February 24, 2008

The Presidential Candidates and Myers-Briggs

An ESTJ, an ESTP, and an ENFP. No wonder I like Obama best.

Posted by armand at February 24, 2008 04:41 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics


So you like the F, above the T? Or the N above the S? Or both?

Posted by: binky at February 24, 2008 05:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well I tend to be a bit of a sucker for the idealistic qualities of NFPs - think Luke & Josh.

And I don't tend to click with S people. They just operate in some different way. I mean of all my friends who've taken that test, only a tiny number are S types.

Posted by: Armand at February 24, 2008 06:17 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and as to the piece itself I guess I'd say I liked that style for its inclusiveness and its idealism. Clinton often does seem to be running for CFO or prime minister, in terms of how she talks about the job and the team she'll put in place. But as a president is a head of state as well as a head of government, well, in this case the ENFP thing works for me.

Posted by: Armand at February 24, 2008 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

INTP's like me have no chance of winning presidential nominations. What a relief.

Posted by: libhomo at February 24, 2008 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

Baltar and I are INTPs too - and yeah I can't see either one of us winning political office, much less the presidency. Not that either one of us would want it ...

Posted by: Armand at February 24, 2008 06:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm also an INTP. I would find it fascinating to have the presidency, but I can't imagine running for it.

Posted by: jacflash at February 24, 2008 06:55 PM | PERMALINK

As always, I'm surrounded. I swear, I don't intentionally try to collect you guys.

Posted by: binky at February 24, 2008 07:45 PM | PERMALINK

S'ok, darlin', we love you anyway.

Posted by: jacflash at February 24, 2008 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

"But as a president is a head of state as well as a head of government, well, in this case the ENFP thing works for me."

Curious. Yet it's nice to know you feel so strongly about the personality type I share with your candidate. Wasn't Clinton ENFP too?

Posted by: Morris at February 26, 2008 01:55 AM | PERMALINK

The article says Bill Clinton is an ESFP.

And you are an ENFP? Really? I find it really surprising you are an extrovert.

Posted by: Armand at February 26, 2008 08:31 AM | PERMALINK

You're probably not as surprised as I was. I've been testing as introvert for years (since I've been testing), but the last two times I'd become an extrovert. Apparently that psychobabble we preach about getting people out of their comfort zones to change relatively enduring traits really works. Who knew?

Posted by: Morris at February 26, 2008 09:50 AM | PERMALINK

I'm ENFJ -- close enough for me. :-)

Posted by: moon at February 26, 2008 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Or that you are experienced enough taking the test to game it.

Posted by: binky at February 26, 2008 01:04 PM | PERMALINK

How much experience do you have to have? It's simple, once you know what the constructs stand for. But at that point, what's the point in gaming it? Despite your impression, I have no desire to be a "journalist" or to share a personality type with Mr. Obamanation. Or is it Dr. Obamanation?

Posted by: Morris at February 26, 2008 02:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not suggesting that the last time you took it you were trying to be Obama, nor that you acted on a conscious desire. It's more like that with repeated testing, the validity declines as you become familiar with the instrument, and aspirational qualities cloud your answers.

Posted by: binky at February 26, 2008 02:22 PM | PERMALINK

what is it with right-wingers and derisive names? seriously, is it so hard to win a debate on substance that you just sort of throw some New York Post-esque pun (except usually far less clever or on-point) out there to see if anyone notices that you've said precisely nothing, and implied, at most, that you've never really left the playground at your elementary school?

i realize this isn't really that discussion, and morris, while i am poking you with a stick there is an earnest inquiry here, it strikes me that it's a really common feature of what passes for commentary on the right. and i really do think it's disproportionately the case (which, mark, is very different than claiming that i've never done anything like it, or that the left never does, so please don't send me links to two blog posts and claim that it's responsive).

am i just having a brain fart? am i wrong to think that this is a real pattern, a real asymmetry?


Posted by: moon at February 26, 2008 04:36 PM | PERMALINK

Moon: I dunno. Let's ask Chimpy McHitlerburton, he might have an opinion.

