Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barack Obama and John McCain: Personality, temperament and Narrative (Part 2)

>> continued from Part 1

As discussed in a previous post, the personalities of the both Presidential Candidates have been featuring heavily in the closing weeks of this election. In 2004 the personality discussions revolved around who voters would rather have a beer with and how "French" they were. The convictions of both George W Bush and John Kerry were also in question as they were tasked to continue the management of the ongoing War on Terror and occupation in Iraq.

Whilst this year's personality discussions began with Obama's aloof celebrity and McCain's POW biography. It has moved to the serious question of the candidate's 'Character' and 'Temperament', as the would-be Presidents are confronted with the challenge that will consume their first years in the White House - The Global Financial crisis.

NPR's 'All things Considered' profiled the temperaments of both Presidential candidates:
In a presidential election, candidates spar about issues. But in the end, voters make a decision about character. Who do they believe is better suited to lead the country?
McCain's Temperament Shaped By Vietnam, Senate by Mara Liasson
McCain's own temperament has been dissected by authors, political analysts, opponents and McCain himself — who has recounted how he started out as a cocky, rebellious Navy flyer who proudly collected hundreds of demerits at the Naval Academy.

"As a young man, I would respond aggressively and sometimes irresponsibly to anyone whom I perceived to have questioned my sense of honor and self-respect," he said...
Even-Keeled Obama Built Image On Bridging Divides by Mara Liasson
Barack Obama's temperament is famously unflappable. He has reacted with characteristic cool and caution to the Wall Street financial crisis, holding back at times while his rival charged ahead.

His campaign mantra is "No Drama Obama..."
- Listen to the full audio on McCain's temperament
- Listen to the full audio on Obama's temperament

PBS Newshour also does a feature on how both Candidates' personalities inform their leadership and decision-making style:

Confidence, Openness Mark Obama's Decision Making Style
"He listens to various viewpoints. He elicits dissenting views. He weighs those rationally and pragmatically. But then he tends to make a relatively swift and clear decision."- Susan Rice, Obama Campaign Adviser

McCain Blends Instinct With Political Calculation
"He believes in his party, but he's more than happy to cross the aisle. And he does it all the time to the anguish of those who demand party unity."- Mark Buse, Chief of Staff for McCain

- Read the report transcript of Obama's decision making
- Read the report transcript of McCain's decision making

No comments: