Attractiveness and Political Candidates - The Intrepid

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Attractiveness and Political Candidates

Although the McCain campaign has argued that Barack Obama is nothing more than a vapid celebrity, it seems that McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin may have more in common with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears than Obama. After McCain announced Palin as his running mate, thousands of people started to search for nude pictures of Sarah Palin. While search engines are often flooded with requests for nude pictures of models or celebrities, it is somewhat uncommon for people to search for nude pictures of a politician.

While Palin, a former Miss Alaska participant, is undoubtedly attractive, will her so-called sexy librarian appeal translate into votes in November? In the age of television, attractiveness is important for both male and female candidates. However, for female candidates, beauty can often be a double-edged sword. While attractive female candidates usually benefit from media attention, voters often see intelligence and beauty as incompatible traits (the dumb blonde syndrome).

While the McCain campaign is no doubt benefiting from the increased attention that Palin is drawing, her attractiveness may be a liability in the election. However, Palin’s strong convention speech may have helped subside fears about her ability to govern. Her uncanny resemblance to Battlestar Galactica character President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) may also convince voters that untested candidates can rise to the occasion in times of need.


Mmm said...

"Her uncanny resemblance to Battlestar Galactica character President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) .."

--How wild that you write that as just last night I was rewatching the new BSG pilot miniseries that started season 1 and noted the very same thing!

Stephen M. said...

Quite a few people have noted the similarity. I first saw the comparison a week ago on a random flickr account.