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Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:45 PM

 

Charisma in Presidential Elections...when has the candidate with less charisma won the White House?

Last edited Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Keep in mind that charisma can be both positive and negative.

Charisma elicits a powerful reaction. It inspires the kind of emotion, energy and dedication that wins elections. Obama has hopeful, positive charisma. Trump has negative, fear and hate fueled charisma.

Obama's kind of charisma not only wins elections...it wins re-elections and can defeat the negative charisma.
Trump's kind of charisma, angry, negative charisma...can be defeated with positive, hopeful charisma...something to believe in, a unifying source.

Democrats must NOT ignore this, no matter how much they may love a candidate. If the nominee does not have positive charisma and the ability to inspire hope and unity and rise above the angry rhetoric and attacks then Trump will be re-elected.

Looking back as far as 1980...the candidate with the best/most charisma has won EVERY single presidential election, no exceptions.

Democrats must get this right.

Editing to add an article that probably does a better job explaining what I'm trying to say. I am not familiar with this source but I clicked around and didn't find any obvious partisan slant, so I hope it is balanced. I'm using it more to remind people of the candidates during those races.

http://www.throughlinegroup.com/2012/11/07/barack-obama-the-most-charismatic-candidate-always-wins/

An excerpt:

"Consider these nine elections:

In 1980, the more charismatic Ronald Reagan defeated dour incumbent Jimmy Carter.

In 1984, Reagan crushed Walter Mondale.

In 1988, George H.W. Bush—never accused of being the most charismatic man in the room—defeated an even less charismatic Michael Dukakis.

In 1992, the super-charismatic Bill Clinton defeated the more patrician George H.W. Bush. He was re-elected in 1996 by beating Bob Dole, a candidate fond of asking crankily, “Where’s the outrage?”

In 2000, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore. Although that election was contested, I’d argue that Bush’s edge in charisma allowed the race to be that close in the first place. And in 2004, Bush won re-election by beating the more patrician John Kerry.

In 2008, Barack Obama beat John McCain, who almost defined the word “cranky.”

And in last night’s Election 2012, Obama won re-election by beating the less charismatic—and yes, more patrician—Mitt Romney."
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Reply Charisma in Presidential Elections...when has the candidate with less charisma won the White House? (Original post)
Indygram Apr 2019 OP
msongs Apr 2019 #1
Indygram Apr 2019 #3
Otto Lidenbrock Apr 2019 #36
hlthe2b Apr 2019 #2
Indygram Apr 2019 #6
dalton99a Apr 2019 #29
Kashkakat v.2.0 Apr 2019 #52
Kurt V. Apr 2019 #4
SWBTATTReg Apr 2019 #5
comradebillyboy Apr 2019 #7
SWBTATTReg Apr 2019 #12
Indygram Apr 2019 #13
Demsrule86 Apr 2019 #8
Indygram Apr 2019 #16
Demit Apr 2019 #9
DesertRat Apr 2019 #10
JI7 Apr 2019 #15
marylandblue Apr 2019 #20
Indygram Apr 2019 #21
Mike Nelson Apr 2019 #11
Indygram Apr 2019 #17
DesertRat Apr 2019 #19
marylandblue Apr 2019 #22
DesertRat Apr 2019 #25
sunnybrook Apr 2019 #35
Indygram Apr 2019 #23
sacto95834 Apr 2019 #48
Indygram Apr 2019 #49
Mike Nelson Apr 2019 #33
delisen Apr 2019 #14
LuvNewcastle Apr 2019 #18
Hassler Apr 2019 #24
marylandblue Apr 2019 #26
dflprincess Apr 2019 #53
MichMan Apr 2019 #27
Awsi Dooger Apr 2019 #46
Indygram Apr 2019 #47
pangaia Apr 2019 #28
Autumn Apr 2019 #30
pangaia Apr 2019 #32
Autumn Apr 2019 #34
thesquanderer Apr 2019 #37
Autumn Apr 2019 #38
Indygram Apr 2019 #39
JI7 Apr 2019 #40
Indygram Apr 2019 #31
JI7 Apr 2019 #41
BlueStater Apr 2019 #42
Indygram Apr 2019 #43
BlueStater Apr 2019 #44
Indygram Apr 2019 #45
Autumn Apr 2019 #50
John Fante Apr 2019 #51
Dream Girl Apr 2019 #54

Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:48 PM

1. jimmy carter v gerald ford. barely an ounce of charisma nt

 

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:53 PM

3. Neither were charismatic but one offered a hopeful outlook

 

Which is why they won. When the charisma factor doesn't give one candidate the advantage then a positive message gets the advantage.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 06:58 AM

36. Jimmy Carter was a charismatic campaigner in 1976

 

