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  1. #1
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Why We'll Win-Because We're Good Looking!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301753_pf.html

    Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of Votes
    With a Parade of Attractive Candidates, the Party May Benefit From the Politics of Beauty

    By Shailagh Murray
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, October 14, 2006; A01

    AUBURN, N.Y. -- Maybe Democratic candidate Michael Arcuri is running strong in this Republican House district because he pledges to expand health coverage, balance the budget and raise the minimum wage.

    Or maybe it's his piercing Italian eyes and runner's physique.

    "He is pretty good-looking," observed Paula Ferrin with admiration, as the 47-year-old district attorney worked the crowd at a local senior center.

    "What we want is brains, honey," scolded her friend Rose Oliver.

    "True," Ferrin answered, "but handsome doesn't hurt."

    The research is unambiguous that Ferrin is right: Attractive politicians have an edge over not-so-attractive ones. The phenomenon is resonating especially this year. By a combination of luck and design, Democrats seem to be fielding an uncommonly high number of uncommonly good-looking candidates.

    The beauty gap between the parties, some on Capitol Hill muse, could even be a factor in who controls Congress after Election Day.

    Democratic operatives do not publicly say that they went out of their way this year to recruit candidates with a high hotness quotient. Privately, however, they acknowledge that, as they focused on finding the most dynamic politicians to challenge vulnerable Republicans, it did not escape their notice that some of the most attractive prospects were indeed often quite attractive.

    There is a certain logic to the trend. Back in 1994, when Republicans seized power in Congress from Democrats, the GOP had a number of fresh-faced challengers who knocked off incumbents who had grown worse for wear after years of committee hearings and fundraising receptions.

    This year, it is the Democrats who have several ripe opportunities to unseat Republicans, some of whom have grown gray and portly during their years in power.

    To gain the 15 seats needed to recapture House control, the party is targeting about 40 GOP-leaning districts, including New York's 24th, where veteran Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert (R) is retiring and where Arcuri is campaigning.

    In most of the races, the Democratic challengers look a lot like standard-issue politicians -- not likely to impress the judges at Atlantic City. But there are others who, while they might not have movie-star looks, are certainly well above the C-SPAN median.

    The list is decidedly unscientific, but it includes several whose names come up often on Capitol Hill for reasons other than their policy platforms. Among those on it, in addition to Arcuri, are Brad Ellsworth, a swaggering Indiana sheriff; businesswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who has chiseled features and rides a motorcycle; and Heath Shuler of North Carolina, a strapping former quarterback for the Washington Redskins. In Tennessee, Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., a lean and stylish 36-year-old, has drawn admiring looks.

    Republican Bob Corker, who is running against Ford, has acknowledged the disparity. "I know I'm not as good-looking," Corker said. He hopes his business experience will compensate.

    The crop of eye-pleasing pols has party operatives calculating the politics of beauty. "There's a fine line, and you can't cross it," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Voters don't like men who look like pretty boys or women who resemble bimbos. "If you're too good-looking, people won't take you seriously," Emanuel said.

    Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, agreed that attractive candidates often have an early advantage. But he said voters' decisions in the polling booth are rarely skin-deep, especially in a closely contested race.

    "When each side is spending four or five million, people know the records, and it doesn't have the same impact," he said. He noted that Shuler's popularity has declined in recent weeks following reports that his real estate firm was late in paying taxes. "That's gone back to being a close race."

    The two candidates here in this Upstate New York district have similar résumés. Both Arcuri and his GOP opponent, state Sen. Raymond A. Meier, are lawyers. The two first crossed paths in 1985 while working on opposite sides of a local election recount. Polls showed they entered the race with roughly even name identification. They have the same Oneida County political base.

    Meier's advantage is that the 24th District is home to 45,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. But Arcuri is a popular prosecutor, the first Democrat elected to the post in 40 years. He's also tall and thin, with dark, gray-flecked hair and sharp features. Meier, who is 53, wears glasses, and his hair is brown and thinning. His look would seem to be perfectly pleasant but nondescript.

    Arcuri's image is plastered all over his campaign materials, from yard signs to the trading cards that are distributed at campaign events. In his official campaign photo, he leans forward with one hand on his hip, looking suave and casual. His Web site shows him finishing a marathon.

