The Likability Sweepstakes

" And that's the wonder, the wonder of this country, that a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being liked!"

-- Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman knew how important it was to be well liked. Since Eisenhower won with the primitivist slogan "I Like Ike," Americans seem to require a pleasing affability from their Commander in Chief. Under Ronald Reagan, geniality was raised to an art form; the President became the nation's surrogate grandfather.

Pollsters say that the advent of television campaign coverage made "image impressions" more important than issues. Likability is one component of that...

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