Donald Trump, who has spent much of his career around beauty pageants, commonly describes people by their “central casting” quality, which may explain why according to some sources close to him, the famous mustache of former UN Ambassador John Bolton may have precluded Trump from selecting him as secretary of state.
As The Washington Post reported:
Several of Trump’s associates said they thought that John R. Bolton’s brush-like mustache was one of the factors that handicapped the bombastic former United Nations ambassador in the sweepstakes for secretary of state. “Donald was not going to like that mustache,” said one associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly. “I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes.”
Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller acknowledged that looks matter to the Trump team, asserting, “Presentation is very important because you’re representing America not only on the national stage but also the international stage, depending on the position.”
Chris Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a longtime friend of Trump, told the Post:
He likes people who present themselves very well, and he’s very impressed when somebody has a background of being good on television because he thinks it’s a very important medium for public policy. Don’t forget, he’s a showbiz guy. He was at the pinnacle of showbiz, and he thinks about showbiz. He sees this as a business that relates to the public. The look might not necessarily be somebody who should be on the cover of GQ magazine or Vanity Fair. It’s more about the look and the demeanor and the swagger.”
Trump has made his predilection for appearances known before, stating in July of Mike Pence, “the primary reason I wanted Mike, other than he looks very good, other than he’s got an incredible family, incredible wife and family.”
Speaking of Hillary Clinton, Trump said she lacked “a presidential look, and you need a presidential look.”
Trump's frequent comments insulting women included denigrating Carly Fiorina thus: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really folks, come on. Are we serious?”
“Donald was not going to like that mustache."
Associate of Donald Trump
One source who knows Trump’s transition team offered, “That’s the language he speaks. He’s very aesthetic. You can come with somebody who is very much qualified for the job, but if they don’t look the part, they’re not going anywhere.”
Bolton would be the very person to "drain the swamp" at the State Department, but since Trump is no longer interested in "draining the swamp," according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Bolton's mustache may have given Trump the willies.