Presidential Personalities

After reading “does Temperament Matter,” a Time magazine article written by Nancy Gibbs, I have come to many realizations that I had not yet thought about before. First of all, obviously not every one of us has the qualities to become a great and powerful leader of our country. There are the obvious required traits; such as bravery, confidence, wisdom, and leadership, but there are also many more characteristics that make a good president that people do not realize. “temperament is as elusive as it is essential,” according to Gibbs. this means that the qualities that a successful president needs to succeed are both needed and hard to find.



Unlike the obvious traits, the imperative traits that a president must have to succeed are often times not so obvious. Gibbs also states that “The presidency is less an office than a performance,” which goes to show that what the people hear and see is not always the truth. Gibbs continues to make it clear in her article that during campaigns there is never really a forseeable future, so it is to the utmost importance that the candidates know how to think, act, and be during that time. Sometimes a candidate has to stretch the truth in order to get what he or she wants.



People tend to pay a lot of attention to temperament in politics. For example, there are many different polls having to do with political temperament. This poll is an example of party affiliation regarding temperament in politics.Although it is true that temperament in politics is a topic that is often studied and dissected, it is also true that most people do not recognize the reality of elusiveness when it comes to presidential temperament, I for sure did not.

In her article, Gibbs states “What type of temperament matters?… The idea that anyone can grow up to be president is an American gospel, but that’s about honoring equality, not excellence. It’s good to be smart, but that’s no guarantee of success.” This statement is one that really got me thinking. That is because I had always just assumed presidential candidates were all just smart and experienced individuals, but now I have come to the realization that those traits are not all that is required from a president, and I cannot believe I had not realized it earlier. Going through a presidential campaign is much like a series of acts for both candidates. It is their job for the time being to do whatever it takes and all that is in their power to make the citizens of their country believe and trust them.

I hope the citizens of our country can take away from this what I did, and realize that everything is not always as it seems, and sometimes that is the way it has to be for things to work.




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