Common Sense

Do You Like Me?

Do you know what I think will decide this election?

It’s not Iraq. It’s not the economy. It’s not tax cuts, or budget deficits.

No, what will decide this election is likability: Which candidate do we "like" more?

I know it sounds crazy, but I don't think it's all "that" crazy.

The most revealing political polls to me are the ones that ask, who would you feel more comfortable inviting to dinner, or a barbecue, or saddling up to at a bar. ”That" guy is usually "the" guy who gets the job.

Likability, approachability and “comfortability” matter.

JFK had it against a sweating Richard Nixon. He seemed amiable enough. Likable enough. Certainly presidential enough. Game over.

Ronald Reagan didn't look all that dangerous, after all in his debates with Jimmy Carter. Actually, he seemed warm and funny. A perfectly likable guy. Done.

And George W. Bush certainly was no Einstein in his debates with Al Gore. But he was real and he was the same guy in all those debates — no huffing, or hissing and, for Gore, no victory.

My point is people are people. They like to be around people they like, not people they don't.

If John Kerry can score on the likability thing, he just might win. If he can't, he won't.

That's not to say we don't vote with our pocketbooks. I think more of us vote with our hearts.

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