Bill Schneider won’t throw his hat in the ring.
He prefers it on his head.
When CNN’s senior political analyst reports from the frigid climes of Iowa or New Hampshire, astute viewers will notice he is rarely without a fur hat worthy of a Russian czar. Complete with goofy ear flaps.
“I don’t have a lot of natural fur on my head, so when I’m doing a standup and it’s 12 degrees outside and ice is falling from the heavens, I need a little protection,” says Schneider, 63, a CNN staffer since 1991.
“As any Russian will tell you, you lose heat from your head.” Not that his grand chapeau is from the former USSR. Schneider says he bought it eight years ago on the street in Helinski. To avoid being mistaken for Bullwinkle, he never wears the flaps down.
Ask Schneider what the hat is made of, however, and watch the fur — or lack of it — fly.
Is it real fur? “I don’t speak Finnish. No question was asked. No question was answered.
“Does he have an ethical problem wearing fur? “No comment.”
Has he had unpleasant experiences with PETA? “No comment.”
Schneider sports special hats on holidays. For his annual Christmas Eve segment, it’s a Santa Claus cap (right). For his Thanksgiving ‘turkeys of the year,’ he wears a Pilgrim’s hat and tells the same corny joke. (Don’t ask.)
Schneider became be-hatted “when my hair disappeared a couple of decades ago. I wear hats in summer, too.”
Colleagues tease him, but all we can say is, uh, ‘hats off, Bill.’
Ours, not yours.