Does This Man “Look” Like A President To You?

 

For all my pontificating on politics and the meaning of it all, my wife doesn’t share a love of the sport.  Folks such as we Ricochetoise sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees, embedded in minutia as we can get.   It helps for me to have a real life soccer mom right in the household to get some good old fashioned “regular folk” insight now and again.

This past Sunday I was watching the political talk shows while my wife was reading a magazine.  A picture of Paul Ryan came on screen and with exuberance I pointed and said, “There’s Paul Ryan!  He needs to be President.”

My wife looked at the TV screen and responded, “No, he doesn’t look like a President.”  She looked back at her magazine, having destroyed Ryan’s brilliant career in public service with the indifference of a queen ordering the decapitation of lowly peon.  Voting really is power, isn’t it?

Her words bothered me all day whenever I saw Ryan on television.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s the same feeling you get the first time being pulled over by a policeman who is younger than you.  Paul Ryan would be the first President younger than me.   That quite naturally makes me contemplate my eventual death.  Not a good association.

On the surface, my wife’s judgment of the surface of Ryan appears frivolous, but it isn’t.  Many have held that the TV screen sunk Nixon versus Kennedy.

And who will deny the damage done by this visual?

dukakis.jpg

So tell me – Does Paul Ryan look like a President?    Will it matter?

There are 58 comments.

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  1. Mel Foil Inactive

    For some jobs, it is possible to look too young. Ryan has the curse of good genes. He should try a full beard. Might help.

    • #1
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Scott R Member

    Fwiw, my wife loves the guy — finds him to be smart, mature, reassuring, with those blue eyes that scream trust.

    Somebody described him as having the feel of a young, hyper-competent doctor with a most reassuring bedside manner. Sounds about right — and just the type of guy we need to deliver the diagnosis to an apprehensive, spooked country.

    • #2
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:38 AM PDT
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  3. Humphrey Benjamin Inactive

    Yeah, it’s just the youth that would make me think that. I think his demeanor would o a lot to overcome that. Campaigns aren’t all still pictures. I also really, really hope that folks will pay attention for once.

    • #3
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:38 AM PDT
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  4. OkieSailor Member

    Tony, Her premise is frivolous, the problem is that too large a segment of voters use similarly frivolous criteria to make decisions in the voting booth. I agree that Ryan doesn’t “look Presidential”…his ears and ‘Adams apple’ are too big…for a movie star! I would prefer that voters ignore how a candidate looks and concentrate on the strength of his/her positions but that is not the way our society operates. That being said, such problems make a candidacy more difficult but are rarely fatal, he could still win given enough hard work by supporters. My opinion is, however, Ryan is needed more as Chairman of the Budget Committee. IF we elect a President that will work to implement the Ryan Plan (or something very similar) and enough truly conservative Senators to get it thorugh Congress, we can turn our situation around. If not, we’ll continue to dig the hole deeper and no President has the power to change that without the support of Congress.

    • #4
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:45 AM PDT
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  5. starnescl Inactive

    His first year in office should age him just fine.

    • #5
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:49 AM PDT
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  6. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    Charles Starnes: His first year in office should age him just fine. · Aug 17 at 6:49am

    Yes – have you seen Obama’s hair lately? So gray!

    • #6
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. EJHill Podcaster

    It was comments like that that prevented women’s suffrage until 1920 and made many regret it since.

    • #7
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:56 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Mel Foil Inactive
    Tommy De Seno
    Charles Starnes: His first year in office should age him just fine. · Aug 17 at 6:49am
    Yes – have you seen Obama’s hair lately? So gray! · Aug 17 at 6:54am

    Yup, those medium-length putts can be very stressful.

    • #8
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:57 AM PDT
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  9. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Every one of those gray hairs was earned, Tommy! Do you know how difficult the back 9 are?

    (EDIT: D’oh! Beaten to the punch by etoiledunord!)

    • #9
    • August 17, 2011, at 6:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. BThompson Inactive

    Tommy, we’re talking about the woman who found you attractive. This is an opinion we should use to gauge the looks of others?!

    I kid! I kid!

    • #10
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:02 AM PDT
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  11. The Great Adventure! Member
    Tommy De Seno
    Charles Starnes: His first year in office should age him just fine. · Aug 17 at 6:49am
    Yes – have you seen Obama’s hair lately? So gray! · Aug 17 at 6:54am

    At least until he colors it again.

    And I think Mr. Ryan would look just fine behind that podium. Just fine. I will say, however, that it’s a good thing his first name isn’t Jack. That would be a little weird, and then he’d have to look like Harrison Ford.

    • #11
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:03 AM PDT
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  12. Annegeles Reagan

    Do we not have a sitting president with ears that stick out a bit? It’s what goes on between those ears that matters to me.

    • #12
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:08 AM PDT
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  13. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    BThompson: Tommy, we’re talking about the woman who found you attractive. This is an opinion we should use to gauge the looks of others?!

    I kid! I kid! · Aug 17 at 7:02am

    You’re point is well taken Sir!

