My November 14 post at America magazine looks at the myth that good-looking, JFK types have an advantage in running for political office. A new study suggests that the physically attractive simply wait for the best opportunities to run, avoiding elections where they have little chance of prevailing. An excerpt from my post:
This makes intuitive sense. A lot of political candidates are recruited to run by party leaders and major campaign contributors, and they may look for confident types that have already succeeded in business or, a bit less often, the entertainment world. Classically handsome candidates like Mitt Romney (running for governor of Massachusetts) and John Edwards (running for U.S. Senate in North Carolina) and charismatic figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger (running for governor of California) have been successful at grabbing their parties’ nominations for tough-but-winnable races. But in each case, the circumstances were such that a schlub with similar views could have also won the general election.
The “hunks don’t like to lose” theory explains why so many fringe candidates — those who shape the debate but don’t have the money or institutional backing to win — are older or more easily caricatured. Think not only of Kucinich and Paul père, but also Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.
Read the entire post here.
Photo: Fictional Illinois hunk Gov. Peter Florrick, of TV's The Good Wife.