What psychological personality tests reveal about Clinton, Obama, and McCain.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Feb. 20 2008 6:50 AM

The Supervisor, the Champion, and the Promoter

What psychological personality tests reveal about Clinton, Obama, and McCain.

Emily Yoffe was online on Feb. 21 to chat with readers about this article. Read the transcript.

(Continued from Page 2)

In a Newsweek profile of McCain, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said, "He's a real player in the Senate. He has tremendous impact." As McCain said to Esquire, "I get attacked everyday because I'm working with Ted Kennedy. How can I work with Kennedy? Because I want to get something done."

"Artisans also make everyone else look like amateurs when it comes to improvising survival tactics," writes Keirsey. Their wily ability to make do in dire circumstances makes them "successful scroungers as prisoners of war." Newsweek describes how "McCain survived in prison camp by sheer cussedness."

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Artisans "are not threatened by the possibility of failure in themselves or others, so they are likely to take risks and encourage others to do the same." That is how a man whose election prospects were dim only a few months ago can say to the Washington Post of the campaign, "Actually, it's been very invigorating, it really has been."

Promoters have strong people skills, but it is not the warm sense of connection one gets from an Idealist like Obama. "Promoters are so engaging … that they might seem to possess an unusual amount of empathy, when in fact this is not the case," writes Keirsey. "Rather, they are uncanny at reading people's faces and observing their body language." Or as the Wall Street Journal recently wrote, "When Mr. McCain took the stage in Sun City, the applause was polite. When he finished, he got a standing ovation. … [H]is ability to sense and ride the emotional flow of an audience is astonishing."

Grand theories are not for the ESTP. "No high-flown speculation for the Artisan, no deep meaning or introspection. [They] focus on what actually happens in the real world, on what works, on what pays off, and not on whose toes get stepped on." This is how you get labeled a "maverick" and "Sen. Hothead." This is why the Wall Street Journal writes, "Mr. McCain's great political strength has also been his main weakness, which is that his political convictions are more personal than ideological."

Keirsey says Artisans "are the world's great risk-takers. They delight in putting themselves in jeopardy, taking chances, facing hazards." (Does this sound familiar? See: Iraq.) When times call for careful planning, or consistent, long-term management, you don't call on the ESTP. Keirsey writes that they "may be careless about details" or "they can be unprepared at times when preparation is called for, and can spring the unexpected on colleagues." "They are like firemen who, having nothing to do set fires so that they can put them out."

So, these are our three choices: an ESTJ, an ENFP, or an ESTP. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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