[L]et's spend a minute reviewing the physical appearance of these GOP candidates. With this past debate, I looked upon the stage and saw two tall guys (Romney and Thompson) amidst a bunch of shorter ones. Many of us know, or should know, about the track record of the taller candidate; since the TV age, it's been near undefeated (it held up until Bush/Rove vs. Gore and Kerry). The likes of Perot, Tsongas, Dukakis, Nader, and Kucinich never have/had a chance for this reason. To that end, it favors Romney more so than Thompson because the former at least looks alive and energized as compared to the latter who appears lethargic and listless, with unsightly bags under his eyes.Boo, hiss, how dare I accuse Americans of being a shallow, imperfect bunch of less-than-cerebral reactors.
Interestingly, it's Giuliani who loses big-time when it comes to appearance. He's not particularly tall and in fact he seems to have poor posture with a crouched-over, droopy presence. In addition, when was the last time a bald guy has done well running for the White House?
Yes, of course, all of this is superficial, but who said the voting public is above being superficial?
Look, it is what it is and we are who we are. Very human, behavioral tendencies play a part in every decision we make, for better or for worse. Whether it be shopping at the store, the buying and selling of stocks, or voting for political candidates, our final choices are derived via imperfect inputs, reasoning, and habits. It's up to each of us to guard against giving in to nonsensical, yet very human and therefore understandable, reactions based on little fact or logic. But it's not easy.
In fact, about a week ago, LiveScience.com reported on a study concluding that voters frequently make judgments based on just split-second responses to things like a candidate's appearance -- just what I was writing about on October 13th. The study found that instantaneous reactions to candidates matched the final choices of voters at the polls a whopping 64% of the time. It seems appearance and looks trump policy and positions in importance, sadly.
So if the above holds true, should we expect to see Romney vs. Edwards in November 2008?