.

winston-churchill-wearing-hat

And, of course, royalty.

kate-and-william-in-cowboy-hats

But nobody does it better than the Duke.

John-Wayne-in-True-Grit-1969

 

 

Categories: News

Subscribe to the post

1 comment

  1. Kid says:

    Wait, you forgot one, Clint Eastwood! Mayor and Actor who looks great in a hat and with out one. Just imagine him as PM here. One look from that steely squint would have the opposition running scared!

Leave a comment

 characters available