It's a little after 5 p.m. and I am staring at a frozen TV screen. The phone rang and I had halted Chris Matthews mid-mouth. Now I am examining the motionless split screen and see that Matthews is wearing a red tie, its knot skewed a little to the left, and Ed Rollins is wearing a navy blue tie; his twists a little to the right. How appropriate.
I've been noticing ties a lot lately. I'm not sure if I ever remembered seeing so many of them looking so untidy. Either the knot is off center or else it isn't fitting tight up against the collar button.
I've also noticed that men's ties swing around a lot more than I've observed in the past. A TV host seems to have to hold the thing close to his chest when he bends down to sit...or if a guest sits in a chair next to the host and doesn't unbutton his jacket, the tie often is left peeping from below the button....looking a little like something is out that should be in.
And the colors. When President Obama addressed the combined House and Senate this month, he was wearing a pale blue tie. His Veep was wearing a lavender one and the Speaker was wearing a pinkish one - all watered down colors that we identify with a statement of neutrality.
It's starting to look like ties are now the only thing that a man can rely on to say something about himself. Every other garment is pretty much the same (look at the row of navy blue suits lined up at the recent GOP debates).
I missed the second and saw only clips so I didn't really mark what the "suits" were all wearing. But at the first one, I noted Huntsman was wearing a nicely knotted yellow tie with his blue suit...and looked quite splendid. Cain, too, wore yellow... departing from the obligatory blue, red and in between colors. But it wasn't the standout Huntsman's was.
If ties are doing the talking, one of the clearest, neatest, smartest man on the public stage appears to be.....(wait for it)......Keith Olbermann! He is the epitome of sartorial splendor. His tie is always knotted correctly and centered under a perfect white collar...and the designs are bold and strong.
In the land of "ties talk" he is clear winner.