|Bush Likability Not to be Underrated|
"...But it's no time to write off this president. Yes, Senator Kerry has caught up with Bush in the polls. But the average of several polls I've seen would show that Kerry is only a percentage point or two ahead. So the question persists: Why, with Bush so far behind in public approval, isn't Kerry substantially ahead in the polls?
I find the answer on the wall above my typewriter where I have the picture of my favorite president, Abraham Lincoln. I see in his face his warmth and friendliness. Polls show that voters find these qualities more in Bush than in Kerry. Indeed, this is what is keeping the contest in the polls close when Bush is so bogged down with problems.
A Zogby poll showed that voters found Kerry cold, aloof, and remote. Biographical material about Kerry describes him as a man who is really quite warm in personal relationships, but simply finds it difficult to show this friendliness when in a group. I recall Kerry coming into a Monitor breakfast back in his earlier years in the Senate. I remember how very reserved he was and commented on it at the time.
Now, as I watch Kerry on TV, I see him making an effort to be open and warm - and who knows, maybe he'll become likable and cuddly before the race is over..."