Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter to President Reagan, is unmoved by Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker's attempt to relate to voters by wearing casual attire.
In her latest op-ed, Noonan noted that Walker made his 2016 announcement Monday wearing an open collared shirt and no tie. She didn't like it.
"They're all trying to express intimacy by removing barriers — podiums, Tele-Prompters," she wrote in a column about the so-far highly competitive GOP presidential primaries. "But that's superficial. You can make a connection in a suit behind a podium if you sound as if you're thinking and speaking honestly and with depth. All this physical symbolism has gotten carried away."
Noonan has written before about her distaste for national politicians trying to relate to the public through spontaneous or personal moments.
In 2013, Noonan noticed that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delivered a speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference wearing jeans. "I wear jeans and you wear jeans and it's not unusual for a man to wear jeans with a tie and jacket," she wrote at the time. "They look like happy farmers, or cable TV anchors whose desks don't show their legs. That being said, could we not wear grown-up suits when we are running for high office?"
She continued, "I hate political figures looking at America and seeing demographic slivers with which a subtle connection must be made. I hate when they go for the demo — young voters, college-educated pre-advanced-degree, affluent suburban voters, older blue-collar peripheral urban ethnic voters. Yes, I know it's the future, but I hate it."