10.18.2010

In Politics, Does Size Still Matter

I'm talking about height, you all have filthy minds. ;)

An observation and a question. There have been just three US Presidents under 5' 7". James Madison, Martin Van Buren and Benjamin Harrison. The most recent, Harrison was elected 122 years ago. He was nominated on the final ballot just a few months before the election. He campaigned, as was the style, from his hometown and mostly from his front porch. His speeches were read, not heard. His photo was from the mid-riff up. His height was ridiculed by partisan trades, but had no real election impact. His notoriety came from; his possibility of carrying a Swing state (Indiana), being the grandson of William Henry Harrison, a one term US Senator, and a Brevetted Brig. General in the Civil War. Like George W. Bush in 2000, Harrison lost the popular vote, but won (without Supreme Court intervention) via the Electoral College.

In the 21 Century's 24/7 news machine, where every thing from his financial ties, his leadership style, his fondness for motorcycles, and his baldness will be critiqued, does Indiana Republican Governor, Mitch Daniels at just 5' 5" (and I'm being generous) have a valid shot at becoming President?

I'm not talking about any perceived media bias. Nor the Tea Party, or liberals vs conservatives, or Red vs Blue. Just the one thing that the MSM, FOX, TMZ, and your brother-in-law's blog have in common with all of us. Rightly or wrongly, consciously or subconsciously, we judge people on things like height. It's primal, evolutionary, lizard brain stuff, and yet we do it.

Is it still possible that someone of less than average height could be popularly elected president? I don't know. I'm asking. You folks weigh in. Tell me.

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