Posted by: jacflash at February 26, 2008 05:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well I've got one quick answer for you Moon - it's distracting on purpose b/c a lot of if politics was really about "the issues" Republicans would be flattened like pancakes. From trade to abortion to taxes to the war to environmental protection, Democratic policy positions have more support across the country.

So it's much more effective for them to make the issue legitimacy or authenticity or leadership - shoot the messenger before they can get the message out.

And no, this isn't merely a feature of Mr. 19%. It's been going on for some time. Carter or Reagan, who's issue positions polled better? Carter's. Gingrich shows the courage of his convictions - and is promptly shown the door and the Republicans abandon their "small government" promises. And then of course there is Mr. 19% ...

Posted by: Armand at February 26, 2008 06:49 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats win on substance, huh? How many times have you heard "Bush is an idiot"? It's all about personal attacks, especially on Cheney, as Jacflash points out. But anyone stupid enough to support biofuels isn't exactly informed to the latest research. Anyone who wants the US to bust up our own economy while China continues building coal factories should vote for Kyoto. If that's where public opinion is, I'll stay above the fray.

And public opinion is decreasing for all institutions, across the board, from President to Congress to the media. Ask the New York Times if they'll print rumors and innuendo about John McCain, baseless, slandering personal attacks since his war strategy's working and they don't have the issues on their side. If Obama is in line with the American public, why is he starting to cut off access to him from the media? Where's your transparency now, see? Who's living in a bubble now?

Spoken like a true psychoanalyst.

Posted by: Morris at February 27, 2008 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

My answer was about Democratic policy positions being more popular, and therefore the Republicans have to find things other than their actual policies to run on. And that's true. And you aren't challenging it - you simply say the American people are stupid and their opinions don't matter.

Do Democrats make jokes about Republicans? Duh. But Republicans HAVE to make jokes about Democrats. Because they have to delegitimize the messenger - b/c they'll often lose if the contest is over the messenger.

And the notion of John McCain getting bad press is laughable. For the last decade there's no one in politics who the Times, Post and the Sunday shows have loved as much. One negative story in the New York Times doesn't even begin to touch that love fest.

And as for Obama distancing himself from the media ... so what? The point was about what's popular with the public. And Obama's very popular - winning match-ups in the polls against Clinton and McCain. Whether or not he's sharing a morning coffee with the press corps isn't relevant - unless you mean to suggest that he doesn't need fawning press coverage to stay popular, whereas McCain might.

Posted by: Armand at February 27, 2008 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

Right, Morris. Not like someone who has administered thousands of closed ended tests and knows that if you test-retest, validity declines, or that if someone keeps retaking the test, they are searching for a different answer than the ones they got before.

Posted by: binky at February 27, 2008 09:56 AM | PERMALINK

"But anyone stupid enough to support biofuels isn't exactly informed to the latest research."

as opposed, say, to ethanol? switchgrass? calling bush an idiot after demonstrating that this a legitimate claim -- not a hard thing to do -- is very different than making a pubic hair innuendo, or the like, and that's what i was trying to get at. "obamanation." you do that sort of thing a lot, and i can't think of one derisive, cutesie name i've used for any of the right-wing players, although i'm prepared to be proved wrong with a handful examples (as i readily admitted originally). i take it back, i've definitely accused cheney of eating children, but even that isn't a cutesie, meaningless name worthy of a tabloid headline.

i should have known i'd never get you to take such a narrow topic and limit your response to the terms of the question.

Posted by: moon at February 27, 2008 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Right, Morris. Not like someone who has administered thousands of closed ended tests and knows that if you test-retest, validity declines, or that if someone keeps retaking the test, they are searching for a different answer than the ones they got before."

Right, because if you get different answers, it must be because the test is wrong, not because the person actually changes. And one of my best profs uses psychoanalysis, why are you getting so defensive?

"My answer was about Democratic policy positions being more popular, and therefore the Republicans have to find things other than their actual policies to run on. And that's true."

Where is Barrack on gun control? He wants to ban the sale of ALL firearms. That's not mainstream, that's far left. Most Americans want to limit abortions when their just cuz, but Democrats don't. Americans don't identify with these Democratic positions, and if they were informed, they wouldn't identify with biofuels. When Bush distances himself from the media, you call it living in a bubble, you attack the person and suggest what it implies about anything he could do. When Barrack does it, you see it as healthy. This is what Binky the psychoanalyst would refer to as identification.

