Read My Lips
In a few short months, we will have the opportunity to hire a new president. If only we could approach the election process the same way we approach important business decisions. A business manager would never land a highly desirable job without demonstrating whether what they say about themselves is accurate, that they can deliver on what they promise to contribute to the business, but, importantly, who they really are as people. The candidate would need to convince employers that they are strong enough to withstand the range of challenges the business may face. They would need to exhibit honesty, and even if they inspire trust, they still would need to convince employers that they are capable of delivering what they claim. It will also be important to know how they think, feel, and act when they are not the center of attention – are they collaborative or narcissistic? Of course, this decision-making process will be complicated by a candidate’s polished performance during the interview. Is it just a well-rehearsed act or an example of the behavior that could be expected day-to-day on the job?
Like it or not, this is what our electoral process is influenced by-- performance, a live show, designed to convince voters of the respective candidates’ poise, integrity, intelligence and wit. Like most talented performers, our candidates play to the audience, saying what they think we want to hear. Is this an accurate preview of their behavior if elected, or only a carefully constructed trailer to convince us to see the entire movie?
We are about to hire a new manager, not only to run this country but to directly impact all of our lives on a daily basis. This manager will make decisions that impact our health, the food we eat, the air we breathe, our incomes, our savings, our safety, and in some cases whether our children will be sent to war. “Read my lips, no new taxes!” How sincere and manly it sounded at the time!
Don’t we need to know who the new manager will really be, who is consistently and predictably there- behind the words, behind the appearance, behind the confident smile, behind the written (by someone else) and well-rehearsed speech?
Well, you can. You can literally read their lips, as well as their eyes, ears, nose, forehead and chin. A critical key to interpreting and appraising the candidates is available to voters by the art and science of facial morphology.
Who is Who?
Bilious Nervous Sanguine Lymphatic
The importance of understanding and interpreting the meaning behind appearance has been recognized by people of many different cultures, and over millennia unique ways of systematizing, organizing, and teaching this body of knowledge have been developed around the world. The systematic analysis of appearance and its correlation to character and behavior is known as the study of morphology (in Europe it is mostly knows as physiognomy). The word morphology simply means the meaning of the form (Morph. - form, Logos-word or meaning, from the Greek). Though the term morphology is generally used in relation to Western systems, the ancient Aryuvedic tradition in India developed a 3 body-type morphology; the Chinese tradition has developed morphology of 5 Elements, and the roots of morphology that have been utilized in the West date from ancient Egypt.
The prognostic value of western morphology is well-recognized in parts of Europe and is a component of the curriculum in both French and Italian medical and nursing schools. Morphology is also taught in Europe in private schools to laypeople to enhance self-awareness, improve communication skills, and inform job-seeking and hiring decisions. In my own practice, I teach and utilize morphology with students and clients to assess, strategize, and optimize relationships and interactions.
The underlying principle of morphology is the same principle that is at the foundation of all major spiritual and healing traditions in the world. This common denominator is the idea that the inner and the outer, the macro and the micro, the form and the function are mirror images of each other. This principle when applied to the science and art of human morphology states that OUR INNER CHARACTERISTICS ARE MIRRORED IN THE OUTER FORM. We are all born with different physical features, but the age-old question of nature vs. nurture is addressed by morphology, with the majority of the influence attributed to nature. Interestingly, morphological features can shift and “morph” in response to environmental events, and these changes can provide insight to how a person is adapting to situations and circumstances. You are not necessarily limited to the facial features present at birth.
We arrive into this world exhibiting one or more of four basic types, recognizable through distinct physical characteristics. This is reflected through our body type and the bone structure of the head and indicates a particular temperamental and energetic “type” known in morphology as Bilious, Nervous, Sanguine or Lymphatic. This discernible morphological structure accounts for about 90% of who we are, in the truest sense. The other 10% is contributed by our personality, embodied in the form of our face, of which there are twelve types in the Western morphological system, known as Earth, Saturn, Uranus, Mercury, Long Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Pluto, Jupiter, Moon and Neptune. The word personality comes from the Greek persona, which means the mask. Personality is what we develop in response to the environment; our parents, teachers, siblings, mates, etc. In short, it is our adaptation and survival face. What we know about people, unless we live with them for a long time and know them intimately, is what they show us -- their persona.
As a mental health practitioner and consultant to personnel departments of major international companies and investment firms, I use the science and art of human morphology to quickly zero on the strengths and weaknesses of my clients, to better understand the ways in which people think, the reasons for their behavior, and to help them identify the means to satisfy their needs.
What does morphology have to offer as we evaluate the candidates for the next presidential election? I will illustrate through morphology how you can have a clearer picture of the frontrunners for the job of the president of the United States of America; to see what really makes them tick, to see what is not on display, to know what is behind the appearance.
