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Yay or Nay: Do "Presidential" Looks Matter?

Yay or Nay: Do "Presidential" Looks Matter?

Since the invention of TV, candidates cannot ignore the visual messages they give voters. A voter often chooses a candidate she deems more "presidential" looking.

Appearances first became important during the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. At the first televised debate, Nixon's sweaty upper lip and five o'clock shadow, compared to Kennedy's tanned and youthful appearance, gave Kennedy an intangible advantage.

Pollsters are paying attention to which candidate voters perceive as more presidential this election season.

Do you vote for the candidate that looks like a president?


MsXtle MsXtle 9 years
There was no "other" option. If charisma fall under looks then I would be hard pressed to say that looks don't matter. If by looking at someone I don't find them convincing via body language and conviction on their faces, I am not voting for them. Obviously this doesn't fall under attractive and youthful vs plain and old. Perhaps Nixon's sweaty lip portrayed lack of confidence or insecurity that some might say later showed up in his presidency. It is something to think about.
luvthebosox luvthebosox 9 years
I meant more their demeanor is taken into consideration if all other things are equal. Of course, their stance on the issues is way more important than anything else. I guess after these 7 years I just want a leader who feels like a real leader.
caligirl101 caligirl101 9 years
Of course not!!!
potc-crazyy potc-crazyy 9 years
It doesn't matter as long as they act 'presidential', really... God forbid someone vote for a candidate because of their politics!
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
I cannot believe anyone voted yes on this. I understand that as human beings, the way we look is important on a primitive level, but honestly... grow up, America.
luvthebosox luvthebosox 9 years
I wouldn't vote for someone purely based on looks, but I do want my presidents to look Presidential. I think that it is difficult for someone to be a true leader and change hearts and minds unless they project the confidence that good leaders project, so I guess it's less a matter of looks per se, than the attitude they project. This question made me think of what Samantha said on SATC about Richard Nixon: No one wanted to screw him, so he screwed the country.
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
So much of what candidates present to the public are strategically decided by political strategists, image consultants, publicists and polls. Is it any wonder that we are affected by image?
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
Personally issues are more important to me but I do think there is a sizeable percentage of people in this country who are swayed by looks.
remedios remedios 9 years
We ended up with the current president because people liked his "regular guy" attitude and casual look. Sorry, I don't want my president to be ordinary. I want him or her to be the smartest person alive. Few people are going to admit they care about the presidential look but it's a subconscious thing. We may not realize it, but how people look influences how we perceive that person. The Nixon JFK example was a good one. In a presidential debate between the two that was televised, those who listened to the debate voted more often for Nixon, but those who watched the debate voted more often for JFK.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
Jean Chrétien was the Prime Minister of Canada for many years even though he looked nothing like a Prime Minister. His mouth is crooked, his hair is bad, and we say that he's the only person in the world who speaks two second languages (His first is French but he's just so bad. The his English, ouch!). Anyway, he did a good job as a Prime Minister. He was funny as hell and did his job.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Nah, I'd vote for a pugfaced, no-eyed, Centaur if it was qualified for the job and the best creature on the ballot.
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