In US politics, height matters and Trump knows it

first_imgHe also christened the media mogul with a new nickname: “Mini Mike.”All this height-shaming is not new for the Republican leader. He also has slapped ‘little’ or ‘liddle’ (or even liddle’, apostrophe included) on a number of lawmakers of varying heights — Adam Schiff, Marco Rubio, Bob Corker, to name a few.Mini Mike is a short ball (very) hitter. Tiny club head speed. KEEP AMERICA GREAT! https://t.co/5DUj16jtZf— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020Indeed, Trump seems keenly aware that in America, height matters. What sets Trump apart is how unabashedly he is trying to use it to his advantage. When Donald Trump literally belittles his perceived enemies — by mocking their stature — he is weaponizing a long-standing maxim of US presidential politics: taller guys tend to win the White House.Trump — who stands at about 6’3″ (1m90) depending on which source you use — has hammered away of late at Mike Bloomberg, the former New York mayor whose campaign for the Democratic nomination is gathering pace.Bloomberg officially is 5’8”, but in recent tweets and interviews, Trump has lopped four inches off and alleged that Bloomberg asked to stand on a box during Democratic primary debates. “It is not typical of what presidents do,” said Gregg Murray, a political scientist at Augusta University in Georgia who has studied the role of height in how Americans vote.Jealousy Look back at Trump’s recent predecessors and they were all at least six feet tall, or close to it — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, his father, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, to name a few.Indeed, Americans are so caught up with the height of their leaders that during one of the 2016 Republican presidential debates, Google has said the most frequent online search was not about a policy issue. It was about how tall Jeb Bush was (answer: 6’3″).This predilection for taller leaders — more stature suggesting more strength, especially in times of strife, says Murray — is hardly a uniquely American thing.To wit, Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe of Japan and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel are both taller than the average man in their countries. While he is not an elected leader, so is President Xi Jinping of China, who stands 5’11”. France’s Charles de Gaulle was a towering 6’5″. Jacques Chirac was 6’2″. Of course, Nicolas Sarkozy was 5’5″.But in general, experts say tall folk have an advantage in politics — and other walks of life as well.”There is overwhelming evidence that tall people have a much better chance to reach higher positions in organizations” in any country, said Abraham Buunk, a Dutch academic who co-authored a 2013 study in Leadership Quarterly entitled “Tall claims? Sense and nonsense about the importance of height of US presidents.””The advantage of taller candidates is potentially explained by perceptions associated with height: taller presidents are rated by experts as ‘greater,’ and having more leadership and communications skills,” the study said.The world’s tallest men on average are the Dutch at six feet, according to the scientific journal eLife.Buunk said he and three colleagues took note, and eventually studied American presidents, when a Canadian graduate student colleague who had always thought he was tall came to the Netherlands and “felt rather average.””We decided to examine the psychological effects of height, starting with jealousy,” Buunk wrote in an email to AFP.Elections lure tall candidatesIn the United States, in presidential elections held through 2012, the taller of the two major-party candidates won 58 percent of the time. Murray says this is largely because elections tend to lure taller people as candidates.”It’s not like we all get in a room and point to the people who are taller,” he told AFP. “Tall males are much more likely to think themselves qualified to be a leader and are therefore much more likely to put themselves forward as a leader.”In this campaign, two women are running for the Democratic nomination — Elizabeth Warren is about 5’8”, the same as rival Pete Buttigieg.Amy Klobuchar is several inches shorter — in a debate in December, she quipped that James Madison had been “a pretty good size for a president — he was five-foot-four.”In 2016, Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton stood at about 5’5”.During one of their presidential debates that year, Trump stood behind Clinton at one point as she spoke — seen as camera-hogging clowning by some, and outright bullying by others.Murray argued that in America, at the national level at least, height is a built-in problem for women because it prevents them from looking “physically formidable” for voters seeking a leader they deem to be strong.Of course, as much as Trump tries to depict himself as taller than his opponents and says he is 6’3″, it does not always work. Just look at photos from the 2016 Republican debates — Jeb Bush is clearly taller.Topics :last_img read more

Tadic signs for Saints

first_img Tadic said: “It is a really nice feeling, this is a really nice club of which I have heard a lot of good things about. I have already seen the beautiful training centre and there are lots of nice people that work here including the coaches, so I am really happy to be here.” Attacking midfielder Tadic, 25, scored some 16 times in 33 league games last season for Twente, as the Dutch side finished third behind Ajax and Feyenoord. Tadic, who has agreed a four-year deal at St Mary’s, is confident he has joined a club going places under Koeman, who impressed while in charge of Feyenoord in the Eredivisie. “I watched a lot of the games last season and saw that the club plays really nice football which will suit me because I like to play in the same way,” he added. “The manager obviously knows me from the Dutch league so when he called me and told me his plan it was an easy decision to make. “I know the manager well because he is one of the biggest Dutch legends in football, everyone knows him. “He is a really good coach and you can always expect his teams to play well because he is leading them and because he is so good tactically. I am really excited to start playing for the club.” Koeman, meanwhile, feels Tadic’s arrival will act as a “great signal” of Southampton’s intent to move forwards following last season’s top-10 finish and the departure of so many key players. “It was very important to get this signing done – not only for me, but for the rest of the squad and for our fans. It’s fantastic news,” he said in a statement on the club’s official website, www.saintsfc.co.uk. “We have lost some good players, but we want to continue the ambition and philosophy of the club, so it is a great signal to have brought in our first player. “He’s a great player. I know him very well from Holland, where he had a great season last year. “We now look forward to bringing in more players because we want to continue and maybe even better what Southampton did last season.” Southampton have also been linked with Lorient defender Bruno Ecuele Manga, who could be seen as cover for wantaway Dejan Lovren. Liverpool are keen on the Croatia international, and Lovren admits his head has been turned by the Reds interest, with a bid in the region of £18million said to be rejected having fallen way short of the club’s valuation. Southampton have completed the signing of Serbian playmaker Dusan Tadic from Dutch side FC Twente. The 25-year-old joins the Saints for an undisclosed fee, reported to be in excess of £8million, and becomes the first player brought in by new manager Ronald Koeman. Southampton are looking to rebuild the squad following the sales of key men like Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert after Mauricio Pochettino left to take over at Tottenham. Press Associationlast_img read more