McCain’s Maverick Cursive (And “Angry” Commas)

Body-language experts have already weighed in at key times during the campaign. Ditto graphic designers explaining what campaign signage choices (font, colors and so on) reveal about the presidential candidates.

So, what can “three court-certified graphologists” tell us about Clinton, McCain and Obama (while we’re reading tea leaves, might as well read handwriting)? Nothing that we didn’t already know. Nothing that conventional wisdom hasn’t already confirmed. To wit:

Whereas Clinton’s writing is disciplined, Obama’s is flexible. (Her universal health insurance plan is mandatory; his is optional.) His more limber style suggests a desire to deal with different people. (He favors open dialogue with America’s enemies; she doesn’t.)

By contrast McCain’s writing is disconnected, forceful and intense. The letters change direction unexpectedly — fitting for a loose cannon, the Republican Party maverick who bucked the establishment… The H in John stands tall, a sign of pride, idealism and ambition… “Look at the comma: It’s a slash. There is his temper,” [said one graphologist.]

Also, Clinton’s signature “lacks emotion and warmth,” her “style is upright and controlled” while Obama’s “letters connect fluidly without interruption; words end with lines that reach out.” The handwriting of hope.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.