He could whip up a crowd as good as anyone and that is why he led the way despite starting off as unknown. It was when he got more TV exposure that he came across a tad meek because he spoke in a "as a matter of fact" manner as opposed to being more off the cuff and intimate to the viewer. I remember the day or two before the election both candidates gave a nationally televised talk. President Ford on board Air Force One, and Jimmy Carter at his study in his home in Plains. Neither spoke with much buoyancy but Carter's talk was in direct response to questions raised by the general public (people were literally stopped in the street if they wanted to ask a question and be on the film). A lot of people liked that as an approach and while Carter's answers were detailed he was extremely soft-spoken whereas Ford's talk was more touting himself for the job he had done and why he should be allowed to continue it.
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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:52 PM

2. George HW Bush had charisma?

 

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:57 PM

6. He had more than his opponent

 

and that is what is important.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Indygram (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:42 PM

29. The name was probably a factor in some quarters

 

Obama was a famous exception. (Note the date of the article)

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2008/05/why-it-s-hard-to-run-for-president-with-an-unusual-name.html
Vote for Barry O’Bama!
The perils of running for president with an unusual name.
By Jeff Greenfield
May 23, 2008 10:56 AM

...

Run down the names of the 42 men who have held the office: From Washington to Madison to Grant to Wilson to Clinton to Bush, the names ring with echoes of Northern Europe, of Scotch-Irish or Dutch or German ancestry. Of all our presidents, only one bore a name that could fairly be called unusual: Eisenhower, our only four-syllable president. About that exception, two points:

Everybody called him “Ike.”

When you win a world war, you can have any damn name you want.

For that matter, run down the list of candidates who ran for president and lost, and the story is pretty much the same: Scott and Colfax, Greeley and Davis, Cox and Dewey, Mondale and Kerry. One odd name jumps out from the list: Michael Dukakis. And that hardly went unnoticed. Comedian Pat Paulsen observed that the name of the 1988 Democratic nominee looked like the bottom line on an eye chart. When country singer Crystal Gayle * campaigned for Dukakis’ opponent Vice President George H.W. Bush through central Illinois, she told a crowd, “Why, I can’t even pronounce his name!”
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Response to Indygram (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 10:15 PM

52. NO WAY - Id much rather have a beer with Al Gore than that clown nt

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:54 PM

4. bush the first. Pretty dry after raygun

 

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Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:56 PM

5. I recall Barry Goldwater had zero charisma. I am sure that there were others too, that lacked...

 

charisma, but I don't remember them...no charisma. They were picked by their parties because they were primary architects of their party's platforms and/or movers of their party at the time.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:58 PM

7. As opposed to the ultra-charismatic LBJ?

 

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Response to comradebillyboy (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:02 PM

12. Really. I debated about putting his name out there too, but didn't. He was dry as a piece of ...

 

sandpaper. I even remember watching a speech or two or his, and they fell onto the floor like a wet rag.
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Response to comradebillyboy (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:02 PM

13. Prior to so much media coverage it was slightly less important a factor

 

But today with the constant, immediate and endless coverage it's more important than ever. It doesn't matter how much it shouldn't matter or be as important as it is...that's the reality and it's a reality that Democrats should not ignore.
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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:58 PM

8. Charisma how many candidates with it lost their elections?

 

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:06 PM

16. It's not just about having charisma...it's about having more or better charisma than your opponent

 

The most powerful, positive and hopeful charisma like what Obama had will always win.
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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:00 PM

9. Your post made me think of the movie "The Candidate," with Robert Redford.

 

As the charismatic title character, he won, and the last line of the movie is him asking "What do we do now?"
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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:01 PM

10. Charisma is subjective. nt

 

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Response to DesertRat (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:05 PM

15. yup, most minorities don't find Reagan Bush or Trump charismatic

 

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Undecided

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Response to JI7 (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:35 PM

20. Reagan had way more charisma than Carter or Mondale

 

Gore had zero charisma. And Trump has a very dark charisma that appeals to the worst in people.

Minorities don't feel Republican charisma because they are targets of the dog whistles.

Also you can look at charisma in terms of media ability. JFK looked and sounded good on TV, therefore was charismatic. Same with Reagan and Obama. Bush II had an artificial charisma and a homespun style created for him by Karl Rove.

Trump knows how to manipulate the media with negativity and tweets.

Buttigieg is now getting attention for giving good interviews. He is also getting negative attention (dark charisma from their point of view) from the right by attacking Pence and the religious right. And he writes good tweets.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #20)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:41 PM

21. I like the "dark charisma" term

 

It's the kind of charisma that cult leaders have and what allowed Hitler to rise to power and gain crazed, devoted followers. Dark charisma is a bit predatory and very manipulative.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:01 PM

11. I see...

 

… zero charisma in the Bushes. Maybe it's just me?

