Monday, January 21, 2008

What Candidates' Names Mean to You

I recently heard a segment on NPR entitled "What Candidates' Names Mean to S.C. Voters," in which the host, Michele Norris, asked approximately twenty people to give "the word or image that immediately springs to mind when they hear a specific candidate's name." (The link for the segment follows.)

As I listened, I thought "what kind of people is she asking?" Mostly because out of the many respondents, only one person had a negative association with Hillary Clinton. To me that seemed improbable--particularly in South Carolina where Hillary is not doing so hot. And also because there were plenty of negative things said about the other candidates (excepting, of course, Obama whom I can't see evoking a negative response from anyone.)
Sampling issues aside, it seemed like a fun exercise to choose a word or image to describe each candidate. How would you respond? Here is my response:

1. John McCain: straight talker
2. Mike Huckabee: Baptist minister
3. Mitt Romney: business whiz, Mormon
4. Rudolph Giuliani: very likable
5. Fred Thompson: true Republican
6. Ron Paul: Libertarian
7. Hillary Clinton: can't stand her (this is my immediate gut response, she has some strong positive qualities to be sure)
8. Barack Obama: dynamic
9. John Edwards: populist, foolish (I don't apologize for dissing Edwards)


  1. All right, I'll give it a go:

    1. John McCain: Grizzled, old, angry (in a good kind of way)
    2. Mike Huckabee: Kind of silly, populist
    3. Mitt Romney: Capable, quantitative
    4. Rudolph Giuliani: Opportunistic, angry (in a bad kind of way)
    5. Fred Thompson: Fred who?
    6. Ron Paul: Libertarian who makes libertarians look bad (maybe my opinion is colored by rabid Paul supporters who claim a vast media conspiracy has refused to cover him)
    7. Hillary Clinton: Capable, ambitious, panderer
    8. Barack Obama: Ambitious, kind
    9. John Edwards: populist, foolish, a total tool (thought I would add one there for you)

  2. Wow, what's up with the Edwards hating? Just because a guy gets a 400 dollar haircut...

    I'll take a shot at this and show my ignorance of the current political situation...

    1. McCain: Hawk
    2. Huckabee: Nutjob
    3. Romney: Handsome, Mormon
    4. Giuliani: 9/11
    5. Thompson: Law & Order
    6. Paul: Revolution signs
    7. Hillary: Bill
    8. Obama: Charismatic
    9. Edwards: Haircut

    I used to like McCain, until he became such a FREAKING HAWK, Huckabee's evangelical, so I just lump him in with the nutjobs, Hillary really divides people, but that's a whole column on its own...

    Being the only declared democrat in my voting district, that a joke...sort of...I think Obama's the candidate I'd vote for...

  3. McCain maverick, old
    Huckabee huckleberry, evangelical
    Romney polished, problem-solver
    Giuliani Italian guy, New York
    Thompson zzz ... true conservative
    Paul constitution/isolationist
    Clinton liberal/Washington insider
    Obama hope/inexperienced
    Edwards class envymonger

  4. McCain: Principled, courageous
    Huckabee: Religious fanatic
    Romney: Plastic Mormon
    Giuliani: Stereotypical New Yorker
    Thompson: Law and Order
    Paul: Anti-world
    Clinton: Opportunistic
    Obama: Principled
    Edwards: Populist