Greatness in the White House: Rating the Presidents

By Robert K. Murray; Tim H. Blessing | Go to book overview

THREE
Do Appearance and Background Affect Presidential Success?

IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC, few Americans ever saw their president, and until the advent of movie news in the early twentieth century, most could describe their president only on the basis of official photographs or newspaper pictures. But in the recent period, because of almost unlimited television exposure, his face has become as familiar as faces in our own family. As a result, the president's physical appearance has acquired increasing importance, especially in the eyes of the media and the general public. Certainly how he looks has become a much talked-about factor in successfully seeking the presidency. But has this attribute really contributed to the success of presidents or to how historians have rated their performance once they were in the White House?

As a group, the presidents varied in their physical attributes. Most of them, however, were quite average. A few were thought to be "handsome." Kennedy might have been a movie star. Reagan was one. Fillmore was considered to be exceedingly "good-looking," and in 1920 Harding captured the votes of hundreds of thousands of newly enfranchised women partly because he "looked like a president." On the other hand, John Quincy Adams and Martin Van Buren were decidedly unimposing, and Lincoln, the butt of many jokes about his appearance, frequently commented about his homeliness himself. Presidents have also come in all shapes and sizes. Madison was the shortest at 5'4". He was also the smallest president, weighing little more than 100 pounds. Taft was the largest, tipping the scales at over 320. Lincoln was the tallest chief executive, soaring to 6'4 1/2". Presidents, as a group, have been taller than the average height for the adult male population;

-25-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Greatness in the White House: Rating the Presidents
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 169

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.