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Teflon is a nickname given to persons, particularly in politics, to whom criticism does not seem to stick. The term comes from Teflon, the brand name by DuPont of a "non-stick" chemical used on cookware.
- Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States, was called by his detractors "the Teflon president." The nickname was coined by Patricia Schroeder, a Congresswoman, and reflected on how a plethora of scandals surrounding his presidency seemed to have no effect on his individual popularity with the public. Succeeding US presidents have also been given the nickname, notably Bill Clinton.
- "Teflon Don" was applied to mafia boss John Gotti, who managed to escape being charged or convicted of crimes for over a decade, despite being the very public leader of a New York crime family.
- Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was often referred to in the press as "Teflon Tony."
- Ralph Klein, long-time Premier of the Canadian province of Alberta, was referred to as a "Teflon" premier. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was also given the label when the Wright-Duffy affair broke out.
- Teflon Taoiseach became a label for Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as scandal after scandal failed to have any lasting effect on him, until he was forced to resign in 2008.
- John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, was called "Teflon Johnny". Other Australian public figures that have been called "teflon coated" include Premier of Queensland, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, and Prime Minister Paul Keating.
- Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, has been referred to as a "Teflon leader," although the 2008 Russian financial crisis had some effect on his image among the public.
- Fernando Alonso, a Spanish driver in Formula One racing and double World Champion, earned the nickname "Teflonso" following his exoneration from involvement in the Renault F1 Crashgate controversy.
- TV bloggers appropriated the nickname "Teflon Tim" for American Idol contestant Tim Urban, who appeared on the show's ninth season and repeatedly survived elimination votes despite receiving stinging criticism from the judges.
- In leaked US diplomatic cables it was revealed that the Chancellor of Germany was called "Angela Teflon Merkel" by the staff of the American embassy in Berlin because criticism bounced off her.
- French journalist Franz-Olivier Giesbert once compared President François Hollande to a "Teflon pan" following an interview given on TV programme Des paroles et des actes.
- Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key was labelled "Teflon John" and the "Teflon Man" by political pundits for his percieved ability to come out unscathed from political controversies.
- Schroeder, Patricia (June 6, 2004). "Nothing stuck to 'Teflon' president". USA Today. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Thomas, Evan; Christopher Ogden; Sam Allis (June 18, 1984). "Tackling the Teflon President". Time. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- Barbour, Haley (1992-10-03). "Clinton: The Teflon Candidate". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Dreyfuss, Joel (2010-01-12). "Harry Reid’s in Hot Water. But What About "Teflon Bill" Clinton?". The Root (magazine). The Slate Group. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "'Teflon Don' jailed for life.". BBC. 1992-06-23. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
Judge Leo Glasser's sentencing brought to a close the long quest to convict the man nicknamed the "Teflon Don".
- Riddell, Peter (November 10, 2005). "The collapse of Teflon Tony.". London: The Times. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
Yesterday's defeat in the Commons is a serious blow for Labour's credibility as a governing party.
- Derrick, O'Keefe (2007-05-04). "Bush, Kerry (and Ralph Klein) on Latin America: The bi-partisan offensive against Cuba, Venezuela.". Seven Oaks. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
The plagiarism may or may not hurt Klein’s popularity, given the Teflon Conservative’s long record of debauchery, including a drunken night of poor-bashing at an Edmonton homeless shelter.
- "Canada's prime minister: The Teflon wears off". The Economist. June 3, 2013.
- Patterson, Henry (2006-10-01). "Teflon Taoiseach's brilliant career loses its well-polished shine.". London: New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
So why has the so-called Teflon Taoiseach, who was relatively untouched by the disgrace of his former close political allies, Charles Haughey and Ray Burke, been left looking so vulnerable?
- "Putin's Teflon Image Takes Hit". The Moscow Times. December 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- Dunn, Gabrielle. Teflon Tim Urban: Most Polarizing 'Idol' Finalist Since Sanjaya?. AOL Television. April 13, 2010.
- "US-Depeschen über Deutschland: Im Netz der Denunzianten". Der Spiegel. 28 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
- Lauren Provost (12 April 2012). "FOG vivement critiqué sur Internet après "Des Paroles et Des Actes"". Le Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- 3 News New Zealand (13 March 2013). "What will stick to 'Teflon John'?". Retrieved 29 October 2014.