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The recent presidential debate has been analyzed to death, but one enormous sartorial story went unreported. At this point, politicians’ only remaining outlet for personal style is their ties, but things can still get complicated, as they did Friday night.

In past years, the democratic candidate has worn a blue tie, while the Republican candidate wears a red, but this always made Bush come off as more dynamic and, well…visible.

This year, Obama broke the party line by choosing a patterned purple number, putting McCain in a potentially awkward position. He couldn’t stay with red or switch to blue without risking an awkward “twins” remark from moderator Jim Lehrer. Cornered, McCain took yet another stylistic chance and opted with a pencil-stripe tie, the first non-solid-color tie seen in American politics since the dandified days of Herbert Hoover.

A maverick indeed.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom