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Why the Democrats are winning

Posted: October 21, 2008 4:13 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.
One of the main reasons that Obama is prevailing over McCain is very simple. It is intrinsic and very effective, and yet it is being ignored. It is out of the reach of issues.

Obama could be a model for Ralph Lauren. McCain could be a model for an AARP ad.

Obama, at 6 feet, 1 inch tall, towers over his opponent, who is 5 feet 7 inches. We have become pleasantly accustomed to Obama's bi-racial appearance, which resembles many of those we see in both magazine and TV ads.

McCain, for his part, appears as one too closely shadowed by the Grim Reaper.

All of us project something indefinable when we walk into a room. What makes us us is out there for everyone to pass judgment on.

Our minds quickly go to: She's too fat, or she's too skinny, or perhaps she's a knockout.

Or we may define a couple by their dress as having money. Or perhaps, wow, he must be a basketball star.

Another one might say, he looks like he works out. A nice tan is attractive. If the tan is too pronounced, we may label the individual homeless.

All of these outer appearances give hints of who we are.

But the thing that truly defines us is our sense of self. Our "look them in the eye" confidence coupled with a hearty handshake says volumes about how we feel about ourselves.

Is a person inclined to contemplation, or does he or she tend toward aggression? Our appearance may tell how we define the world, all the way from "I couldn't care less" to exhibiting the soul of a Mother Theresa.

Some people call these characteristics the material that makes up our aura. They are the attributes that make leaders charismatic or not.

So what is the main message that one may get from experiencing the presence of John McCain? He exudes a vibrant energy some see as anger. He enjoys being considered a maverick.

That means that he is motivated by the desire to occasionally run against the tide rather than follow the herd. The question is: How does it fit in the responsibilities of president?

At Annapolis he was a bad boy, graduating 894th in a class of 899. Does this signal anything useful for leadership as president?

When Obama saunters into a room, his arms swing in a tell-tale way. His whole demeanor suggests cool confidence, both aware and on top of whatever he's engaged in.

He is a contemplative man who is inclined to ruminate on issues rather than relying on first-thought, shoot-from-the-hip impressions. If he has hang-ups, they are not on display.

There is no evidence that anything holds him back from an objective. He makes the rest of the people in the room feel good.

Let's take the vice presidential hopefuls. Sarah Palin has the looks and figure of a bathing-suit model. She presents herself as proud of her maverick record, exhibited in her fight against the powers that prevailed as she executed her office as mayor and now governor.

Her obviously aggressive nature and comfort with stirring up a crowd to an almost violent pitch has troubled some. As for the winking eye, no one's sure what it means.

Would it be useful in cabinet meetings and discussions with foreign leaders? Is she helping or hindering McCain? She is charismatic with some and an anathema to others.

Joe Biden definitely has the appearance of Mr. Senator. The thinning gray hair, curling up slightly over the collar in the back, must be the trademark in the Senate barber shop.

He has a pleasant way with an audience. He can whip them up to abundant cheering or clearly state facts.

He exudes confidence and plays the role of salesman or motivational speaker very well. Biden seems to be comfortable with himself appearing as an elder statesman.

So what it comes down to is that it may be that a person's natural stature has a lot to do with the outcome of a political campaign.

That does not mean the race is necessarily a beauty contest. On the other hand, the inner nature of a person cannot be ignored and reveals itself clearly to us.

We, of course, see everything through our myriad glasses, which make beauty in the eyes of the beholder much more than another cliché.

Phil Rizzo is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Full Speed to Port" appears Wednesdays in The Signal.


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