Is it important for the president to be likeable?
Is it imperative for the president to be likeable? Can he still be effective even if he is not well liked? If a presidential candidate was not likeable but effective in balancing budgets, reducing earmarks, protected your rights, would you vote for him/her?
I likely would vote for the person but I do think likability helps though that is not necessarily a fair way to gauge a candidate. I think a lot of people vote based on looks, perceived personality etc. There are so many voters that don't understand or study the issues before casting a vote.
Likeable no but charismatic and inspiring yes, the President is after all a leader and in times of crisis it is his job to rally the people and lead and that takes a certain character. Having said that both roles are important and in most presidencies competence is the more important of the two.
Likability has become a factor in getting elected,not in doing the job. I think it is a result of television and started with the Nixon-Kennedy debates. Harry Truman is considered a good president but he was not too well liked.
Likeability lends a president some influence with congress in that he is able to call on their constituents to pressure them on issues. Reagan was the master at doing it.
It's more important for a presidential candidate, however. Getting elected in this era of mass imagery requires a projection of it. Enough voters cast their ballots on the basis of feelings rather than rational thoughts to make it crucial.
Bear in mind that projections are not necessarily real, and so we have to say it's critical for someone running for the presidency to appear likeable, not actually to be so when the cameras aren't running. Just as Reagan was genuinely likeable, Obama is brilliant at projecting a false likeability, or rather one of a number of versions of it depending on his audience at the time. It serves just as well.
Sometimes I feel like the presidential race and even other political races have turned into a popularity contest, or whom can attack the other more. With the state of the economy I worry about who is more capable of running the country, not just who can be inspiring and be a leader, but who from a business perspective can save this sinking ship called our economy, state of health care, etc...
If the issue is getting elected, then yes, likeability is imperative. And the issue is always getting elected. Even after taking office, if a person is "likeable" he or she will have a better shot at success in working with other politicians on both sides of the aisle.
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