Monday, October 31, 2011

'Cause He's Got--Personality!

Terry Teachout pans a new biography of William F. Buckley, a biography that happens also to be a history of the modern conservative movement in America, by charging its author Carl T. Bogus with failing to notice, or at least notice enough, the most important thing about Buckley, that is, his singular charm.

Haven't read the book, so I can't say if Teachout's on the mark or overly harsh with his criticism.  But he does make a very important larger point nevertheless with the opening two sentences of his review:  "Historians rarely have much to say about the role of charm in public affairs. But it matters, and sometimes it matters a lot."


In fact, I would say that the greatest part of the explanation for Herman Cain's growing appeal as a candidate and subsequent rise in the polls is his charming personality.

Of course, we'll have to wait and see if his charm's enough to weather the storm now breaking, not to mention the many more that will come up if he survives this one.

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