For every romantic possibility, no matter how robust, there exists at least one equal and opposite sentence, phrase, or word ... capable of extinguishing it.
Gladwell gives two examples of such disqualifying phrases. ("Brown," and "nice Tits!").
There are similar Disqualifying Statements in politics, words that will extinguish your enthusiasm for a candidate at the very moment when you are ready to swoon for him (or her). Here's one of those words: "Hagel." As in:
Barack Obama has often said he'd consider putting Repbulicans in his cabinet and even bandied about names like Sens. Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel.
Forget that this is a cliche appeal to hack Washington bipartisanism, that Sen. Hagel's reputation seems to have been built on the substitution of good looks and agonizing passion for coherent, articulated thought, that the press mainly loves him because he's always ready to go on television and stab his party in the back. Why would you promote Hagel at the very moment when his prediction that the Surge was "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam" appears to have been humiliatingly wrong? Disastrously wrong, potentially, if it had been heeded. Disqualifyingly wrong, you'd think. Obama is saying, in effect, that his need for respectable approval trumps reality. ...
P.S.: And just when many people (e.g. me) were trying to conivnce themselves that Obama's inexperience wouldn't be a problem because he'd surround himself with terrific advisors. ...
P.P.S.: "Hagel" isn't as much of a disqualifying statement as "I support the Davis-Bacon Act." But it's close! ... 12:01 P.M. link
[T]he crew that publicly surrounds Hillary has consistently come across as the most arrogant group of know-it-alls ever to populate the modern campaign stage. (When one considers the group that surrounded Richard Nixon, that's really saying something.) Every question is seemingly answered with a snarl. Every challenge appears to be greeted with a personal insult. ("We don't comment on books that are utter and complete failures," was one such riposte.) [E.A.]