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Ten’s Best-Dressed Political Consultants

A day after we presented our Top 10 Political Consultants list, offers up something far more superficial: Who’s the best dresser?

Let’s be honest here: Political consultants, especially in Pennsylvania, aren’t exactly known for their sense of fashion. Most operatives, when asked for their take on which of their colleagues had the best fashion, offered little more than a chuckle and a snide remark about sloppy shirts and ratty sneakers. Expletives describing consultants’ style were common.

“The standard’s pretty low,” one Democratic consultant said. “If you don’t have mustard stains on your collar, you can really pass as a well-dressed political consultant.”

Added a Republican consultant: “It’s hard to get in a room with these guys without stains on their shirts. If it’s a bit meeting they’ll put on their really good sneakers.”

How bad is the situation? We couldn’t even muster a Top 10.

Nevertheless, there are a few operatives who standout in the crowd. They may not all be GQ material, but their colleagues make them look great. So here are‘s Top 5 Best-Dressed Political Consultants. Think we’ve left someone off the list? Disagree with our order? Make your voice heard by posting a comment.

5. Matt Weaver

This new-kid-on-the-block in direct-mail could probably be higher on the list—let’s wait and see if he can stay snazzy over the course of a longer career. But pinstripe suits, “Top-Gun” style aviators and the occasionally tuxedo-style jacket, there’s no question that this Democratic consultant looks sharp. “He definitely gets plugged,” a colleague said.

4. Christopher Nicholas

Arlen Specter’s campaign manager, this longtime Republican consultant may not be the slimmest guy in the pack, but his colleagues give him credit for cleaning up nicely. “He’s a heavyset guy, but his shirts are always starched his trousers are always pressed,” one consultant said. “He’s more business casual, but he’s always well done out.”

3. Dan Fee

This Democratic consultant and longtime Rendell aide can be seen sporting pinstripe suits that hang nicely off his slender frame. “He always seems to have expensive suits, and unlike me, matching ties and no stains on his shirt,” one colleague said of Fee.

2. John Brabender

His style may not be for everyone, but at least he’s consistent. That is, black, black and more black. This longtime Republican consultant is almost always seen in the darkest of colors, whether it be his trademark black turtleneck or any number of other outfits.

“It sure makes it easier picking out socks,” Brabender said of his affinity for black.

Most of his colleagues and competitors, dig the style, but one insider takes exception.

“I love john, I think he’s the smartest guy I’ve ever seen in marketing political candidates, but I’d never put him on GQ,” this insider said. “It’s one color all the time. it’s like Johnny Cash.”

And the No. 1 Best-Dressed Political Consultant in Pennsylvania is… Maurice Floyd

This local Democratic consultant from Philly towers above the pack on this front. With fancy, freshly-pressed suits that you rarely see twice, Floyd is in a class by himself as a dresser.

“There can’t even be a runner up in that category,” one Democratic insider said of Floyd. “Maurice Floyd is the unchallenged champion. [His style] is audacious, it expresses a lot of self-confidence, and seems to make him  noticeable as a personality in a way that gives him authority.”

“He must spend a considerable part of his gross income on his clothes,” a fellow Democratic consultant said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear the same thing twice.”

Told he was winning’s highest honor, Floyd laughed heartily for a solid 30 seconds before humbly accepting.

“I guess I’ve always had a thing for fashion since I was small kid,” Floyd said. “When I was growing up there were a lot of clothing stores on South Street. I remember getting off the bus and we were too poor for my mom to buy me the clothes other kids were wearing to school. But I said to myself, ‘when I grow up, I’m going to buy myself clothes I can be proud to wear.’ Lo and behold, I guess it worked.

“I love fashion,” he added. “It’s like a hobby for me.”

…lastly, a honorary mention for worst-dressed: Neil Oxman

This big-time Democratic consultant can take solace that he topped our Top 10 Political Consultants list. But with sneakers a mainstay in the outfit and shirts not exactly pressed, colleagues and competitors alike don’t hesitate to mention Oxman when asked who’s the worst dresser.

“I will be found guilty,” Oxman said. “Although I do wear nice buttoned-down shirts from Brooks Brothers every day. But I’m a damn sure better dresser than Cliff Wilson—the chairman of the Democratic party of Delaware County. That guy makes me look like a cross between Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.”

June 23, 2009 at 10:00 am

--Dan Hirschhorn

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