    I don’t know that she was talking about attractiveness with Ryan as opposed to Presidential appearence, which need not be the same.

    Of couse I never know what she is talking about.

    /Rim shot

    • #13
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:09 AM PDT
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  14. SteveS Inactive

    Tommy, He is calm, articulate and fearless having stood toe to toe with the president already without flinching. I don’t need a “fighter” a “swaggerer” or a “mannequin” I want someone who will lead, not lecture, who is confident, not condescending. With all due respect to your wife I want someone who “looks” like I would happy to see them stepping in the cockpit of my airplane before taking off, speaking to me reassuredly before performing serious surgery on my child and telling me plainly how I could invest my nest egg upon retirement.

    He “looks” exactly like all of that to me!

    • #14
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:25 AM PDT
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  15. StickerShock Inactive

    I trust that she will read up on the issues before casting her vote? And as a former soccer mom, let me defend the group. Not all of us make decisions on frivolous points. It bugs me that voters like that cancel out the votes of those who pay attention…..but it has always been so.

    Anyway, I’ll throw out the opinion of a middle-aged woman (52) who believes that most politicians are pretty ugly. (Politics is Hollywood for ugly people, right?) There are more Henry Waxman/Barney Frank levels of attractiveness among pols than Ronald Reagan/Sarah Palin levels. Ryan is a bit above average. Exaggerated features (nose, ears,adam’s apple) are offset by amazing blue eyes and great hair. He has an easy smile and is tall and fit. Perfectly presidential. I’ve already had to square away being older than the president with Obama’s election, so his youth doesn’t bother me at all.

    • #15
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:31 AM PDT
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  16. StickerShock Inactive
    Stephen S.: Tommy, He is calm, articulate and fearless having stood toe to toe with the president already without flinching. I don’t need a “fighter” a “swaggerer” or a “mannequin” I want someone who will lead, not lecture, who is confident, not condescending. With all due respect to your wife I want someone who “looks” like I would happy to see them stepping in the cockpit of my airplane before taking off, speaking to me reassuredly before performing serious surgery on my child and telling me plainly how I could invest my nest egg upon retirement.

    He “looks” exactly like all of that to me! · Aug 17 at 7:25am

    Yes, yes, yes to everything you said.

    • #16
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:32 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    Stephen S.: Tommy, He is calm, articulate and fearless having stood toe to toe with the president already without flinching.

    Without winning, either. He voted to raise the debt ceiling. Hardly his position when the debate started.

    • #17
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:35 AM PDT
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  18. Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    If Ryan enters the race, the cartoonists will have a field day. In motion, to be sure, he looks better than he looks in stills. But I doubt that it will much matter. He is attractive when he speaks, and he does have a soothing manner. No small thing if what one is proposing is radical.

    It is interesting just how good looking the Republican candidates are. Romney is as handsome as can be. So is Perry. And Bachmann takes one’s breath away (as does Palin, for that matter).

    In this department, the Democrats do not do as well. I will name no names.

    • #18
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:38 AM PDT
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  19. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    StickerShock: I trust that she will read up on the issues before casting her vote? And as a former soccer mom, let me defend the group. Not all of us make decisions on frivolous points. It bugs me that voters like that cancel out the votes of those who pay attention…..but it has always been so.

    Anyway, I’ll throw out the opinion of a middle-aged woman (52) who believes that most politicians are pretty ugly. (Politics is Hollywood for ugly people, right?) There are more Henry Waxman/Barney Frank levels of attractiveness among pols than Ronald Reagan/Sarah Palin levels. Ryan is a bit above average. Exaggerated features (nose, ears,adam’s apple) are offset by amazing blue eyes and great hair. He has an easy smile and is tall and fit. Perfectly presidential. I’ve already had to square away being older than the president with Obama’s election, so his youth doesn’t bother me at all.

    Ryanites are sounding like Ron Paulites. Not tagging this as primo important. Have some fun.

    Attractiveness was not the issue for Nixon or Dukakis. It was looking “Presidential.” That issue was out and about for Ross Perot too.

    • #19
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:41 AM PDT
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  20. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    Paul A. Rahe: If Ryan enters the race, the cartoonists will have a field day. In motion, to be sure, he looks better than he looks in stills. But I doubt that it will much matter. He is attractive when he speaks, and he does have a soothing manner. No small thing if what one is proposing is radical.

    It is interesting just how good looking the Republican candidates are. Romney is as handsome as can be. So is Perry. And Bachmann takes one’s breath away (as does Palin, for that matter).

    In this department, the Democrats do not do as well. I will name no names. · Aug 17 at 7:38am

    Yes – didn’t Bill Clinton call Perry “a handsome rascal” this weekend?

    • #20
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:42 AM PDT
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  21. SteveS Inactive
    Tommy De Seno
    Stephen S.: Tommy, He is calm, articulate and fearless having stood toe to toe with the president already without flinching.
    Without winning, either. He voted to raise the debt ceiling. Hardly his position when the debate started.