In the following analytical “snapshots” of the candidates I will refer to their temperamental types, but these observations are informed by a much greater body of information provided by facial features, facial muscles, and proportions.
Morphological analysis of the eight frontrunners:
Rudi Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, John Edwards, John McCain and Joe Biden.
Pure types in morphology are not very common, as most people are combinations of one or more temperaments and personalities. It takes experience to figure out which characteristics are dominant: which are only “nuances” and do not affect one’s decision making, which come out in crisis, and which predict routine behavior.
Rudi Giuliani is an exception to this rule because he is an example of a pure type. He is what in morphology is defined as a Bilious temperament.
Bilious is a positive pessimist. Rudy is and always was one of those who seek out problems. Problems do not scare him, do not discourage him, and do not overwhelm him. Problems make him angry and inspire him to make concrete changes. The greater the problem, the more Rudy is fueled. When Bilious types have no challenges to overcome they get depressed. That is why Rudy Giuliani is always in pursuit of getting yet another thing done, getting another accomplishment under his belt, winning another battle. Not surprisingly, he pursued law before politics.
Rudy is a natural introvert. He does not share what he really thinks and speaks only of what he feels is useful for attaining his goal. He thinks carefully before he speaks and uses his powerful will to tame his anger when it is appropriate. In the last ten years he acquired an ability to be more flexible and more detached from the outcome of his pursuits.
He needs his space physically and emotionally. His choices are governed by his mind, not by his heart. Do not expect him to pour his heart out when he is distressed, or to shed a tear when someone is in pain. He uses his mighty intellectual capacity to assess the challenge while being objective and logical. After achieving a clear vision of the “when and how” he uses his will to accomplish, conquer, build, destroy, learn, unlearn, make peace, wage war, or whatever he chooses to do, to make it happen. You can rely on him at work or play to have things done on time, without shortcuts, and without complaints.
Rudy is a long distance runner in every aspect. He is one of those people who wake up in the morning and go, go, go, like the Energizer Bunny. He is not afraid to be involved in a project that requires a long time and great amount of energy. With his energy, will, and sense of order he can do a lot of good, but the concern is about those he perceives to stand in the way of what he understands to be good.
Fortunately for the public, Rudy Giuliani lives in a democratic society where his views can be challenged in an open debate. When the will of people like Rudy is not challenged, they have the oppportunity become dictators. It should be noted that as powerful as morphology is, it is tempered by personal morality and individual choices that people make in their lives.
An example of diametrically opposed famous bilious leaders can be seen in Adolph Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi. Both leaders demonstrated the same formidable will, the same unwavering commitment to their cause, the same long term plans and visions. One governed by resentment, blame, and fear, the other by self-reliance, respect, and compassion. Both changed the world.
The fact that Rudy Giuliani has clear and unwavering spiritual beliefs gives me hope that if given great power, Mr. Giuliani will choose to emulate Ghandi, rather than Hitler.
There is a joke from Bill Clinton’s presidency --,. Bill and Hillary are filling their gas tank at a rural Arkansas station. Hillary says, “You see this guy at the pump? I dated him in high school.” Bill replies, “Just imagine, if you married him you would be a wife of a gas station attendant.” Hillary retorts, “No, he would be president of the United States.”
By her temperament (inborn characteristics, remember) Senator Clinton is a combination of two morphological types: Sanguine and Bilious. These two temperaments embody cordiality, courage, spontaneity, and generosity (Sanguine characteristics) as well as will, endurance, and perseverance (Bilious characteristics).
If Hillary loves you, it is from the whole heart, giving without measure, standing beside you no matter what. If you are unfortunate to be out of her favor, watch your back. If it is useful for the cause, she may play the game and temporarily make friends with foes, if it is not she will dispense with you without hesitation. Remember what John Kennedy said? “Forgive your enemies, but don’t forget their names. Hillary never forgets.
Hillary Clinton can be spontaneous, charming, and entertaining but, if needed, she can become a calculating long-term planner with total commitment and unwavering will to achieve her goal. Compared to her husband, whose impulse to action at times is stronger than reason, Hillary is an example of internal order, deliberate decision-making, and self-control. Even if she believes in something passionately, she is able to step back, look objectively, and make a decision based on what is, rather than on what she wishes it would be.
Unlike Rudy, who will go head-on to fight his opponents and to stand for his cause, Hillary, if necessary, is willing to retreat temporarily, to allow her to advance later on and achieve her objective. She will keep her promises if she can, but if keeping her promises becomes too costly, she will not hesitate to change her mind and justify her action through logic and reason.
She has two natural inclinations: seeking social justice and protection of children. That is where her heart will play as important a role as her mind. Mothering the world is not something that Hillary chose as a political stance or a noble hobby, it is at the very core of her being and the underlying force behind all her pursuits.
