July 30th, 2009
08:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama's weapon: A dose of homecoming king charm

President Obama's likeability is key to his leadership, experts say.
President Obama's likeability is key to his leadership, experts say.

(CNN) - As President Obama pushes forward with his agenda, he may find that a homecoming king's likeability is just as integral as the power and authority inherent to the Oval Office.

"I just don't think you can be effective without being liked," said Bruce Newman, a professor of marketing at DePaul University and editor of the Journal of Political Marketing.

Newman describes Obama's leadership as a "two-pronged support system of both being popular but yet having the respect."

"I don't think you can be effective without that first step of making that emotional connection with the voter, but to continue to be effective, it's not enough," he said.

Newman pointed to three recent examples of presidential candidates who lacked the appeal of their opponent: Bob Dole vs. Bill Clinton, John Kerry vs. George W. Bush, and John McCain vs. Obama.

"We are looking for leaders that we could relate to, that we would like to have dinner with or have a beer with or a glass of wine with," he added.

Obama has been likened to Republican President Ronald Reagan, who was generally considered more popular than his policies at the start of his first term.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. J.P.

    "Yuk yuk yuk! Look at me, I'm the homecoming king! I hope I've charmed you enough so you don't mind me economically enslaving the next five generations of your family! Yuk yuk yuk! Ain't I just a little charmer!

    July 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. JS007

    I am starting to fear that this article is correct, that Americans elected Obama based on his personality more than his policies. His policies are EXCELLENT and would be much better if he were able to do what he really wants to do – of course, America is a pretty ignorant and uninformed country where people are afraid of "socialized" medicine (which most of the rest of the world has) and where many think that the Earth is 6000 years old and that global warming is a scientific scam. America does not deserve a president as smart as Obama but I'm glad he's in there – at least he'll slow down the demise of this once impressive empire.

    July 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Steph

    Thats good news. I like him a lot. And I think that it would help him to govern.

    July 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. sammieb51

    Go Bama - this guy rocks. Truly the best man won this time and I hope he can get the country out of the rut the prior administration carved for us.

    July 30, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    We knew Ronald Reagan.... and you, sir, are no Ronald Reagan.

    July 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Peter E

    Ronald Reagan doubled the national debt, while his economic policies prolonged one recession and created a second one. He traded weapons to Iran to make money to give to terrorists in Nicaragua. (Iran-Contra affair) In turn he also traded weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein against Iran. His administration armed and trained the Taliban. His continued deregulation of the energy industry resulted in the abuses by Enron, Halliburton, and the like for the next decade. In short, he is responsible for about half of the problems our country is facing today. And yet he's hailed by some as the 'greatest president of all time' because he made a speech in Berlin that he basically stole from JFK. And by that time the USSR was already falling apart internally, driven by a failed economy.

    July 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Esco

    Bush was not effective but he was still liked by many...so what's the point to your comment Bruce?

    July 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. GI Joe

    I think a tax on sugary drinks should be put in place.

    They say taxes don't make people healthy, which is the exact opposite of what they said when they raised the taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

    Kids are obese and it's deadly. AND their parents aren't exactly average sized these days.

    July 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Public Option Is a MUST

    Pre-existing conditions, denial of claims, no money, no care...I have health insurance...but I cannot change my wife's plan because she has a pre-existing condition...and the insurance company knows it...so, guess what, her monthly bill for insurance costs me more than a mortgage payment...

    So, healthcare costs me more than a home...and, if she gets ill, I am not sure if the insurance will pay for the claim...yes, the existing healthcare system works so well...

    Wait until it is your turn...blue dogs...

    July 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Parkett Lovelace

    Only very foolish people get thrills up their leg over Obama. He is an empty suit, a community organizer thug, and a liar.

    July 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Limbaugh is a liberal

    We can only pray Obama's policies will turn out better than any of those popular predecessors. Did you know that it was Reagan who funded and armed the Taliban? He created the terrorists we are still trying to destroy now! And his Reaganomics gave billions in taxbreaks to the rich, tripling the national debt, and STILL created a recession, the one that cost his successor, Bush Sr. his second term! Why anyone thinks he was anything but a failure is beyond me!

    July 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. carol

    King of Rock replaced by the King of Pop replaced by the King of ?
    of BLACKS
    of SPENDING
    of RACE
    of MONEY
    of FAME
    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ?

    July 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Barry NiFong, Hawaii

    Some people call it charm, and some people call it lying. This guy tells a lie everytime he opens his mouth.

    July 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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