Knowing the Candidates: The Proof Is in the Penmanship

Analysts read plenty into handwriting of White House hopefuls
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2008 2:17 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., signs autographs.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – Abraham Lincoln’s modesty and Ronald Reagan’s warmth were evident in their handwriting. Now, the Los Angeles Times wants to know what analysts think of the strokes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain:

  • Obama's writing is described as “fluid, graceful”; intelligent but also emotive. His words end in lines that reach out, a sign of flexibility—though a certain illegibility can be seen as subtly guarded.

  • Clinton is a perfectionist, “straight up, precise” even “persistent.” Her writing is straight, though, and not loopy—lacking warmth or emotion. Her disciplined writing “goes easily to the core of a subject” and shows forcefulness.
  • “There is a lot about John McCain he doesn’t wish to share openly”—or so suggest his covered strokes. He’s called a “pit bull ... angular and intense.” His letters change direction at will, making him a penmanship “loose cannon.” Added one expert: “Look at the comma: It’s a slash. There is his temper.”