With issues such as gay marriage, the future of social security and the war on terror at the forefront of the 2004 presidential election, it is important to step back and take a look at the real issues — issues that the typical housewife in Sheboygan, Wis. would talk about over her coffee with “the girls”.

A few months ago, while out on the campaign trail with John Edwards, John Kerry made an important statement.

“We’ve got better vision. We’ve got better ideas. We’ve got real plans. We’ve got a better sense of what’s happening to America, and we’ve got better hair,” he said.

Hair — now there’s a “real” issue that everyone can relate to. It bisects class, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation. Logically this led me to ask, who would be the victor if the election predicated on the basis of presidential hair? First, we’ll start with the Bush administration. I could make a pun on the word “Bush” here but, unlike Whoopi, I don’t feel like losing any possible SlimFast endorsements. George Bush has your typical conserva-cut. It draws on a subtext of the military style “crew cut” to give him an air of authority and as commander in chief. With belligerent catch phrases such as “bring it on” and “I’ll get you next time Gadget, next time,” expect a landslide victory for good ole’ Dubya.

First Lady Laura Bush makes a splash with her Hilary Swank a la “Boy’s Don’t Cry”-esque coif. In addition to highlighting her scary paralyzed smile (she’s addicted to it, don’t you know it’s Botoxic), her short, boyish haircut will surely cater to those elusive lesbian swing voters torn between loyalty to the party of Janet Reno and the party of Mary Cheney.

Perhaps Big Mama Barbara will be the deciding factor in the quest for victory at the polls next Tuesday. Her white, fluffy, Afro-like do is admittedly classy while keeping it ghetto (kind of like J-Lo — except she is just ghetto). Mama Bush will essentially pimp the ghetto and bring out the minority vote — her ‘fro conjuring up nostalgia for the Black Panthers, Shaft, and the Black Pride movement. Hell, she may even garner some crossover Jewish votes from proponents of the Jew-fro.

And then, of course, there is the Kerry campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I’m voting for Kerry-Edwards and what not, but I have to admit that presidential hair definitely gets worse the more liberal the candidate is. Sen. Kerry’s hair, who won three purple hearts during the Vietnam War, reflects the aged looks of an accomplished statesman. Did I mention he received three purple hearts (angina? acid reflux? and perhaps mitral valve collapse?). He captained a swiftboat during the Vietnam War and received three purple hearts. I swear, his hair is harboring some “Vietcong” rebels. Maybe he’ll win the veteran vote. He received three purple hearts, by the way.

Teresa Heinz Kerry’s hair is, quite simply, tragic. Her hair has been “fried, dyed and blow dried”. It’s like Seabiscuit crawled on up on top of her head to die. If you take Beyonce’s weave and put it through a paper shredder you will get slightly better hair than Theresa Heinz Kerry’s mangy locks. I really hope she gets in a fight with a bottle of FrizzEase real soon. She’s obviously catering to the ugly vote. Then, of course, there is hotness incarnate, Sen. John Edwards. There’s nothing wrong with John Edwards’ hair. He’s dreamy. Nonetheless, I can’t decide whether he uses Just For Men or not, after all, he is 50.

In closing, I’d like to quote a little wisdom from Missy Elliott.

“Ooooooo baby, Lemme fix my weave, touch me up and lemme fix my weave, you can pick me up about a quarter to three, before I walk in da’ club I gotta fix my weave.”

To the Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards campaigns, I implore you, above all, to fix your weaves!

Will Cornwell does not have a weave — or at least does not admit to it.