Are Rick Perry’s eyeglasses working? Does he sound smarter when you watch him speak? (The radio remains the great equalizer — ask Nixon.) Good governance requires solutions and building, the architect’s dual specialties. Maybe that’s why Rick Perry switched to the ‘Soho Architect’-style frames for his eyewear. Architects are the most inoffensive of all intellectuals, after all — helping Perry with the base. Writers are pretentious, artists are impractical, but architects? Bingo — architects build stuff for the real world. Useful, visible, shelter-supplying projects. If a little art creeps in, that’s forgivable — at least the architect is familiar with a balance sheet.
Eyeglasses of all kinds are known to convey the impression of an intellect at work, however absurd it is that we fall for this pretense. But the hipster, serious-but-cool architect frames Perry has chosen convey not just smarts but style — something we’ve asked of our presidents, with varying success, since at least the day JFK ditched the hat. Even in 2016, with all the info and data at our fingertips, we’re still suckers for the optics — even when the optics are the merely work of an optician. Funny thing is, Hillary Clinton is wearing a very similar pair.