Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is a good-looking president more important than a good president?

While at the gym a little while back, I met a lovely retiree named Sylvia. We chatted a little (as people at the gym who don't feel like being at the gym do) and somehow got onto politics. The Republican presidential debates were the night before. Going though the list of candidates, she was quite taken with Mitt Romney.

"He looks good, doesn't he? Very presidential."

And he certainly does. You can see him sipping brandy with Putin, giving the State of the Union, and would look dashing while threatening North Korea.

But it that the most important thing? In the age of television, we tend to choose our Presidents more like we pick a prom king (or now, queen). At the very least their "look" is an important part of the equation. Does he look the part? Does he look good in a suit? How's the hair; full with a trace of grey on the sides? Tall? How are the jowls? Maybe it's all a throwback to the alpha male syndrome. Maybe we want a leader who looks like he could kill a wolly mammoth and feed the tribe. Anyway, I'm not trying to make any specific judgements over these runners here, just saying let's not rule anyone out based on looks. We can always give the short guys a milk crate to step on when they get behind the podium.

Here are a few examples of people who might NOT make the cut these days based on the exteriors:

Bad teeth. Really bad. Plus he looks slightly femine. May be soft on terror. Plus Ann Coulter would tag him a "faggot" within a week.

A cripple? No way.

And you thought Kerry was too craggy? This dude looks like he got hit by a garbage truck.

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