The return of Joe Biden's aviator sunglasses

Aviator Joe is back – just in time to take his near-victory lap. Forget Dark Brandon’s glowing eyes. As President Joseph R. Biden Jr. ...


Aviator Joe is back – just in time to take his near-victory lap.

Forget Dark Brandon’s glowing eyes. As President Joseph R. Biden Jr. returns to Washington, DC, to enter the White House to sign the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022it’s his Ray-Ban 3025 — the dark metal-rimmed teardrop sunglasses he’s made his signature — that once again seem like the man’s signature.

Although the airmen and the big smile, public service personality that’s cool they represent never exactly left, they retreated to the background, relegated mostly to bike rides and similar low-eyed appearances as the president battled Covid (politics, variants, his own case), the war in Ukraine, inflation and other grim issues. At Outdoor family photo of the G7 in June he became tieless (like everyone else) and airmanless. At White House Easter Egg Roll, the first since the pandemic, the glasses were also gone.

But since Mr Biden emerged from his Covid isolation in the sun earlier this month, airmen have been front and center in his face: as he proclaimed his negative status in a Rose Garden speech, during his trip with the first lady to eastern kentucky to inspect flood damage while vacationing in South Carolina. Symbolic, again, of a president who, as John Harwood wrote for CNN“suddenly looks different.”

It’s attitude above all else (even taking into account the summer glow). He’s not just wearing sunglasses now. He wears sunglasses.

“You know Joe Biden is having a good day when he wears his airmen,” said Lis Smith, the author of the recent book “Any Tuesdayand the political strategist who helped craft Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. See, for example, Mr. Biden’s appearance last April when he, Vice President Kamala Harris and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson appeared on the South Lawn following the Senate’s confirmation of Ms. Jackson as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

“You know he’s having a good month when you see him day in and day out wearing his airmen,” Ms Smith continued. “It’s a sign that he’s on a roll right now.”

That the re-emergence happened in the wake of another great aviator re-emergence and achievement, that of Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick“, is probably no coincidence. After all, as Jimmy Kimmel said when the president was his guest in June, Mr Biden “is to aviator sunglasses what Tom Cruise is to aviator sunglasses”. Both men – or rather their iconic characters – wear the same style (albeit sometimes with different frames) and have done so for decades. Since the first “Top Gun”, in 1986, and, according to a White House spokeswoman, since Mr. Biden was a lifeguard at the university.

Mr. Biden even used his as a stand-in to announce his first instagram post in 2014, which didn’t feature his face but his Ray-Bans thrown across his desk. When it got played (as VP) in a “veep– Inspired by the White House correspondent’s dinner sketch the same year, he did it with his Ray-Bans, a leather jacket and his Corvette – but the glasses took center stage.

Since Mr. Biden took office, the glasses have been part of his diplomatic gift set, presented to political peers such as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, President Yoon Suk-Yeo of South Korea (both during the election of Mr. Biden travel to asia in May), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada (at the Three Amigos North American Summit in November 2021) and President Vladimir Putin of Russia (after a meeting in Geneva in 2021).

More recently, another pair of Ray-Bans helped propel “Top Gun: Maverick” to the top of the box office, challenged the conventional wisdom that Covid and streaming had buried the summer blockbuster, and played a vital role in a story featuring an aging but even more effective hero. Someone better for all his experience. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

They represent, “I’m a cool guy, but I’m a responsible person, and I’m going to wave the American flag and save you,” said “Veep” consultant and founder and CEO Tammy Haddad. by Haddad Media. It is a familiar, comfortable semiology, which refers to the myths of the silent generation and the promise of Mr. Biden.

“People loved seeing Cruise back in his fliers and reacting,” Ms. Haddad said. “The president is following the same path hoping for the same results.”

Especially given the success story and continued vigor the West Wing is trying to convey (“continuing vigor” being pretty much synonymous with “Tom Cruise”). As a style, aviators are, GQ said“ageless and eternal”.

This may seem reductive and superficial, but it is also part of how we interpret the world. We’ve been steeped in the growing osmosis between Hollywood, social media and politics over the past six years, dating back to the Trump administration’s reality TV show and culminating in the drama arc of the recent January 6 Congressional Hearingsproduced by James Goldston, the former president of ABC News.

After two months of seeing Mr. Cruise’s giant smile under his Ray-Bans in advertisements and posters, and being inundated with headlines and tweets proclaiming her superpowers, there is an almost Pavlovian reaction to seeing the same glasses on Mr. Biden. Such images push our subliminal buttons and play on associations, whether we are aware of it or not. This is basic human psychology.

It’s not, says Ms. Smith, that they’re an “accessory,” but that they’re a true expression of a certain archetype. “It’s vintage Joe Biden,” she said.

Besides, what better way, really, for anyone to suggest they’re flying high?

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Newsrust - US Top News: The return of Joe Biden's aviator sunglasses
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