poetry, prose and politics

School tie knotted round vine trunk

In a piece on the BBC website Magazine section, the historian David Cannadine talks about ties. The article starts:

The former governor of the state of New York, Mario Cuomo, once observed that in a modern democracy “you campaign in poetry but you govern in prose”.

which certainly caught my attention.

But Cannadine then makes a strange leap to connect this to the subject of ties:

Translated from speech to dress, […] suggests that you campaign wearing an open neck shirt, but govern wearing a tie.

To press the flesh and get yourself elected, it seems essential to dress down and appear casual, like ordinary voters, rather than be buttoned up or formal.

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