July 30th, 2009
08:30 AM ET
9 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. thescoundrel

    Forget reality and repeat the Obama mantra – hope and change, hope and change hope and change! Are we all good little Socialists now?

    July 30, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Pat F

    Homecoming king – the perfect job for the community organizer-in-chief. Just keep him away from anything resembling authority or public policy.

    July 30, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Jack in Texas

    Puleeze....git yo' sef back to work on something important, like defeating the healthcare debacle.

    July 30, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Phil

    More un-biased reporting from CNN!

    Gawd, I think I just threw up a little....

    July 30, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. djwazu

    Absolutely! It makes sense. SA is a very good beer.

    July 30, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh puleeze! Obama's got oozes charm, character, and intelligence. He wasn't an actor playing the role of President. This man has embraced the difficult challenges and responsibilities of being the leader of the U.S. with stmaina, and strength of character. He is a role model not a role player.

    Poor detractors trying to find the chink in his armor. Good luck with that. He may mistakes, but he's only human. Best vote I've ever casted!

    Go Obama!!!

    July 30, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. New Yorker

    He's a far cry from Reagan. Obama's policies will destroy this country. At best, turn us into the equivalent of a third world nation.

    July 30, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. kate

    Homecoming King charm??? oh great...we're all back in high school

    July 30, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Randy

    Because it sure not fact or intelligence. The guy is a complete disaster and goes to show my a monkey could be a journalist.

    July 30, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I can't wait to see the apoplectic fit our 'domestic terrorists' will have when this man gets a couple of more months under his belt as President and soars like an eagle.

    July 30, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. lynn in NM

    Sorry, but President Obama is no President Reagan. Not by a long shot.

    July 30, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    I'd rather have a beer with John McCain. He has a better sense of humor, a greater depth of character and a better track record.
    As it turns out, the things John McCain said in his campaign were 90% correct and the things Obama promised in his campaign are 90% ain't happenin.

    July 30, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. twitwits are the new nitwits

    Obama does relate with many Americans of all races.And thats where the comparison ends.Raygun was the biggest "borrow and spend" republican going,other than his wife who ran the White House for many of those years.He left a huge bill for the next guy in office like most republicans do.The only republican that had any guts was Teddy Roosevelt,he at least stood up to the Big Banks and should have used the big stick on them more.The money changers are still running the country into the ground.

    July 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Barry Obammy

    Is this a news item, or another puke puff piece by the state-controlled media??

    As America sees this lightweight for what he is - and his ratings continue to plummet - the state media tries harder and harder to boost his image...

    July 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. Obama 2.0

    Stay out on the road talking to folks on HCR.

    July 30, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. Loup Garou 782

    Barack Obama is one of those "self made" men who exudes "great admiration" for his creator.

    July 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Comparing President Obama to Ronald Regan ? OMG

    Regan could not remember what he did or said last and besides that what did Regan ever do except say "I can't remember' while Nancy spent her time leading him in the direction she thought he should go.

    July 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Eileen

    People are tired of his old rhetoric. He never has any details. The sheep that were swept up in his so called charm, nonsense are finally waking up and they don't like what they see. Vote this liar and fraud out.

    July 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. IndyVoter

    What's with the "Homecoming King" analogy junk? Just say that people like him.. You don't have to add silly imagery to it, which will no doubt give ammunition to his critics you have called him everything from an elitist, a rock star, a racist, campaigner-In-Chief, and now a homecoming King...Really, please CNN. Stop. Your reputation is at stake here.

    July 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Princess

    He is the best president we ever had. This country does not deserve him.

    July 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Seattle

    Comparing President Obama to Ronald Regan ? OMG

    Regan could not remember what he did or said last /what did Regan ever do except say "I can't remember' while Nancy spent her time leading him in the direction she thought he should go.

    July 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Ted van Tol

    I would love to have dinner ore have a glass of wine with
    Barack Obama. I would tel him in the meantime he is on the right
    track and he can ignore the whiners in his country because they
    have no alternative at all. He is most Amecricans on politics far ahead. He will get credits later when the economy is restored and
    every American have healthcare. And he restored allready the trust and hope of the so many nations in the world first distroyed by G. Bush.

    July 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Me in Big D

    Where do these people come from with their "opinions" on Obama? I don't know of a single person that "likened" him to Ronald Reagan! Those two could not be further apart. That also brings up another "likening" that many news people seem to want to make and that is comparing Michelle to the famously stylish Jackie Kennedy. No way in heck is there any comparison!! Michelle doen't have the style and grace Mrs. Kennedy had in her little finger!! I think the thing that the news people should be investigating is Rahm's connection with Michael Moore (through his brother the doctor in California) and Moveon.org. These people are Obama's advisors and the news media chooses to ignore the fact that Obama is trying to shove Obamacare down the throats of the American people all the while knowing the elderly will suffer severely! Wake up CNN, start doing your job, dig for the real news and the tawdry connections of the whitehouse administration! You'll find the Chicago machinery is alive and doing well AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!

    July 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. independent Jim

    I am told that homecoming kings have excellent management skills and are capable of solving complicated economic, political, and foreign relations problems.

    July 30, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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