The Colin McEnroe Show
2:30 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

The Politics Of Personality, The Personality Of Politics

There are lots of macro-theories about how elections work. For Republican Frank Luntz , it's all about language. Call it the death tax instead of the estate tax and you change how people feel about it. For liberal theorist George Lakoff, it's about "moral framing." He says conservatives respond to the equivalent of a strict parent and liberals to a more nurturing set of ideas. For others, it's all geography. In his book "The Great Divide," John Sperling argued that Democrats should be able to dominate and unify metro states while Republicans do the same in so-called retro states.

Most elections are actually a pretty complex interplay of personalities, history, luck and timing. A lot of things have to go right for one person to win. But personality -- that of the voter and that of the candidate -- is a big factor. Paul Tieger, our guest today, says its the biggest factor of all.

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