If you admired Margaret Thatcher’s intelligence, clarity of mind, and inner strength but regretted her conservative political stand, on this side of the Atlantic you are looking at the “iron lady” wearing the blue cloak of a democrat.
I will not write about Mike Huckabee much, not because there is little to say about him, but because to a great degree you have already read about him. He is yet another Bilious. Huckabee is strikingly similar to Rudi Giuliani. That means the energy, the will, the long term planning, the endurance, and the seeking out of challenges to overcome are all the same.
Let me focus on the contrast, on the differences between them. While Giuliani is a natural introvert, Huckabee is an extrovert. He does not need personal space. He wants to be out there. He endeavors to spend all his time with friends, admirers, critics, opponents, and anyone who will give him attention
Also, unlike the stubborn and inflexible Giuliani, the former governor is a diplomat ready to compromise, negotiate, and to take a few steps back in order to advance in the future. He is more sensitive and less straight forward, more intellectual and less anger-driven, more fun- loving, and less generous, more self-centered and less pessimistic than Rudi Giuliani.
Barack Obama is the only candidate with a temperament (inborn characteristics, remember) which in morphology is called Nervous. He also has features of a Bilious that represent endurance and will, but nevertheless he is primarily Nervous.
If Bilious is characterized as a willful builder of the world, and Sanguine as a courage and spontaneity of the world, Nervous is the brilliance of the world. The most distinguishable characteristic of the Nervous temperament is their mind. The Nervous are the fastest and most creative thinkers of all temperaments.
Nervous have rich imagination and great creativity. These qualities may be “user-friendly” for a Nervous or quite self-destructive. At their best, they can use their imagination and creativity to envision a bright future, to come up with great ideas, to find ways of addressing challenging situations, and to sense new opportunities. At their worst, their imagination and creative mind can draft pictures of inevitable doom and gloom, which will pull them right down into the abyss of hopelessness and despair.
Nervous are very aware of their own feelings and are sensitive to the feelings of others. If they do dismiss how someone feels it may not be from lack of empathy or consideration, but rather because their own feelings are overwhelming them in the moment.
Nervous seek attention and appreciation from others the way flowers seek water. In spite of their need for feedback from their environment, they can often conceal their needs under the veil of bravado and artificial indifference, Nervous are a lot of fun to be with because they are very lively, charming, usually have great sense of humor, and are very accommodating and considerate.
While the typical Nervous gets overwhelmed by obstacles and tends to see things in a gloomy light, Senator Obama’s Bilious will makes him capable to face challenges and look at them as opportunities to create change. After the initial panic that he may experience internally (but never show to anyone), he may use his brilliant mind to find multiple solutions to a problem or creative ways for getting what he wants.
Obama is kind, sensitive, companionate, witty, and highly intelligent. He is also a perfect politician: a good communicator, able to compromise, willing to change camps if it serves the purpose, and has a great capacity to empathize.
The challenge for this potential president comes from two opposing inclinations: a tendency to be reactive rather than active, that is to wait till he must act or respond (qualities of a Nervous temperament), and a tendency to act decisively and willfully (qualities of a Bilious). Since the senator is primarily of a Nervous temperament, natural pessimism and anxiety may take their toll under long term pressure. Having a “pure” Bilious for a wife will definitely help (and probably always did) to balance his temperamental weaknesses.
Mitt Romney is another Bilious power house. He has the strength, the charisma, and courage of a Sanguine, as well as the perseverance, the endurance, and the will of a Bilious. If needed he is ready and willing to put up a fight, yet he can choose to yield if that serves his interests.
Romney’s facial features show that Mitt Romney is a natural introvert, is self-centered, and doesn’t really tell you what’s on his mind. There are also features that stand for generosity, extraversion, and sincerity. He is highly intelligent and intellectual. He knows what he wants in the long run, but also is capable of following a short-term impulse.
How do all these characteristics some of which are quite opposing go together and what does it mean for us? What can we expect from this man if he is elected to “run the show”?
The reason we refer to both the science and art of Morphology is because, just as in Medicine, though it is important to know the symptoms (in Medicine), or qualities (in Morphology), it is crucial to accurately interpret the symptoms or qualities to arrive at the right diagnosis.
So, let us make sense of this collection of qualities and try to see the whole man and how he operates.
A typical Sanguine is an extrovert, and tells you things as they are on the spot, but Romney’s deeply set eyes (a sign of introversion) and a thin upper lip (a sign that a person does not tell you what he/she thinks) are in direct conflict with the natural inclination to extroversion. It is not that the former governor is playing games with us, but he is likely to tell us one thing, then change his mind and as persuasively defend an opposite view. He simply follows the impulse that is stronger at that given moment. This war within, as with many intrapersonal conflicts, will subside with age. Chances are in 30 or 40 years we’ll a solid, confident, clear-minded, and unwavering presidential candidate. Till then… you decide.
