Sammy on Hillary, Cactus on Charisma Among Presidents

This post is by Sammy.

The sudden collapse of the Hillary campaign has been breathtaking.

How much is due to “style”? Check out this video of Hillary in the Democratic debate.

It is a visceral turnoff to everyone I have shown it to. Does it really reveal anything significant about the candidate? Are so used to hearing words lie to us, so we look at other things such as body language and tone of voice? Is sexism involved?

Is “style” truly important?

This one was by Sammy.

I want to expand on the issue Sammy raises. Clearly, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the… well, call it style or charisma that Obama does. Nor does she speak the way he does. Whether you are on the right on or left, I think its difficult to argue that the most charismatic candidate, and the best speaker, is Obama.

And when you look at American presidents, not surprisingly, many of them have been cut from a similar mold. Of the Presidents we’ve had since Ike left office, JFK and Reagan were clearly very likable, excellent speakers. I think Bill Clinton fit that mold as well. And the economy grew rapidly under all three.

We’ve also had some, well, less-likable presidents: LBJ, Nixon, and Poppy Bush. LBJ had very rapid growth and accomplished a lot (whether or not you like what he accomplished)… Nixon and Poppy, not so much.

Leaving aside Obama and Hillary and the rest of the candidates… how important is the ability to inspire for the country? Does it always matter? And how much does it transcend knowing what one is doing? (If we were to put together an equation, how much weight do we give to knowledge, competence, and other factors, and how much to ability to inspire?)