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Response to Mike Nelson (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:20 PM

17. If you want to gauge the charisma of a Republican...

 

Consider how strongly you dislike them. The more strong your dislike the more charismatic they are. That's what I mean by negative charisma. Trump has massive charisma (to his followers) because he absolutely infuriates more people than any other politician ever has. Those who are committed to him, even if they never voted before, are ride or die for him. Democrats need to nominate someone who has positive, hopeful charisma that can bring in and unite the most people because that is the only way to defeat negative charisma. I hope that explains it better.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Reply #17)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:32 PM

19. I detest trump but it has nothing to do with "charisma"

 

Charisma is the ability to attract, charm, and influence others. Your definition of charisma (positive and negative) and who does and doesn't have it is your personal opinion. Please don't dismiss those of us who don't agree with it. Also, welcome to DU.
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Response to DesertRat (Reply #19)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:42 PM

22. Yes it is subjective but it can be partly measured in media attention.

 

Buttigieg in particular is getting a lot of attention right now, so appears charismatic. If he falters the media will stop paying attention, then he won't seem so charismatic.

Harris has some as well. She has a polished speaking style, says the right things, and her crowds seem enthusiastic. Also she's very strategic, as her perfect well-timed rollout showed, and that can get attention.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #22)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:01 PM

25. I like Buttigieg's message but

 

I think he's getting a lot of attention because he's the first millenial and first gay candidate and by all measures seems to be the antithesis of trump. But I personally don't find him charismatic at all. Different strokes for different folks.
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Response to DesertRat (Reply #25)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 11:06 PM

35. Kamala has charisma

 

I think she has a ton of it. It seems like the guys are getting the media attention, but she shines in interviews and speeches. Perhaps the perception of charisma is subjective.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to DesertRat (Reply #19)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:45 PM

23. Thanks for the welcome!

 

I'm not trying to dismiss...just trying to explain what I mean as best I can. I added an article to the original post that I found that illustrates what I meant, too.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to DesertRat (Reply #19)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 08:02 PM

48. Yeah I don't think Trump is charismatic at all

 

...he just makes his base feel good about themselves by putting down others. To me that isn't charisma as I understand the term.

You can disagree with someone and still like them or charmed by them. Look at Reagan. I hated his policies; never understood why people voted for him, but he was very charming. Sometimes despite myself, I had to admire his oratory. I don't think Trump has any of that.

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to sacto95834 (Reply #48)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 09:56 PM

49. To help put it into context

 

Just do a quick search of "Hitler charisma" and it will pull up a ton of articles and information from places like history.com and the BBC. Horrible and hateful people can still have charisma. Trump has the same kind of dark and evil charisma that Hitler had and that cult leaders have.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Reply #17)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 10:11 PM

33. I do see your...

 

… point about "negative charisma" regarding Trump. The Bushes just seem goofy, to me. Probably, they have more of that likeability with others... I remember people saying the winner would be the one you would rather "have a beer with" around the GWB elections. I'd rather have a beer with McCain, Gore or Kerry - George W Bush would drive me into a tree!

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:03 PM

14. Lydon johnson charisma? Richard Nixon charisma?

 

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Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:22 PM

18. Truman should have lost to Dewey.

 

Dewey was polished and gregarious, Truman was wound a bit too tight, but Truman won. It was a squeaker, though.
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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:49 PM

24. Nixon had a sweaty lip, but no charisma. He won.

 

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Response to Hassler (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:08 PM

26. He lost to the charismatic JFK

 

then beat the equally uncharismatic Hubert Humphrey.

Do you think he would have won against RFK?
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #26)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 10:18 PM

53. Hubert wasn't without charisma (compared to Nixon)

 

but he was approachable and probably the candidate people would "want to have a beer with".

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:17 PM

27. Also must keep in mind that only once in the last 17 elections has the same party won three in a row

 

Last edited Wed Apr 10, 2019, 10:34 PM - Edit history (1)

Other than Reagan, Reagan & Bush 1, it hasn't occurred since FDR and Truman. Voters prefer a change every 8 years, so not sure all of it can be attributed to charisma alone.


While Trump was a terrible candidate, Hillary had to overcome being a third straight term.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to MichMan (Reply #27)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 05:40 PM

46. Correct, and now Trump has the situational advantage again

 

As an incumbent whose party has been in power only one term.

I despise Trump and Rick Scott beyond any other politicians but I give them credit for running in favorable cycles. Too many politicians are absolutely clueless about that. They jump in at the worst time imaginable.

Scott ran in 2010 with a severe national tilt in his favor. Otherwise he has no chance. Likewise Trump would have had very little chance in a different cycle.

