Back during the campaign, when Mr. Obama needed gravitas and the patina of experience, CBS News helped out with this report from August 4, 2008:
Obama Gets Older
The stress of campaigning for presidency is starting to show on Barack Obama. Bianca Solorzano reports a little gray hair might help Obama.
This angle got another boost from this November 2008 US Magazine ‘exclusive’ scoop, again largely thanks to the claims of Mr. Obama’s private barber, ‘Zariff’:
Barber: Obama Not Bothered by Gray Hair
Monday November 17, 2008
Barack Obama’s longtime Chicago barber says his client has kept mum about his graying hair.
"It’s just a normal thing," Zariff, who’s been cutting the President-elect’s hair for 14 years from the Hyde Park Hair Barber Studio, says in the newest issue of Us Weekly.
"It’s not like he has a head full of gray hair," adds Zariff – who only goes by one name. "It’s just a few gray hairs, so it’s nothing to get excited about." …
And soon the rest of our watchdog media was off and running with articles and photographs of the newly grizzled Mr. Obama:
Even after the campaign ended, another variation on this story resurfaced in March and April of 2009.
This round, was initiated, as so much as our news is, by the New York Times recycling an earlier story.
And even the New York Times sought out ‘Zariff’ for the truth:
For Young President, Flecks of Gray
By HELENE COOPER
March 5, 2009
WASHINGTON — Well, that didn’t take long. Just 44 days into the job, and President Obama is going gray.
It happens to all of them, of course — Bill Clinton still had about half a head of brown hair when he took office but was a silver fox two years later, and George W. Bush went from salt and pepper to just salt in what seemed like a blink of an eye…
Mr. Obama’s graying is still of the flecked variety, and appears to wax and wane depending on when he gets his hair cut, which he does about every two weeks. His barber, who goes by only one name, Zariff, takes umbrage with bloggers who alternately claim Mr. Obama, 47, is dyeing his hair gray (to appear more distinguished) or dyeing it black (to appear younger). “I can tell you that his hair is 100 percent natural,” Zariff said. “He wouldn’t get it colored.” …
And yet these days Mr. Obama’s hair suddenly appears to have stepped back from the brink. Or maybe, despite Zariff’s claims to the contrary, he is ‘blacking up.’
In any case, that reassuring the salt and pepper look seems to have completely disappeared practically over night.
And it doesn’t seem to be a matter of the vagaries of the light or the background:
US President Barack Obama, seen here on April 1, has named a retired banking executive as his new ambassador to London.
President Barack Obama speaks about newly sworn in Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington in this April 28, 2009 file photo.
President Barack Obama attends the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington May 9, 2009.
President Barack Obama introduces federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, right, as his nominee for the Supreme Court, Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
President Barack Obama talks with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman as he arrives in Las Vegas, Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
President Barack Obama picks up an unidentified child as he greets audience members after his speech about the economy and energy, Wednesday, May 27, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington May 28, 2009.
Remember the grief Mr. Reagan got from our watchdog media for dyeing his hair – when in truth he did not?
Maybe Mr. Obama is being forgiven because his ‘gray hair ‘was just another obvious campaign gimmick to be quietly put away once the election was safely won.
Like so many of his promises.