The same goes for virtually every politician in Florida and the United States: When
The hats also just give off the impression that politicians have been working in the sun all day, even though many of them haven't:
Impossible to WORK in S. FL sun/rain/wind/humidity for any extended period of time without some sort of hat. Gives impression of work.— alissajean (@alissajean) September 18, 2017
Funny thing is, most of the press briefings and TV bits where the hats appear also occur indoors, away from the elements.
Do the hats make people look tougher? Braver? More resolute? Does it make them look like firefighters? Do female politicians feel the same way?
There's an entire political wardrobe shift that comes during a storm: Gray and navy suits are out, while windbreakers, polo shirts, T-shirts, and even flannel (in the Florida summer!) are in. Presidents do this, governors do it, everyone does it.
It's the timing that's important. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner seems to have thrown on a hat only for photo ops during Hurricane Harvey and in the days after the storm hit. Now, during the late stages of the cleanup phase, his head is bare once more:
a hat when he wants to seem tough sometimes.
The concept is even parodied in Japanese film: In the latest, 2016 installment of the Godzilla film franchise, titled Godzilla: Resurgence in America, the Japanese prime minister demands his aides bring him "his uniform" to address the public during a disaster, which in the film's case is an apocalypse brought on by giant monsters. The prime minister then dons a search-and-rescue jacket while he tries to tell the public everything is OK and they will not be eaten by an evil
As a rule, politicians don't wear hats — they're on TV all the time, and they never, ever have hats on, until everyone, all at once, suddenly
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava tells New Times that local police and fire-rescue employees often hand out hats bearing their logo for photo ops and encourage elected officials to wear them in support. "This one came from Fire Rescue," Cava said via
Cava can be seen in a hat in the background of this photo, where fellow Commissioner Rebeca Sosa is also wearing one without explanation:
This doesn't explain every instance. County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, on the right in the royal-blue polo in the above photo, appears to be wearing a generic pro-police hat, and other politicians randomly show up on TV in hats they clearly brought from home.
Governor Scott's hat habits raise the most questions. He always wears the same U.S. Navy cap (he's a Navy veteran) in times of crisis. It's a mystery exactly when he decides to don it — is there a protocol for this? Does he have a written policy? Is there ever a fight over whether a situation is bad enough to wear the cap? What about economic disasters? Does the Navy tell him to do this? Most likely, he's just wearing the cap to remind people that he's a military vet and you should therefore listen to his advice.
City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell spent the leadup to Irma sans hat. But in the last few days, even he began popping up in photos wearing a cap: