They're pretty and perfectly groomed. They're well-dressed and oh-so-willing to hug each other. But John Kerry and John Edwards are not a pair of teenage girls. They are the first, and perhaps the only, metrosexual presidential hopefuls.
Near-obsession with physical appearance makes the perfect metrosexual - and this duo is in no short supply of male vanity.
As of late, Mr. Kerry has been busy repeatedly touting the tresses of his team: "We've got better vision, better ideas, real plans. We've got a better sense of what's happening to America. And we've got better hair."
But he's also taking his knocks for boasting about two full heads of hair. As Jay Leno quipped in his monologue on Thursday: "John Kerry and John Edwards said today they plan on spending over $3 million on their campaign this month. And that's just on hairspray!"
And Mr. Kerry doesn't entrust his treasured hair to just anyone. The senator reportedly gets his haircuts from the salon Cristophe in Washington, D.C., which has also handled the hair of both Clintons and Paris Hilton.
While Mr. Kerry has denied rumors he used Botox to smooth out facial lines and wrinkles, his aides acknowledged the senator has had recent tooth enhancements, including new caps. The aides refused to say if Mr. Kerry had undergone a tooth-whitening procedure. It was just a cleaning, thank you very much.
The addition of Mr. Edwards, an azure eyed Southerner, to the Democratic ticket has upped the beauty bit even more. So much so that Mr. Kerry seems a bit smitten with his running mate. When asked on "60 Minutes" if Mr. Edwards's youth and pretty face might upstage him, he responded: "I hope he does."
What's more, these two guys can't keep their hands off each other. The money shot for Kerry-Edwards isn't a proud, manly handshake - it's a hug, giving Mr. Leno another joke: "Have you seen Kerry and Edwards together? Don't they look a little too friendly? I think their new campaign slogan is: 'Hey guys, get a room.'"
The late-night funnyman followed up that crack with a mock campaign ad that featured a montage of photos in which Messrs. Kerry and Edwards are hugging and beaming at each other - with the song "You Are So Beautiful" playing along.
Mr. Kerry isn't shying away from all the emoting. "There's been a lot of hugging this week," he told a crowd at a fund-raiser. "We make a great couple, ladies and gentlemen."
So, they're well groomed and effusive - so what? America could do with a little flair, according to the uber-masculine fashion designer and creative director of Halston, Bradley Bayou.
"If you think about Jackie and John Kennedy, they took it a step up. They were a little more chic," said Mr. Bayou, who finds President Bush's look "too textbook."
One New York man-about-town says it boils down to party politics. "As a ticket, 'the Johns' represent a substantial metrosexual presence, which will be an asset as they court the flat-front trouser-wearing vote," said Peter Hyman, author of "The Reluctant Metrosexual: Dispatches from an Almost Hip Life," a collection of essays due out this month.
"Of course, the Democrats have a history of well-tailored candidates," he added. "Who can forget the dapper Paul Tsongas or the sartorial force of the Mondale/Ferraro polyblend whirlwind in 1984?"
On the other hand, Eric Malka, who founded The Art of Shaving - a highend line of men's grooming products - considers an impeccable appearance a bipartisan issue.
"Politicians are metrosexuals by default," he said. "They always have to have good haircuts and a close shave."
Still, Sabai Burnett, the marketing director of P. Diddy's clothing label Sean Jean, gets a hearty laugh at thinking of Kerry-Edwards as an example of metrosexual style.
"I must be watching the wrong news," he said. "It's a very conservative look. Tell them to come over here and put a few Sean Jean pieces on. I would put them in our new collection. We have some nice cashmere sweaters."