Presidential Character

PRESIDENTIAL CHARACTER….This is from Margolit Fox’s obituary today for James Barber, a Duke University political scientist who wrote a book called The Presidential Character:

Analyzing presidential character, Dr. Barber focused on two criteria: whether a president was active or passive, and whether he viewed his job in positive or negative terms.

In combination, the criteria formed four distinct personality types. Active-positive presidents, who brought energy and enjoyment to their work, included Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Dr. Barber wrote. Passive-positives, like William Howard Taft, were compliant and superficially cheerful. Passive-negatives, like Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower, were sullen and withdrawn, viewing the office as a burden.

The most dangerous type, Dr. Barber wrote, was the active-negative. Though energetic, such men were also joyless, inflexible, compulsive and domineering, with “a strong bent for digging their own graves.” In this category he listed Lyndon B. Johnson and [Richard] Nixon.

Hmmm. Care to take a guess which personality type George Bush falls into?

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