With the advent of radio and television, presidential charisma became a more important personality characteristic. Above, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is rated one of the most charismatic presidents; John F. Kennedy; Bill Clinton.
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Charisma wasn't an early requirement for presidents, since many decisions were made behind closed doors, says psychology professor Dean Simonton. His analysis of the charisma of these three commanders in chief: John Adams: "Average." Thomas Jefferson: "Average." Andrew Jackson: "Well above average."
As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, All Things Considered asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined leadership in the animal kingdom.
Charming or cold. Flexible or rigid. Paranoid or impulsive or calculating.
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
This campaign season most of us have been bombarded by political ads on TV. Those ads get the most attention from fact-checkers and opposing campaigns, but the presidential candidates are also running lots of spots on commercial radio stations. It gives them a chance to target particular kinds of people, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with a sprint. The 2012 presidential debates are now history and today, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney begin the two-week race to Election Day. Mr. Obama is widely considered the winner of last night's foreign policy debate, but he didn't spend much time crowing today.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:11 am
From now until Election Day, the U.S. might as well consist of just eight or so states, not 50.
Those are the battleground states where President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, their running mates and spouses will be spending much of their time in what remains of the 2012 race for the White House.
It's all about amassing the 270 electoral votes required to be elected president. NPR's analysis of the race at this point suggests the eight states that are most in play are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:44 am
We're zeroing in on eight "tossup" states where the race is too close to call, but where the election will likely be decided. Try your hand at gaming out the electoral vote possibilities at npr.org/scorecard.
Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:13 pm
It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.
But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.
Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.
Jean Gianfagna displays some of the political mailings her family receives at her home in Westlake, Ohio, on Oct. 19. Gianfagna says her family sometimes gets four of the same piece at a time — her husband and two grown kids all get their own.