Former reason editor Virginia Postrel explores the cultural effects of glamour in a forthcoming book and on her website, DeepGlamour.net. We asked her to list three ways glamour intersects with politics.
1 Glamorous political figures are rare. Unlike charisma, glamour isn't a personal quality a politician can possess. It's a product of imagination that requires mystery and distance, which are hard to maintain in a political environment that prizes familiarity and full disclosure. Glamour also tends to dissipate once you're in office and have to take specific positions. (See Barack Obama.)
2 Glamorous policies are common. As a nonverbal form of rhetoric, glamour is one of the most common ways of selling policies--not to mention countless military actions, perhaps the oldest use of glamour in politics.
3 Political glamour is most seductive when...