As the 2008 race for the White House kicks off, Radar‘s politics issue gets personal with the top candidates

Washington, the old cliché goes, is Hollywood for ugly people—a mecca for ambitious strivers who lack the cheekbones or the glamour to make it to the silver screen. But that was before wall-to-wall media coverage turned presidential campaigns into lengthy spectacles as relentlessly contrived and overproduced as the Golden Globes. Managed by fleets of pricey handlers and professional writers, candidates have become as manufactured as movie stars: coached on every aspect of their dress and demeanor, and supplied with perky sound-bites for spontaneous delivery on Letterman. Which is why, as we set out to plan the cover of Radar‘s Politics issue, it seemed appropriate to do a little facile packaging of our own. What better way to underline the ego, excess, and artifice that dominate modern politics than to borrow a page from Vanity Fair‘s now-notorious 2006 Hollywood issue, which starred Tom Ford, Keira Knightley, and Scarlett Johansson in various states of undress?

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This is an excerpt from the November issue of Radar magazine.
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