Obama's Secret Weapon

Alright, this is admittedly slightly off-topic, but I wanted to return to something I read not long ago, during Barack Obama’s triumphant “book tour” through the vital publishing state of New Hampshire. In John Dickerson’s Slate dispatch from the trail, he writes that:

It’s easy to see why New Hampshire Democrats were in a frenzy over Obama. He is a winning presence in a room. He is stylish in his uniform of white shirt, no tie, and dark blazer. He carries himself with the weightless self-possession men’s magazines achieve only by employing a team of stylists and wardrobe artists. Even his left-handed signature is elegant–a B and an O connected by confident slashes. If he really were a rock star, he’d have it etched into the side of his private plane.

Did you catch the key phrase in that paragraph? No, it wasn’t “New Hampshire” or “frenzy” of “confident.” It was left-handed.

Hear me out on this one. I admit to being a little biased, being of inclined to the sinister side myself. But here are the facts: In my lifetime (that is, since the advent of Gerald Ford), there have been six United States presidents. According to various lefty advocacy sites–there are a surprisingly large number of them–four of those six presidents have been southpaws. In the 1992 election, in fact, all three candidates were left handed. I’m not sure about the cognitive science, but I have to say, it sounds like a trend–maybe even a cabal. (And who knows how many other of our presidents were born lefty-inclined, back in the days when parents used to cruelly “cure” their children of the outre tendency?)

Much has been written about whether Obama’s status as a member of minority ethnic group could keep him from the presidency. But could it be that his status as another minority–a small but influential society of like-handed individuals, living almost unnoticed among you–could cancel out the disadvantage?

Then again, maybe Republicans will attack him as just another left-winger.

–Andrew Rice