"i should have known i'd never get you to take such a narrow topic and limit your response to the terms of the question."

So when I respond with examples, I'm not limiting myself to your question, and when I limit myself to the question, I'm not providing enough examples. You're ignoring my response and just trying to win the argument, like it's a game more than it being what it could be, informative. Save your rhetorical tricks.

Posted by: Morris at February 27, 2008 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Morris, you are talking about bubbles, I'm not, as they aren't remotely relevant to the topic at hand. If you want me to go off topic, fine - Obama is NOT living in a bubble. On both economic and foreign policy his advisors are unusually diverse (vastly more so than the current president's). Obama is only in a bubble as far as the press is concerned. When it comes to getting a variety of voices from his aides, and having an awareness of popular opinion, Obama's got it. If the Russert's of the world are angry they don't get one-on-one time with him - who gives a damn?

But back to the topic at hand, or where this part of the thread has moved (the need for name calling by Republicans, and the greater popularity of Democratic issue positions), actually you are wrong about abortion polling. Americans want it legal. In fact "partial birth" was a phrase made up by the Right to try to get a tiny subset of abortions outlawed b/c the American people have for so many years favored a pro-choice position. And environmental issues poll tremendously well with the public. You might think the public's dumb on that, but that's neither here nor there.

And you might be right on gun control. I've no idea. But if you want me to qualify my position and explicitly state that Americans prefer Democratic positions on most, but not every, issue, I'll happily concede that. But I don't know polling on gun issues, so I can't say if that's true, or how big a chunk of the electorate would care.

Posted by: Armand at February 27, 2008 02:22 PM | PERMALINK

Methinks thou doth project too much, dear Mo.

Posted by: binky at February 27, 2008 07:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Democrats win on substance, huh? How many times have you heard "Bush is an idiot"?"

Morris, that quite simply isn't an example. Your silly, unwitty coinage was "Obamanation." Give me a comparable, tabloid headline-y example, and then you can accuse me of ignoring a robust reply (although in fairness, I readily granted that it's something that happens on the left, and merely posited that the right does it far more frequently, something you have conspicuously declined to refute or engage).


Notwithstanding that, for obvious reasons, one or two examples of it occurring on the left won't be terribly responsive, you haven't even done that much.

Here, let me help. "Bushit." See? There's an example. Now don't I feel foolish. Obviously, there is absolutely no validity whatsoever to what I suggested, and the right never resorts to pithy name-calling of a bad, schoolyard pun variety. Boy that's embarrassing.

Hmph! I've been suspecting, but now, armed with one example, I know for a fact: it's actually more fun, albeit marginally, to debate myself.

Posted by: moon at February 27, 2008 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

You can white wash it any way you like, but when Cheney stops talking to the press, you said:
"The idea that we live in a responsive republic is really becoming complete fiction."

When Barrack pushes away the media:
"If the Russert's of the world are angry they don't get one-on-one time with him - who gives a damn?"

For those counting at home, that's a double standard.

You think all Americans want all abortions legal? Slowly step away from the Kool Aid. According to Pollingreport.com that collects these stats, the latest abcnews/washington post poll from last month to ten years ago shows support for that has never risen to even 25% of the public. The highest percentage of support for abortion to be legal in most cases is 40%, and it only got that high once in the last ten years. The polls on guns are pretty inconsistent, so either people keep changing their minds, or it's bad polling methodology. The typical number for those opposing restrictions of gun sales to law enforcemnet is a little over 60%. Two thirds of this country want to see the number of immigrants decrease, but Democrats want to expand it. Where are the issue, besides the environment, on which they're with the public?

And the public is dumb on the environment. But how many news stories did you see about biofuels creating a carbon debt that can last for centuries? I'd rather be right on that than popular, but I'm not John McCain.

"Give me a comparable, tabloid headline-y example, and then you can accuse me of ignoring a robust reply"

"Bushitler" gets 270,000 google hits. According to Godwin's law, I win. Even "Chimpy McFlightsuit" gets 33,000 hits. By the way, the irony of you who constantly attacks the form rather than substance of my arguments being the one to start this too-much-form-over-substance thread drift is not lost on me.