    His political friends tease him about his fashion-magazine persona, but they acknowledge that it's a valuable asset. "He's a young, good-looking guy," said Charlie Evangelista, Ontario County Democratic Committee chairman. "He's going to connect with people."

    Arcuri's theory is that voters have an immediate, visceral reaction to candidates that, if powerful enough, can trump ideology or party affiliation. "How do you get around the status quo? You look for younger, energetic faces," he said. But while people may decide in an instant whether or not they are able to vote for him, he said, "then they have to know you can do the job."

    He added, "I spend a lot of time assuring people I can be congressional."

    His theory might be correct. An independent poll in the district released last night showed him with a 10-point lead.

    Some of the academic research on beauty and voting goes back decades, to the early 1970s. In 1990, political scientist Lee Sigelman, then at the University of Arizona, posited that Democrats were losing ground nationally, despite an advantage in voter registration, because their looks were a turnoff. He rated all governors and members of Congress on an ugliness scale and found that of the 26 least attractive, 25 were Democrats.

    The playing field these days is more level. Research has shown that if candidates invest a little effort in their looks, the payoff can be huge. Campaign consultants hover around candidates, ordering them to change their hairstyles, get in shape and update their wardrobes. "The bar has been raised, without question," said Sigelman, now a George Washington University political science professor.

    He singled out three Maryland statewide candidates, Republican Senate nominee Michael S. Steele and gubernatorial rivals Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and Martin O'Malley (D), "as playing the image game really well." Politicians today, said Sigelman, strive for "the personality and looks of talk show hosts." The goal is to be "well turned out."

    One candidate who made a high-impact adjustment is Diane Farrell. The Connecticut Democrat used to wear her blond hair pulled back tight, but after a gentle nudge from a campaign aide, she allowed it to hang loose for a more natural, relaxed look.

    The looks factor can be maddening for the opposition. One writer on an anti-Shuler blog expressed annoyance at the candidate's wife, "with all her quips about how cute Shuler is. What a way to decide how to vote!!"

    Perhaps not surprisingly, research has shown that voters who are easily swayed by social trends tend to favor more attractive candidates. Conversely, people who resist social trends prefer unattractive candidates.

    The latest wave of research examines a possible root of political attraction: how closely candidates and voters resemble each other. A Stanford University study this year suggested that little-known candidates can increase their electoral support by as much as 20 percentage points by tweaking visual features on their campaign materials so they look slightly more like a targeted group of voters, for instance Asians or Hispanics.

    The less voters know about the candidates, as in races such as the Arcuri-Meier contest with no incumbent, the more looks seem to matter. An examination of a 2001 British local election by a team of Texas Tech University and University of Plymouth researchers found that, in the absence of facts, people who are considered attractive by survey respondents are more likely to win.

    The findings were presented to the American Political Science Association's 2003 annual meeting, with the caveat that they "may offend notions of democracy that candidates should compete fairly and on the basis of issues not appearance."

    © 2006 The Washington Post Company
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    Michael Arcuri


    Brad Ellsworth


    Heath Shuler



    Harold Ford Jr.
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  2. #2
    MattieMich
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!


  3. #3
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    ^^who's the cutie??


    the next governor of my great state, Deval Patrick.
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  4. #4
    MattieMich
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!


  5. #5
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Hmm, he almost has Peto Antoni's smile In my books, that's a winner

    Wonder if he has a similar looking piece of equipment


  6. #6
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Wow, I can't believe it, I'm a fan already









  7. #7
    Pococuranté belamy's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    They all look like the average congressional closet case.
    By the way, does that Kleeb guy receive his funds from Marlboro? Has he ever met Ang Lee? What does he think of Ronald Reagan?

  8. #8
    General_Alfie
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by MattieMich View Post

    That's an awesome fucking shot. Where are all the people, though?

  9. #9
    grizzled
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    ^probably running for the tornado cellar if that sky in the background wasn't photoshopped.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    I say, whatever help we can get, we'll take!

