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Shaun Ley's US odyssey.

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Eddie Mair | 13:28 UK time, Friday, 31 October 2008

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Shaun at breakfast in Chicago.

He writes:

"So how much does Barack Obama pay for a haircut?"

The same as every other customer at the Hyde Park Hair Salon. The same as I did just now.

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He's probably very wise to keep it local. When he was running for Vice President four years ago, John Edwards got into a lot of trouble for spending more than one hundred dollars on his hair. Didn't really fit with his image as a tribune of the average man.

Don't worry, 'though, I couldn't really carry off the sleek Obama look.

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Mine was a bit more of a trim and tidy-up. Still, at least I don't have to endure the audience the Senator now gets every time he pops in. According to the barbers here, crowds of 150 people hang around outside.

The Senator gets a round of applause when he walks out again. Quite what for, isn't clear. These guys seem to me to be very careful with the scissors and the razor.

They're handing out flyers for their own election night party. The salon is being revamped for what will either be a celebration or a wake.

And is their star customer any different these days? No, they say; why should he be, he's been coming for 14 years. We're his sanctuary.

But then Tony, my barber, puts down his scissors and pauses. "Well, he thinks a bit more these days.""

MORE from Shaun on Radio 4's The World This Weekend - Sunday at 13.00

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