A reportedly pricy haircut for Hillary Clinton has stirred social media anger, and experts say the story gives new ammunition to critics who attempt to paint the former secretary of state as a rich, out-of-touch liberal who plays by her own rules.
The New York Post reported Tuesday that the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination shut down a portion of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City last Friday so she could get a haircut at a salon that typically charges $600 for a cut.
Clinton’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the haircut Wednesday, and the Post acknowledges it is unknown how much Clinton actually paid, but experts and political strategists say she probably should have taken a lesson from her husband’s 1993 “Hairgate”incident.
Beneath the typical partisan internet outrage lays a stark truth that Clinton’s campaign will have to deal with: many voters do not find her relatable.
“She suffers from a very serious ‘inauthentic’ problem,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.
“She’s disconnected from reality and disconnected from the average rank and file voter,” he said.
O’Connell said appearing on non-political media and talking about other subjects can help convince voters a candidate is “a hard-working person just like everyone else.”
“Her whole Secret Service staff pulling up to Chipotle in Iowa just isn’t going to do it,” he said.
Trying to look authentic and relatable presents a challenge of its own for Clinton, though.
“She’s going to have to really worry about it the second Trump-mania stops,” O’Connell said.