If You're A Short Man, You Can't Be President.

If You're A Short Man, You Can't Be President.


By Gregory Gaines

Published July 2015

So here we are once again. If you've lived long enough, Presidential Elections or elections of any kind for that matter become to feel seasonal. You say to yourself, "Welp, here we go again". Even more so, you begin to hear the same rhetoric that you've heard time and time again, and best yet, people keep falling for it. "It's time to get Washington back to the Basics". "It will be up to me to reach across the aisle". "The American people are tired of insiders running for office, they need someone like them, well me to go in and fix things". Yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda.


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Another reoccurring theme which appears trivial on the surface but is a real element to the mental gymnastics that takes place during elections are the heights of the respective candidates. If you were around 20 years ago, oil tycoon Ross Perot was laughed out of debates by the media for being only 5'5. Rather than focusing on the issues (and many Americans supported his stance on specific matters and policies), his height became a distraction, enough so that his leadership abilities were called into question.


Ross Perot Goes To Task With Bill Cinton And George Bush In The 1992 Debates | Source: History.com

For those who followed it, 5'11 George W. Bush beating 6'1 Al Gore in 2000 and 6'4 John Kerry in 2004 shocked presidential height enthusiasts, shattering expectations and the long standing record of the taller candidate winning the election. The last average height president before him was 5'9 Jimmy Carter who won in 1976, and before that Harry S. Truman some 20 years before. See, the thing that's startling is that George W. Bush was by no means short, just shorter of the two candidates. And so what? Are height and leadership related? Of course not. Many New York City residents long for 5'6 Michael R. Bloomberg's smooth handling of situations and forward moving policies than 6'5 Bill DeBlasio's head butting, stalemating initiatives and verbal spars. It wasn’t too long ago that Bloomberg was accused by the public for having a “Napoleon Complex”. Many New Yorkers now wish that Mr. Napoleon was still at the helm.



Ann Coulter Has A Problem With Short Men Running For Office | Source: Hannity & Combs

Not too long ago, in the last election, Conservative political analyst and author Ann Coulter went on National Television to defend her position that 5'8 Marco Rubio and Rand Paul were too short to run. Were their stances on Foreign Policy called into question? No. Did their proposals for stimulating the then plummeting economy get put to the test? Not at all. Their height was the reason why Americans should not have voted for them. And here we go again with the same tune for 2016.

2016 Candidates Go Head To Head With Their Heights | Source: US News

An article in U.S. News today paired all of the Candidates and compared their heights pointing out the above facts and using the well-known statistics to predict who may win the election this time around. With former NY Governor George Pataki who is 6'5 running along with 6'3 Jeb Bush, 5'8 Rand Paul might be in trouble as "Voters look for Candidates who are healthy and strong". What exactly does that have to do with height? More importantly, Hilary Clinton is 5'7. None of the articles question her whether she is qualified to run for President. 


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Well there you have it Heightism is strong subconsciously among the populous and according to articles written on this subject, women in this case get a pass for being well, female. 


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