    · Aug 17 at 7:35am

    Tommy, If asked if I had a degree in economics I would say no, but knowing the debt ceiling has been raised numerous times in the past with hardly a discussion of the nature we just witnessed, is not the problem. People who think that taking other peoples property and giving it to others of their choosing is one of the main ones.

    • #21
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:45 AM PDT
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  22. Songwriter Member
    etoiledunord

    Tommy De Seno

    Charles Starnes: His first year in office should age him just fine. · Aug 17 at 6:49am
    Yes – have you seen Obama’s hair lately? So gray! · Aug 17 at 6:54am
    Yup, those medium-length putts can be very stressful. · Aug 17 at 6:57am

    Especially when your opponent presses the bet.

    But then – Obama would never play with anyone who might press any issue with him…

    • #22
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:50 AM PDT
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  23. Michael Hussey Inactive

    I am a huge supporter of Paul Ryan. But he does not look “presidential” as I would define it. Sadly, there are plenty of people who will make voting booth decisions based on irrelevant criteria. Always been that way, always will be, and the hope is that they all cancel each other out.

    • #23
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. SteveS Inactive

    I wonder if the president, when missing a putt, takes it back to where he first putted it and declares ” that put was not the real one I intended, wags his finger and then puts again.

    Just something that comes to mind for some odd reason!

    Songwriter

    etoiledunord

    Tommy De Seno

    Charles Starnes: His first year in office should age him just fine. · Aug 17 at 6:49am
    Yes – have you seen Obama’s hair lately? So gray! · Aug 17 at 6:54am
    Yup, those medium-length putts can be very stressful. · Aug 17 at 6:57am
    Especially when your opponent presses the bet.

    But then – Obama would never play with anyone who might press any issue with him… · Aug 17 at 7:50am

    • #24
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:55 AM PDT
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  25. Songwriter Member
    etoiledunord

    Tommy De Seno

    Charles Starnes: His first year in office should age him just fine. · Aug 17 at 6:49am
    Yes – have you seen Obama’s hair lately? So gray! · Aug 17 at 6:54am
    Yup, those medium-length putts can be very stressful. · Aug 17 at 6:57am
    DrewInWisconsin: Every one of those gray hairs was earned, Tommy! Do you know how difficult the back 9 are?

    (EDIT: D’oh! Beaten to the punch by etoiledunord!) · Aug 17 at 6:59am

    Edited on Aug 17 at 07:00 am

    Still a good line, though.

    Amazing how quick you gotta be her to get the first punchline in. And “etoil’s” post only beat you by two minutes. In a real conversation (one that doesn’t involve typing) – that’s like a tenth of a second.

    • #25
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:56 AM PDT
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  26. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    Michael Hussey: I am a huge supporter of Paul Ryan. But he does not look “presidential” as I would define it. Sadly, there are plenty of people who will make voting booth decisions based on irrelevant criteria. Always been that way, always will be, and the hope is that they all cancel each other out. · Aug 17 at 7:51am

    You’ve articulated the point very well. I make no argument that bad criteria should be used, but share the concern of paid political consultants who know that to some degree it will be used.

    Everyone combs their hair. Must be a reason.

    • #26
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:58 AM PDT
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  27. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Tommy De Seno
    Paul A. Rahe: If Ryan enters the race, the cartoonists will have a field day. In motion, to be sure, he looks better than he looks in stills. But I doubt that it will much matter. He is attractive when he speaks, and he does have a soothing manner. No small thing if what one is proposing is radical.

    It is interesting just how good looking the Republican candidates are. Romney is as handsome as can be. So is Perry. And Bachmann takes one’s breath away (as does Palin, for that matter).

    In this department, the Democrats do not do as well. I will name no names. · Aug 17 at 7:38am

    Yes – didn’t Bill Clinton call Perry “a handsome rascal” this weekend? · Aug 17 at 7:42am

    It was actually pretty interesting to watch. Cinton was wonking on using his Yale voice and then, at :44 on the attached clip, his eyes twinkle and he abruptly goes into his Arkansas voice. The last truthful thing he says on the clip is “he’s a good-lookin’ rascal”. http://urlshort.me/31h People who think Perry is “too slick” need to watch the Slickmaster again.

    • #27
    • August 17, 2011, at 7:59 AM PDT
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  28. flownover Inactive

    A jump from the legislative to the executive without much executive experience would be a mistake for everyone. He does look like a good Cabinet member though. Maybe he should be in charge of a couple of departments as he closes them down.

    He is ,at this point, a one trick pony. A very talented one, but we need an executive with great hiring savvy, a very thick skin, and a congressional majority to back him up.Shouldn’t Ryan be working on the long view ?

    • #28
    • August 17, 2011, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  29. JoeyV Inactive

    I’d say your wife watches too much tv & movies, and expects someone out of central casting, but apparently she has not looked at presidents on tv the last decade or so! Seriously though, doesn’t this apply to any executive, was this a result of a world wide executive search, or did this persons dad used to work here?

    • #29
    • August 17, 2011, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  30. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    I also think a beard would help him look a little older. Besides, we never ran trillion dollar deficits when we had presidents with beards.

    • #30
    • August 17, 2011, at 8:03 AM PDT
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