Just four years after sending the first African-American to the White House, the American people are now just months away from possibly electing the only Mormon president ever. But actually, should Romney win the presidency, his ticket would be historic in two ways: First Mormon president. And first widow's-peaked vice-president.
Paul Ryan's prominent widow's peak has hardly gone unnoticed. Exhibit A: There are dozens of Photoshops online comparing him to Eddie Munster, and it's not because Eddie Munster wanted to overhaul Medicare. What has received less attention, however, is that America has never before had a vice-president with a widow's peak.
To be clear, we can't say this with absolute, 100 percent certainty, but we're pretty confident. We examined paintings or photos of every man who has ever served as vice-president. No widow's peaks. We searched Nexis and Google Books for mentions of vice-presidents with widow's peaks. Nothing. We even called the Senate Historical Office hoping that an expert ruling would definitively settle the matter, but were told, "We cant answer that kind of question. We just don't have that kind of information."
A Washington Post article on Ryan's widow's peak from earlier this year claimed that George H.W. Bush "has a very minor one that became all but invisible with the passage of years," but we see no evidence of that. Here is Bush as a young man, sans widow's peak. Here he is as president, also without a widow's peak. A receding hairline is not a widow's peak.
Interestingly, while some of history's most famous widow's peaks have been sported by monsters and villains, a study by University of California-Irvine political science professor Shawn Rosenberg showed that politicians with widow's peaks were viewed favorably. "It was associated with being seen as more competent and with greater integrity," Rosenberg told the Post. Perhaps this a stealth strength Ryan brings to the ticket which his many detractors are overlooking.
Should Ryan make it to the White House, it will be a proud day not only for his friends and family back in Janesville, Wisconsin, but also for millions of similarly hairlined Americans around the country. For Ryan will have finally pierced the glass ceiling with his sharp, jagged widow's peak.