I appreciate this thread because I've emphasized here since 2002 that charisma is easily the most vital quality in terms of ousting a presidential incumbent. Now we just have to get it right, and hope for some help in terms of how the economy is viewed in mid 2020.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Awsi Dooger (Reply #46)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 06:09 PM

47. I think the cycle disadvantage is why Biden didn't run in 2016

 

I am glad you appreciate the thread. Not enough of an emphasis is put on this and in the age of viral video, 24 hour media and the constant consumption of digital content...Democrats CANNOT afford to overlook this. In fact, the four most important things are going to be charisma, positive message that has wide appeal, ability to raise money and to not alienate supporters or other candidates. Any candidate who doesn't fit that description can't win.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:24 PM

28. And in 2016?

 

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Response to pangaia (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:46 PM

30. I was curious about that too, I read it the article and nothing about it. Looked and it's from 2012

 

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Response to Autumn (Reply #30)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 10:02 PM

32. Well, that would explain it. :))

 

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Response to pangaia (Reply #32)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 10:15 PM

34. I guess we have to go back to 2012 to find candidates that have charisma .

 

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Response to Autumn (Reply #34)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 08:19 AM

37. Trump has charisma. (Though Hillary won the popular vote.)

 

I know it's hard for us to see because he is so despicable in so many ways, but Trump is a natural entertainer. Before he was president, his biggest success wasn't business, it was being a "personality."
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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #37)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 08:46 AM

38. I always thought Hillary had charisma. It may have paled in contrast to Bills.

 

I agree with Trump being a manufactured personality but I don't see it as charisma.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Autumn (Reply #38)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 08:59 AM

39. Trump has the same kind of charisma that cult leaders have

 

Evil leaders throughout history had it too. How would have Hitler risen to power without it?
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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #37)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 09:04 AM

40. that's not really charisma. he is trash. a non white person that behaved like him

 

would never be seen as charismatic. they would just be seen as trashy and thuggish.

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to pangaia (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:50 PM

31. HRC was the most qualified candidate ever...

 

But she was always more of a policy wonk than a charmer. It is what it is. And I enthusiastically supported her and am still angry at how she is still demonized.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Indygram (Reply #31)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 09:06 AM

41. but she was charming in smaller settings and one on one

 

she was better than her husband and Obama when it came to directly talking to people. I think partly because she was a better listener which women are taught to do more than men.

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 03:27 PM

42. Like someone else said, charisma is subjective.

 

I never thought Bush had any more charisma than Gore or Kerry. And Spanky has no charisma at all to me, having the tone and speaking style of some drunken, racist, loudmouth asshole in a bar. The fact that he has tendency to scream all the time while running his ignorant mouth doesn't help.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to BlueStater (Reply #42)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 04:59 PM

43. I don't think actual charisma is subjective, however...

 

I do think the way the charisma is perceived is subjective. For instance, the people who are susceptible and attracted to the hateful rhetoric Trump spews that riles up his followers adore Trump while those who are repulsed absolutely despise him. Whatever the case, he elicits a strong reaction one way or the other.

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Indygram (Reply #43)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 05:15 PM

44. The power he has over his cult isn't a charisma thing.

 

They hear a big stupid asshole saying out loud the same racist, despicable things they believe and that's why they're drawn to him like flies to a turd.

It's more to do with the horrible message than the messanger himself. Trump isn't a great speaker by any means. He tends to shriek out all his sentences, he constantly repeats himself, he uses simple words that rarely have more than three syllables, and he has a lame, juvenile sense of humor. All in all, he completely lacks any sort of charm by any objective measure.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to BlueStater (Reply #44)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 05:26 PM

45. You're illustrating my point, though...not all charisma is good, and

 

Charisma doesn't always invoke positive emotions. It can also invoke fury, kind of like what you are expressing right now. I understand...I can't even listen or see him on TV and I have to change the channel or I feel rage. Trump's charisma is void of anything good or otherwise redeeming and is accompanied by pure evil. That's why he appeals to the absolute worst instincts in those who have been sucked into his MAGA cult.
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Response to Indygram (Reply #45)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 10:12 PM

50. He doesn't inspire devotion in others. His followers just like the fact that he shits on Democrats,

 

people of color and anything Liberal they don't like. They aren't sticking with him because they are devoted to him. They just like his hateful rhetoric and actions, what they perceive as fucking over
and pissing off Lefty. They are devoted to the conservative cult. If he stopped his hate talk for a week they would lose all interest in him.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 10:14 PM

51. Trump is the opposite of charismatic.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Indygram (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2019, 10:25 PM

54. This is spot on. Charisma trumps (no pun intended)

 

Policy. It bypasses rational feelings in some cases. Having worked in advertising I’ve come to learn that effective messages resonate emotioally
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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