    Bring it home boys! (and girls!)
    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
    *Leo Tolstoy

  11. #11
    General_Alfie
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by smelter44 View Post
    ^probably running for the tornado cellar if that sky in the background wasn't photoshopped.
    You mean the so-called "sky," in classic CONservative so-called "quotes?"

  12. #12
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    the straight mayor of san francisco...i dunno how i feel about him cause he, along with my states supreme court, probably lost kerry the presidency in 2004 by letting gays get married right before the election...i wasn't crazy about his or our courts timing. but he's cute so he belongs in this thread.




    feel free to fantasize about him and the guy with him in the photo...
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  13. #13
    Pococuranté belamy's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!






  14. #14
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    what belamy? my thread is offensive to you?? too shallow for such an intellectual? guilty on all counts.
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  15. #15
    Pococuranté belamy's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by james1200 View Post
    what belamy? my thread is offensive to you?? too shallow for such an intellectual? guilty on all counts.

    No, just a bit disappointed: this thread is neither about politics nor about hot American guys.

  16. #16
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    hey..i'd like to see your politicans...actually, i really would. they're probably all hot.

    john edwards was smokin' when he was young.


    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  17. #17
    Pococuranté belamy's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    From a new party in Catalonia (meh):

    http://www.ciutadans-ciudadanos.com/...ina=29&lang=CA

    "YOUR NEW PARTY IS BORN" "WE ONLY CARE ABOUT PEOPLE"


    But it´s true nothing beats American beef

  18. #18
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    Zeremonie's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by belamy View Post

    No, just a bit disappointed: this thread is neither about politics nor about hot American guys.
    I think this thread is perfect for this forum. Have you read the book Blink by Malcom Gladwell? There's a good discussion in it of how appearance affects chances at a political office.

  19. #19
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeremonie View Post
    I think this thread is perfect for this forum. Have you read the book Blink by Malcom Gladwell? There's a good discussion in it of how appearance affects chances at a political office.
    no i haven't but thanks for the heads up. it's been a while since i read a good book...

    just thought i'd post a picture of the opposite of a hot democrat...mark foley. in high school. where he's apparently still stuck.


    http://wonkette.com/politics/sex/

    noted for being a ladies man...uh-huh.
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  20. #20
    JUB Addict Lostlover's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by james1200 View Post
    no i haven't but thanks for the heads up. it's been a while since i read a good book...

    just thought i'd post a picture of the opposite of a hot democrat...mark foley. in high school. where he's apparently still stuck.


    http://wonkette.com/politics/sex/

    noted for being a ladies man...uh-huh.
    LMAO James, PRICELESS!!!!
    "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.'' - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  21. #21
    Student of Human Nature NickCole's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by james1200 View Post
    hey..i'd like to see your politicans...actually, i really would. they're probably all hot.

    john edwards was smokin' when he was young.


    I think he looks a lot hotter now than he did then.

  22. #22
    Student of Human Nature NickCole's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by james1200 View Post
    just thought i'd post a picture of the opposite of a hot democrat...mark foley. in high school. where he's apparently still stuck.


    http://wonkette.com/politics/sex/

    noted for being a ladies man...uh-huh.
    "Noted for being a ladies man." Not at all surprising. Most of us were in the closet in high school, back then. Certainly people like Mark Foley, overly concerned about public acceptability and being liked and a part of the group, were in the closet. But if sexuality and sexual desirability is top priority for a guy, it's going to find a way to get played out.

  23. #23
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by star-warrior View Post
    Hmm, he almost has Peto Antoni's smile In my books, that's a winner

    Wonder if he has a similar looking piece of equipment
    why, oh why, would you ruin a perfectly good thread by comparing a hottie like scott kleeb to peto? i suggest contacts.
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


  24. #24
    Pococuranté belamy's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    Quote Originally Posted by james1200 View Post
    why, oh why, would you ruin a perfectly good thread by comparing a hottie like scott kleeb to peto? i suggest contacts.
    I suggest an intel core duo behind your eyes.

  25. #25
    Professional Hoodrat james1200's Avatar
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    Re: Why We'll Win-Because We're Better Looking!

    i doubt even that could process that hideous avatar of his.

    i'm haven't been to bed yet belamy...tell me a bed time story not envolving peto.
    "Yo mama is so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion!"


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