In a recent NY Times article several presidential candidates for 2008 weighed-in on the recent remarks by General Petraeus in front of congress. John Meluso, CSP, the creator of Eyetalk™ gave the author a quick rundown of what the candidates’ eye types might be. Although the real eye types will be discerned more fully when they visit Truth or Consequences, NM on October 12, 2007, we give our own armchair estimates of what they might say based on physical traits. Then we compare our best guesses to what they actually said.
Being the only combat veteran and former POW from the bunch, John Mc Cain has the most interesting read. Due to his history he will operate from the apprehensive area of his type. As a Left Brained Kinesthetic, Mc Cain will naturally express resistance to any withdrawal or apparent surrender. Thus he is expected to make contrasting questions which show his feelings of being stymied by the current policy. His remarks centered on his support of the General, but desire for no pullback of troops whatsoever. Here he resists change here. The consummate trooper Mc Cain remarks, “I have to trust [the General’s] judgment,” though, “I am a little nervous about it.”
The next Republican in our list is Rudolf Giuliani a possible Left Brained Auditory eye type. This self-proclaimed opponent of terror’s style will project one group as outsiders to his own producing contradictions that highlight his own view. Naturally he took the opportunity to state that “Unlike Hillary Clinton, [he believes], that General Petraeus is telling the truth.”
Romney’s type appears to contrast with both tough-guys above. With Mitt’s unique combination of Left Brain, Haptic, and Auditory he is likely to use contradictory questions to show how others’ views contrast with his own and those of the target goal. Then he might offer a unity solution. Romney’s remarks focus on the beauty of Sunni-American cooperation and the need to resist Iran’s influences, “It’s clear that we must craft an assertive and comprehensive strategy to get Iran to back off.”
Moving to the Democratic field, we begin with front-runner Hillary Clinton whose Left Brain Haptic style suggests interrogatives used to show her distrust of authoritarianism as when she worked for the Watergate Commission. Her oft-repeated quote, “I think that the reports that [General Petraeus] provides to us require the willing suspension of disbelief,” says it all.
Following her we mention the next most well-known candidate, John Edwards, known for his uniting and supportive style clearly reflected in his Right Brain Kinesthetic eyes. Edwards’ right brain orientation makes for a different read than most of his peers. He likely uses the General’s remarks to show a common goal and a way for us to see our way out of any dilemmas. Further, the candidate may read between the lines to highlight the group’s positive ambitions and options. Thus, he describes the presentation as another way for the current president to “pass Iraq on to the next president,” rather than “the withdrawal the American people voted for.”
Finally we get to Obama, the new kid on the block, another Left Brain Kinesthetic. Similarly to Edwards he is likely to find the united solution. But unlike him, Obama will use an interrogative method to show the contrasts of the General’s message to the one he sees as unity. His common goal is to figure out “At what point do we say, ‘Enough’?” Obama further calls the report a way of “setting the bar so low that a modest improvement….is considered success.”
Despite the fact that none of these eye readings are definitive, they provide valuable and interesting insight into communications style and authenticity on the campaign trail. As we spend more time evaluating their statements and character the assessments gain power. Please enjoy this small insight into what will come out when they speak the “Truth,” and face its “Consequences” this October in New Mexico.
Gouthum Karadi, MBA with John Meluso, CSP
Luo, Micharel, and Santora, Marc (2007). “For G.O.P. Candidates. a Common Talking Point on the War.” NY Times National, Friday September 14, 2005. NY, NY.
Meluso, John (2001). eyeTalk™: Bridging from Communication to Connection. Retrieved September 16, 2007, from http://www.meluso.com.