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Does Your Candidate Have Enough Elvis To Win?

By "Elvis" I am referring to charisma and the ability to relate to every man. If a candidate doesn't have that in this day of television and YouTube politics I don't think they have much of a chance.

E lvis Presley may have left the building many years ago, but his impact on the culture can be seen to this day, even in presidential campaign politics.

When former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson dropped out of the presidential race Sunday, Powerline's Paul Mirengoff said, "If credentials and track record were the key to running for president, Thompson certainly would have been a first-tier candidate."

I heard the Thompson withdrawal news right after reading that the 30-year anniversary of Elvis' death Thursday is expected to draw the largest crowd ever to Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. I thought about the presidential elections in my lifetime and realized that the Elvis factor has been a pretty good predictor of the winners.

Read it all here.


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Comments (6)

I think there is no questio... (Below threshold)

I think there is no question who has the Elvis factor and I think he'll huckster successfully from the Veep spot.

Hi, Lorie. Great point. Tom... (Below threshold)

Hi, Lorie. Great point. Tommy Thompson certainly lacked any "Elvis" factor, or for that matter even a "Carl Perkins" factor level charisma. He has near zero charisma, yet had excellent credentials as well as attempted to elevate answers to health care and other important issues within the GOP campaign, while fringe issue candidates Mike Huckabee ans Sam Brownback drew heavy votes in the Iowa straw poll from single issue social conservatives who largely ignored important issues like health care, Iraq, terrorism, and other important concerns in favor of a vote against abortion or another single issue.

The likely GOP nominee will be a real candidate with a real campaign that offers platforms on a wide range of issues and is not just fringe single issue campaign. And the "Elvis" factor needs to be there as well if they are to have any real chance in the 2008 general election.

The "Elvis Factor" certainl... (Below threshold)

The "Elvis Factor" certainly explains Bill Clinton ... then and now.

Hey we're Americans, we wan... (Below threshold)

Hey we're Americans, we want a little pizzaz, a little sizzle with the steak. So sometimes we get taken, but sometimes we get Reagan. That is the way it has been, and will be, always. I am confident, however, that the whole of the nation will never be as stupid as the state that re-elects teddy woman-killer kennedy every 6, or the morons of dhimmesota that elected Con. Ellison. No way.

Lincoln said it best about the electorate getting fooled to which the summation must be: It all works out in the end. (Even though we never did get to live the splendor of a Forbes Presidency.)

You don't have to radiate c... (Below threshold)

You don't have to radiate charisma like JFK or Reagan to be elected President, but it's much easier to win having some as opposed to having none.

The real key is to have more than the other guy, as when George H. W. Bush faced Michael Dukakis.

The only election I can remember when the (non-incumbent) candidate with less charisma beat the one with more was Nixon in 1968 - and there were so many unusual factors that year (assassinations, riots, Vietnam, the Dem convention, Wallace's independent run) as to account for the anomaly.

As Thompson proved, you can be elected Governor without charisma, but the Presidential campaigns have grown so long it is essential to have enough personality to keep the target audience awake, at least.

Yuck. Keep your Elvis fact... (Below threshold)

Yuck. Keep your Elvis factor. That's why we have Blagojevich as Illinois governor (elected two times!).






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