Monday, September 1, 2008

Being sexy in politics

Ok , so most of us would agree that being sexy is no bad thing. Most of the time. But why is this even an issue in something like the US Presidential Election?

It's human nature that we prefer someone who is good looking to someone who isn't. But overcoming our natural instincts and letting logic have a role is part of what makes us human.

So, hearing Sam Smyth, for whom I generally have great respect, asking Ed Hayes, the Sunday Supplement's US snitch, if he "fancies" Sarah Palin, was a bit of a pain.

Why should fancying a candidate make them any better at their job? And why should this question only be asked about women?

Hillary Clinton is perceived as too intellectual, too tough and too 'willing to do anything to succeed' for most voters, particularly most men. All these 'unfeminine' characteristics are part of what lost her the Democratic nomination. Also, she just isn't hot.

Granted, Obama is attractive. And granted, this won't have done his chances any harm. But have you heard anyone asked recently, on a quality current affairs programme, if they "fancy" him?

Grow up, Sam.


  1. Ooh she's back with a bang there!

  2. Politics has less and less to do with logic or sensible ideas, as you've no doubt noticed. Maybe it's a reflection of widespread political apathy; whatever the reasons, you're right to have a problem with it.

    Media monopolization meant making news entertaining at all costs, or people switched channels/magazines. It didn't take long for broadsheets to succumb to celebrity culture, and it's no accident that RTE's website places the Craic section just below the Economy section. Some punchline, eh.

    JFK and Reagan owe some of their success to the charisma that translated so well and widely on television. Even Thatcher had a certain sinister charm; I know people who fancied her too. But Palin as even a potential president? Neil Postman would be rolling in his grave.