Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Politics: No Body, No Drama

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The current oil spill crisis in the United States has led to a substantial amount of criticism of President Barack Obama for not showing enough emotion. This lack of emotion has been a hallmark of the President throughout his life; he has long been known as "No Drama Obama." Yet, in an earlier post, I classified Obama as a "central" or "sexual" personality type, which is in the so-called "emotional" world. How can this be?

Personality expert Bob Cooley has long contended that the ability to feel emotions is directly related to body size. A skinny person has no body to hold emotions, and thus tends not only not to express emotions, but not even feel them. In contrast, people with much more mass can feel deep emotions. Think of public features known for emotion, say Oprah Winfrey or Bill Clinton, and one won't find a stick figure.

Whether there is a cause and effect relationship or merely correlation is not clear. Certainly, science has not provided a ready explanation for how body mass would lead to increased emotion. Could it be that the hormonal manifestations of emotion are reinforced by more body tissue?

In any event, I have mentioned that Obama does not look like a typical person of his type; they tend to have a larger build. His build is such an anomaly for the type that it caused me to not believe it for a time. So, if Cooley is right and skinnier people show fewer emotions, it should not be surprising that the President does not show much emotion.

This whole "show emotion" controversy reached a new level in Obama's recent appearance on the NBC Today show. When asked by Matt Lauer whether he should "kick butt," he responded: "I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar; we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick." It still sounds he's giving a college seminar to me, even if he's swearing.

Maybe what he really needs to do is gain weight.

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