Neil Cavuto: “I’m so Pretty, oh so Pretty”

Neil Cavuto made me laugh in his latest article at Town HallWhy don’t ugly people have charisma? When I say made me laugh, I of course mean, guffawed in awe of how shallow he is in his sophomore attempt to detract from the flurry of news that has been associating John Edwards and the adjective “charismatic.” He’s right on one count, people do vote on image before substance. Unfortunately he blows any chance of being taken serious by mentioning John Kerry, John Edwards and Dick Cheney, but conspicuously leaving the name George Bush out of the article. As pampered fratboy-cum-governor, Bush’s only asset in the 2000 elections was image and likability, with Cheney seen as the veteran foundation for the campaign.

I decided to do a quick Google search to test my own hypothesis that more people have attribute the terms “charisma” or “charismatic” to Bush than to Edwards. The result was not surprising, with Bush’s search results easily dwarfing by a margin of two to one in a mano-y-mano against the other results. Lo and behold, look who’s talking out of the side of their mouth when it comes to the facts. I’m looking at you, Cavuto.

I threw the Libertarian candidate, Michael Badnarik (and veep Campagna) into the fray to reiterate an interesting point that Cavuto made and could be taken for face value without context:

But I think we should set our standards a little higher when we’re electing the most powerful men on the planet. Trust me, I know you can be sexy and smart. But that doesn’t mean you write off the guy who’s ugly and smart.

He’s right, we shouldn’t vote based on who’s the prettier candidate, or who has the nicer hair, or who looks good in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier. We should be voting on the candidate’s issues and honesty.

Googling candidate charisma

Raw data results of Google searches:
844 for Badnarik OR Campagna charisma OR charismatic
– 167 for Badnarik alone
– 1,220 for Campagna alone
109,000 results for Kerry OR Edwards charisma OR charismatic
– 74,800 for Kerry alone
– 63,900 for Edwards alone
165,000 for Bush OR Cheney charisma OR charismatic
– 163,000 for Bush alone
– 23,700 for Cheney alone

Why don’t ugly people have charisma? [Town Hall]

4 Comments
  1. shouldn’t you factor in the total number of pages for each candidate as well. I mean Bush has way more time in the spotlight over the past 4 years then Kerry or Edwards. A raw number result like that is pretty damn misleading given that fact. You can make a reasonable assumption the Badbarik and Kerry numbers are mainly in relation to the presidential run, but how much of the Bush numbers come from say 2001 or maybe 1999?

  2. There’s also a lot of overlap on this, so I’m not sure how to approach it. I wasn’t trying to be deceptive in the number of results in any way, Of course Bush’s name has been out there and there’s going to be more articles. There’s also a lot of overlap with Kerry though.

    I could have modified the queries to omit results with overlaps, but at a certain point it’s less of a raw look at Google and more like a forced result.

  3. I think a better way to do it would be to use a ratio of “charismatic” results to raw results. Then again a search for “kerry OR edwards -bush -cheney” generates only 2 relevant results out of 10 on the front page. The problem is “Edwards” which returns all sorts of irrelevant stuff. “bush OR cheney -kerry -edwards” on the other hand returns a 100% relevant front page.

    All interesting stuff, but Google’s value as a comparative tool is as yet unproven.