Saddam captured
Before: A photo of Saddam Hussein after his capture is shown during a press conference in Baghdad, December 14, 2003.
By
updated 7/1/2004 10:49:33 PM ET 2004-07-02T02:49:33

This may seem irreverent, but it is hardly irrelevant. Shakespeare told us that the apparel oft proclaims the man.  But he never wrote anything about makeovers.

Saddam Hussein was talking to a judge in Arabic. But most of the people who saw him Thursday know not a word of the language, so their impressions had to be visual.

With apologies to our corporate colleagues at “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy,” here’s a review of the new and improved Saddam:

Grooming
Last time we saw Saddam Hussein it was the “Bad Santa” look—  The wiry beard, shaggy dog hair-cut that could double for a “lice motel.” He was just plain filthy.

Since then, he’s taken at least one bath and started exfoliating.  He’s working out, getting rid of that baby fat.  His hair is zshushed, and definitely dyed.  Not enough on the whiskers, but that close to the face, salt and pepper beard says: “So what if I’m getting old, I LIKE IT!”

MSNBC TV

Design
Sayonara Spider hole, hello highly-polished defendant chair.  It’s comfortable, you can move in it, it’s got good armrests for when you’re not flailing around: It’s the perfect pedestal to get your point across.

Culture
He’s dropped the sword, his pistol is in the White House, so what to do?  Grab a Ballpoint.  Now, he who said the pen is mightier than the sword probably wasn’t thinking about international war tribunals, but this was a smart move. It’s a defiant statement: “I’m literate, I’m in control, and at least I still own a pen.” Plus, you can write down bullet points when the judge isn’t looking.

And finally Fashion
The Pinstripe suit says:“Yeah, I’m in jail...so what?”

He wore no tie, collar unbuttoned—delivering the message “I’m not a saint, I’m also not guilty, and I’m not going to be able to hang myself.” 

A “Menendez sweater” might have worked here too—or better yet a bullet-proof vest in the design of a Menendez Sweater. But this is still a big step up from the burlap sack he got busted in.

This was part of the No. 5 story on Thursday's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." The show airs weeknights 8 p.m. ET.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,