Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a new look thanks to a pair of Jean Lafont eyeglasses chosen by his wife. What are the political optics of this?

So who’s Texas Gov. Rick Perry wearing as part of his bookish new look?

The Republican’s stylish specs are Inspiration by designer Jean Lafont. His wife Anita picked them out.

While attending the groundbreaking of an Occidental Petroleum complex in Midland on Tuesday, the governor showed The Associated Press his glasses. He’s worn them about a year, trying to soften his cowboy image for one that’s more humble. At least that’s one explanation.

The glasses are considered a centerpiece of his rehabilitation effort nationally, following a disastrous 2012 presidential bid.

Here’s how the New Republic considered the “optics” of the Texas governor’s new spectacles:

Sure, maybe the Texas governor’s contacts have begun to irritate him, and the explanation for the new frames is as simple as that. Or maybe a consultant or two mentioned that a little visual gravitas might not hurt, a quick optical optics-fix on the principle that it’s easier to fail a vision test than to pass an IQ test. …

After all, one could plausibly argue that a certain, significiant part of Sarah Palin‘s surprising rise had something to do with her Tina Fey glasses. Australia‘s prime minister recently started wearing smart-looking glasses, sparking a Twitter account and conspiracy theories that they were fakes, meant to lend her seriousnessActors have long understood the importance of eyewearClark Kent built a whole second life around it.

Until now, though, little was known about Perry’s glasses.



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