And if this election proves anything, it is that people on both sides prefer form and identification with that form over substance. I'm not saying that you and a few others haven't come up with reasons to vote for the big O(bama); but most people voting for him don't know what he stands for, and most people on the right don't care what McManiac stands for, just that they identify him with the military.

Posted by: Morris at February 28, 2008 06:00 AM | PERMALINK

Yeesh - Morris since when does "responsive republic" = media access. It comes from a host of things, and access to the media is one, but it's in no way the most important. And you are far too smart to think that a responsive government and one that grants a lot of interviews is the same thing. Responsive = one that responds to the people - you know like governments that don't celebrate their 19% approval rates and don't stamp secret of everything in site and make legal cases that the government doesn't have a right to know ... pretty much everything. And since you have argued that the media is disconnected from the public this is a strange argument for you to be making.

And as to abortion, once again you are making up straw men. I didn't say all Americans want abortion legal - I said most did (again the point of all this is which party's policy positions are more popular). And the numbers I presume you are talking about turn on that "all" word - if the poll simply asks should abortion be legal (the Democratic position), you consistently get public support for that. It was only when the Republicans woke up to the unpopularity of their position and created "partial-birth abortions" that making any class of abortions illegal became an issue with even some support. And you say the gun thing is inconsistent, etc etc. And of course the Democratic immigration position you say the public doesn't like is not too dissimilar from that of Bush and McCain, so that's not exactly the public embracing Republicans.

What issues does the public support Democratic position over Republican positions, regularly? The environment, a multilateral/internationalist foreign, the scope of social services, entitlements, the economy (the issue the public usually cares the most about), the war in Iraq, increasingly gay rights (short of marriage) ...

But to take this back to the start - why Republicans have to use insults and delegitimize Democratic messengers b/c they can't win on their policies - it's probably of the most utility to figure out what issues the public votes on - and then see whose side they prefer on those issues. And given their constant strength (in the polls) on economic and domestic policies, which most people vote on, yes, usually Democratic issue positions are viewed more favorably at election time.

Posted by: Armand at February 28, 2008 08:52 AM | PERMALINK

The line about responsive politics and the media access to Cheney came from your Feb 2006 blog entry. That's why it's a double standard, when it's Cheney not talking to the press you say it's a lack of responsive politics, and when we're talking about Obama now, you say media access is in no way the most important factor.

I think you're underestimating the way Bush has been villainized by the so called objective media to such a degree that polls asking who'd do a better job on any issue, that ask for the polled to distinguish between parties, those polled respond to the cultural unpopularity of the President. For instance, if you look at individual economic issues, the January LA Times Bloomberg poll from January shows more people support an economic stimulus package based on tax cuts than one based on more spending.

And if you look at individual issues, Obama's out of the mainstream. In 2001, he voted present (not no) when considering a measure to keep adult video stores and strip clubs a thousand feet away from elementary schools. How mainstream is that? He voted against banning the most unpopular 1% of abortions, standing with not more than a quarter of the public. But we're going around in circles here, each coming up with examples of when Democrats are and are not out of the mainstream.

I know you want to think all support for Republicans is because of Karl Rove and/or Svengali, but it's not true. The trends in Af Am support for Obama, in women's support for Hillary indicates that our society is not at all blind to race or gender in this. A vote for Obama doesn't indicate a vote for issues any more than a vote for McCain indicates a vote for Panamanians. But as I've said before, it's coming down to white men to be the difference makers. I wonder how agitated Binky is about all that.

Posted by: Morris at February 28, 2008 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

ha! i win. i got 280,000 hits for morris is a schmuck. :-p

you're still non-responsive by the terms of my original comment, but i'm done trying to explain to you how. either you know and you don't give a shit, or you don't and you never will. either way, i've had my blood-from-a-stone fun for this week.

