Voting 101
Looks Like A President, Sounds Like A President? Then He's A President
02.19.2004 2:44 PM EST

The president is really nothing more than a face for the nation, so I say make sure that face is a good face. That's what people care about anyway. No one is going to elect someone who doesn't look or act presidential. So that's how I'm making my choice this election.

I thought about Howard Dean, but after his blowup in Iowa I started to shy away from him. His post-Iowa primary speech started off well. I liked that he could name a lot of the 50 states, but his face got really red and his neck disappeared. He seemed a little crazy, and I don't think anyone wants a hot head in the White House. He has just a little bit too much energy.

But John Edwards, now there is an electable fellow, right? Seems like a nice guy. Smiles a lot. Has a nice Southern drawl. But he's not getting my vote either. Why? He looks too young. He still has hair and all of it is brown. He looks too youthful and happy to be president. Sure, he is 50 years old, which is certainly old enough, but he just doesn't look like he has the experience to do the job. Get some gray and we'll talk, John. For now, keep smiling.

I'm not sure why Dennis Kucinich even bothers. I'm sure he has some good things to say — blah blah blah — but he looks short on TV. He has sort of a round, small head, and his hair looks like plastic. Not exactly the commanding presence one looks for in a president. He seems like that nerdy kid in the back of the class who wins the science fair every year. Does Dennis Kucinich enjoy science? Who knows. But he doesn't look like a president to me.

John Kerry, however, does look like a president — at least more than the other Democrats. He's lanky, in an Abraham Lincoln sort of way. He seems stable, like you could use him to build a log cabin. He has all of his hair, and it's a nice, full gray, giving him a vigorous but weathered quality. He has a smile that borders on awkward, which is just where I want it. Remember, you can't be too happy if you're president (take note, John Edwards). He even allegedly had some Botox done, just like my friend's mom. John, you are my man.

Just because John Kerry seems like my choice for the Democrats doesn't mean he'll get my November vote. Bush is a pretty presidential fellow himself, given that he is already president. But at the same time, he has an accessibility that makes me like him. He pronounces the word "nuclear" as "nu-cue-ler," just like I did in eighth grade. I'll have to wait a few months before I can make this tough choice, though. Besides, one of them might get a pimple, and who knows what that could do to my decision.

Back to 'Electability' — The Magic Factor For The Democrats"

—Adrian Perry, New York

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