John Edwards is yet another Bilious but with some Sanguine qualities. It is not surprising that most, if not all candidates at least partly are Bilious. In order to be a politician, run for an office, and then work as a congressman, or a senator, or a governor one needs a lot of stamina and an ability to make long-term commitments.
Edwards in many ways is a male version of Hillary Clinton. Comparing her features to those of Edward’s reveals that Edwards is a little less manipulative and a little more flexible, a little less willful and a little more fun loving, a little less enduring and a little more emotional, a little less divisive and a little more conciliatory.
There are a couple of features which are uniquely John Edwards. He is naturally kind and caring. He can be influenced by others. He can be frightened but wants to project courage.
With his great intelligence, compassion, flexibility, and the ability to keep commitments John Edwards could be a very good counselor, team worker, community organizer, and even a vice president.
John McCain is a different combination: Bilious/Lymphatic with Sanguine skin. As a Bilious he is a willful, long-term player, solution-oriented, active, concrete, and detail-oriented. His Lymphatic side gives him an ability to see not only the tree but have a vision of the whole forest. Lymphatic are visionaries. That is why often you will see them as politicians, scientists, writers (the novel is their preferred form), long-term investors, judges, architects, and spiritual leaders. His skin coloring (representing one’s interaction with the outside world) is red, meaning that he can act courageously, impulsively, and once in a while explode in anger, which will subside quickly.
The combination of Bilious/Lymphatic is a very complementary one. The Bilious willful builder of the world in McCain is enriched by the Lymphatic Knowledge, Vision, and Tolerance of the World. The latter qualities act to soften Bilious’ somewhat harsh and intolerant attitude toward others.
Senator McCain is patient with himself and others (except for those occasional explosions), and respectful of other people’s feelings, qualities, and the pace of life. His moral values play a vital role in his entire decision–making process. Most of the time he has a clear idea of what he wants and does not get discouraged when others do not agree with him. If something is not working out but he believes it will, he will keep plowing till the problem is overcome or till he sees that it is not resolvable. When and if he does give up he can feel satisfied that he gave the problem his best effort.
These are the main qualities of John McCain at his best. At his worst he can be slow to act, hold grudges and resentment for a long time, and at times, explode in rage.
Most of the time, McCain is friendly and in a confliction situation is able to forgive, understand the other side, and find a way to make peace and find justice.
If you like order, integrity, passion for justice, and stability, and of course, share his vision for the country and the world -- McCain is your candidate.
Of all the candidates, Joe Biden is the most complex and interesting person from the standpoint of morphology. He possesses qualities of all four temperaments -- the will and endurance of a Bilious, the charm, congeniality and courage of a Sanguine, the quickness of the mind and creativity of a Nervous, and the broad vision and benevolence of a Lymphatic.
Most of Biden’s qualities are complementary and do not create inner conflicts. He is ready to put up a fight if necessary, but able to yield when appropriate. His moral values are important to him, but do not cloud his reason and respect for opinions of others. He is stubborn when it comes to dealing with challenges, but his paternal tendencies help him to make sure that when he makes changes, everyone affected by those changes are safe.
In many ways, Senator Biden is similar to Senator McCain but with more charm and greater flexibility. The difference is that while McCain could make a good president but would have difficulties in the number two position, Joe Biden could make a good president and as good a vice-president.
Which Face Fits the Ballot?
Facial morphology can add a new and valuable dimension to analyzing the candidates for our next presidential election by helping us to see beyond and behind stage presence and public speaking skills. I want to add an important disclaimer : by saying a particular candidate has qualities like naturally kind or integrity, I do not mean to imply that other candidates are incapable of exhibiting the same qualities. My observations of characteristics associated with particular morphological features should be interpreted to suggest that for a person with certain features these qualities represent a natural way of being for him or her, while for others the same qualities may result from making a decision or an act of will.
To sum up, here are key characteristics of current politicians as related to their morphology. I have included a number of other figures to provide a basis for comparison and contrast:
Naturally kind: Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, John Edwards.
Driven by anger: Rudi Giuliani, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thomson.
Driven by ambition: Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson.
Driven by genuine caring: Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John Edwards, Joe Biden.
Driven by conviction: Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Fred Thomson.
People who will tell you the truth: Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Dennis Kacinich, Fred Thomson.
People with integrity: Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Ron Paul, Dennis Kacinich, Fred Thomson.
People who are concealing: (you will never know what they really think): Rudi Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Mike Gravel, Duncan Hunter, Bill Richardson.
People who will unite the country: John McCain, Joe Biden, Barack Obama.
People who will divide the country: Hillary Clinton, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thomson, Dennis Kacinich