This is one of these columns where I’m going to be accused of being superficial and petty, but I have to call ’em like I see ’em.
It is a simple fact that American voters are superficial when it comes to who they want on TV every night as their President. Since the advent of television in the 1952 campaign, Americans have never elected a fat president or even one who didn’t have a clear and discernible jaw line (ya, I know Clinton was a little pudgy in ’92 but he still had a strong jaw line and was considered good looking by most).
This is why I think it is highly significant that Jeb Bush has recently gone on a Paleo diet (lots of meat, vegetables and caveman stuff-don’t ask). He appears to have lost 20-30 pounds. More important, he now has a jaw line again. Until a few months ago, JEB had the sort of plump head-melding-into-the-neck look that many overeating Americans have (Hey, I have it too-but I’m not running for President!).
It made him look soft, literally.
Now JEB has firmed up his jaw line and, I believe, will be more attractive to at least some small percentage of voters. And small clumps of voters in elections, as anyone from Florida can tell you, can often make the difference.
If you want to argue with me that looks should NOT matter and that America would have been better off with a short, round President Barbara Mikulski, instead of a Reagan or a Bush, you’d get no beef from me. I am simply pointing out how the world works, rather than how it should be.
And as of right now, Bush’s change in his physical appearance may help him more than an additional $100 million in a Super PAC.
TJ Walker is president of Media Training Worldwide. 212.764.4955