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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Barack Obama - Rolling Stone Magazine Cover Boy

Dr. Gordon Patzer's letter to The Independent US Editor Leonard Doyle on his article from March 06th, 2008 about Barack Obama making the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.


Many years ago, a popular 1970s American rock band named “Dr. Hook” recorded a hit song with portions of the lyrics that seem to apply well to Barack Obama now making the cover of “Rolling Stone” as you’ve reported. A small portion of the lyrics from that song, titled “On the Cover of Rolling Stone” magazine, proclaim: “We got a lot of ... groupies, Who do anything we say. We got all the friends that money can buy, So we never have to be alone, And we keep gettin' richer.”

Within the similarities between the old “Dr. Hook” rock group lyrics and the new Barack Obama presidential political candidate circumstances, it seems that a significant portion of his good political fortunes tie rather directly to his good looks.

In the United States, the link is strong historically between being elected to the position of president and possessing rather stereotypical high physical attractiveness. Yes, that superficial feature of a person that defines his level of good looks or, in other words, handsome appearance. Maybe in comparison, a particularly pertinent political campaign in somewhat contemporary times pitted the victorious John F. Kennedy, routinely acknowledged as very good looking, against his defeated challenger of much less physical attractiveness, Richard M. Nixon. In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle has written that, “Some historians have suggested that John F. Kennedy won the presidency because female voters swooned over his looks.”

For those of us who have long studied “physical attractiveness phenomenon,” a robust body of published research documents that persons of higher physical attractiveness experience a much more favorable life than their counterparts of lower physical attractiveness; despite the lack of recognitions or outright denials that people express against these dynamics. And, despite the discomfort it might cause us, it is near certain that Barack Obama’s traditional good looks should not be overlooked as a substantial component in his success thus far among voters in the American primaries leading up to election of our next president and, accordingly, among financial donors to his candidacy.

Dr. Gordon Patzer
author of "Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined"

Brief and to the Point:

How much is Rolling Stone magazine may be getting from Obama's Campaign?


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