Bilingual blog on the vote
Berlusconi — Before and After
After winning Italy’s election, 71-year-old Silvio Berlusconi has spoken a great deal about being older and wiser in the ways of politics, having already served twice as prime minister. But there is no doubt that the conservative billionaire — thanks to cosmetic surgery including a hair transplant — looks much younger in many ways than he did when he last won a parliamentary election in 2001. Compare the pictures above, the first from his 2008 campaign and the second from November seven years ago.
Berlusconi, a former cruise ship crooner who built a media empire from scratch, is proud of his appearance. He bragged on Tuesday that one foreign correspondent had even asked him if he was younger than his 52-year-old election rival — Walter Veltroni.
I remember at a press conference in 2004, Berlusconi was asked about his hair transplant and said that he believed his more youthful image made him a better ambassador for Italy.
“I have taken one of the choices of modern life,” he said at the time. “It is a way of showing respect to those who share your life, your family. It is a way of showing respect to those who expect you to represent them on an international and national stage.”