Posted by: moon at February 28, 2008 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my fucking god Morris - please stop throwing out straw men - I presume any sentient being would realize that when I say Democratic issue positions are more popular, you and the rest of our readers are smart enough to realize that does not mean EVERY issue position on EVERY occasion ever. I know you love to live in the world of absolutes - but c'mon. Again, in general, especially on the issues that people actually vote on, Democratic issue positions are more popular. Are there particular topics when that's not true? Well, duh. Of course there are. But the general point stands across polling most issues that people vote on across a long period of time.

And why on Earth do you think I'm arguing Obama is winning b/c of his issue positions? That's a whole different topic. Again, if people voted issue positions Carter would've been reelected in 1980. Yes, Mr. Malaise would've bested the sainted Reagan. Obviously I don't think people vote issue positions

White men vote Republican - oh, just to be clear, since apparently I have to spell this out every time b/c otehrwise you think I'm saying all white men vote Republican. A majority of white men vote Republican and that's not a new thing. McCain can win 'em again - well he must - but that's not enough to win him the White House.

And you think Mr. 19% is suffering b/c of the press? Puh-leeze. The press was practically blowing him on a daily basis in his first term - and I'm quite confident that if you charted modifiers used by the press that their language would've only shifted after popular opinion started to turn against him. Of course that's an empirical question - but I don't know of any evidence that says the press is responsible for his low approval ratings - I think he, and is unpopular policies, are responsible for that.

And you are just being silly about the Cheney/Obama comparison. Obama sees the press a lot more - and Cheney has made government secrecy, an unlimited executive, and a who gives a fuck view of public opinion central to his legacy. Obama's done nothing of the kind. And the fact that in some blog post 2 years ago I noted how in yet another way Cheney was failing to be responsive ... well he'd done a thousand or more things on that front earlier.

Posted by: Armand at February 28, 2008 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

i also have a minor request. notwithstanding certain consonances to the variously spelled osama bin laden, barack obama's name is, in fact, subject to no controversy vis-a-vis its spelling. when you insist on misspelling his first name, morris, you make it pretty hard to take seriously your points that rely on us believing you know, literally, the first thing about the candidate.

Posted by: moon at February 28, 2008 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

You're thinking of Ted Kennedy. I agree, he can't be taken seriously. How many people have to die before he puts down the sauce?

Posted by: Morris at February 29, 2008 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

I love how you say if someone had charted press modifiers, they would have been supportive. The trouble is, if you look at the central issue of his Presidency, the war in Iraq, the coverage was up as long as the body count was up; they didn't hesitate to report on every US troop death. But they have not responded in kind to the success of US troops. You can hardly find a news story about the surge's success, unless you look to Angelina Jolie.

And really, are you smoking crack? In the first term of his Presidency, Mike Wallace talked about the Iraq war, how he said "it sure is not a noble enterprise". USA Today founder Al Neuharth said Bush should follow the example of LBJ who "turned tail and rode off into the sunset of his Texas ranch". Did you forget the Halperin memo from ABC that told their reporters not to hold Bush and Kerry equally accountable because Kerry's distortions "are not central to his efforts to win"? Did you forget Dan Rather and his forged documents? Objective media my ass.

Posted by: Morris at February 29, 2008 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

my criticism of your serial inability to spell the first name of a presidential candidate as suggestive of your ignorance of that candidate is not answered by a clip of ted kennedy misspeaking extemporaneously. but then you knew that.

and i think it's hilarious that you followed your youtube clip, in which the FoxNews talking heads giggle luridly at TK's embarrassing error, with a carp about the objectivity of the media. when was the last time they broadcast and giggled at, and of bush's hundreds of similarly ridiculous malapropisms? in fact, when was the last time any major news outlet had the same fun at bush's expense that the Fox crew did, in your clip, at TK's? the answer is, they haven't.

Posted by: moon at March 1, 2008 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

ENFP's are highly introspective. This should not be confused with introversion. I am glad to hear that obama is our first ENFP president. As a fellow ENFP, the founder of a global non-profit, I identify with him closely. He will need a strong detail oriented team with good project management skills to move his vision forward. I do think that he has enough self-knowledge to realize how he needs to complement both his skill set and his personality type. As p's take on more executive roles, they are forced into assuming more J skills to get the job down and survive in that type of role. I am sure that he will move quickly towards J qualities.

Posted by: Saint at January 21, 2009 09:15 PM | PERMALINK
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