Who Wears a Bow Tie to an Impeachment Hearing?
Donald Trump's presidency may be over soon, but the bow tie is forever. At least if George Kent has anything to do with it.
George who? George P. Kent: Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs in the State Department, who appeared before Congress to give testimony on the first day of the impeachment hearings taking place in Washington D.C.
Like most Americans, before this week I wouldn't have known George Kent from Clark Kent, but since his appearance on all the major news networks this afternoon, he's been elevated to a known entity in pop culture — the only man we could be talking about when we say "that guy with a bow tie." (Sorry, Pee-wee Herman.)
With his three-piece plaid gray suit and spiffy speckled bow tie, Kent exuded the nerdy energy of a charms professor at Hogwarts and the whimsy of Mr. Rogers. The accessory gave him the authoritative air of a man who knows more than me, but who doesn't take himself too seriously. Think Bill Nye (another bow tie afficinado), but make it politics.
His choice also denotes an attention to detail. This is a man who dots his i's and crosses his t's, who goes above and beyond by wearing three pieces where two will suffice; a man who owns a matching pocket square for every bow tie.
In a room of dreary, tired neck ties hanging limply around the necks of his contemporaries, Kent's bouncy bow tie breathed life back into the room.
Without background, it may be easy to imagine that the diplomat rolled up to the hearings in a purposefully distracting, albeit dapper, look, but Kent's love for the accessory is a loyal one. Last month, for example, he arrived for the closed door hearings with the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committee in a fetching paisley bow tie.
And for his official State Department portrait, Kent posed wearing the very same bow tie he wore on Capitol Hill today, leading some to remark that the colorful piece is his Special Occasion Bow Tie.
Kent's preferred tie style appears to be Big Butterfly, a.k.a. the Jumbo Butterfly, at least according to this visual guide by men's style blog The GentleManual, which says, "it is a grandiose tie, and should, therefore, be worn grandly."
Given that there is no formal dress code for impeachment hearings other than, we presume, the typical wardrobe requirements for staffers on Capitol Hill, why not wear a bow tie while addressing the impeachable offenses of the president of the United States in front of the entire country?
Confidence level: Rihanna.
That said, he's got very bow tie-worthy credentials. Kent is a Harvard graduate and speaks four languages (Russian, Ukrainian, and Thai), according to the New York Times. Among his achievements: He recently used the phrase "complete poppycock" unironically in an official government correspondence.
In context: "And he fought vigorously to defend Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted by Mr. Trump, calling a different Ukrainian prosecutor’s criticism of her 'complete poppycock' in an email to other State Department officials," the Times reported.
Naturally, the man already has fans aplenty:
In conclusion, George P. Kent's bow tie is what democracy looks like.