by Dario Nardi, Ph.D.
If hormones influence personality as well as body type, then we might wonder what role biotype played for recent presidents and presidential candidates. We don’t have access to a full complement of measures; but height, weight, published IQ, body shape and favorite activities are enough to make some educated guesses. For example, Ronald Reagan and John Kerry measure over 6 feet tall, so we expect some Thymus type characteristics. We might also expect that weaknesses of each biotype are relevant, if not clues in themselves. Surviving the severe stresses of public life requires many strengths: physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual. Perhaps a pure Thyroid type for example is less likely than a Balanced type, even if Balanced types are otherwise uncommon in the population (maybe 4 percent). We’ll explore three recent presidents / presidential candidates: Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and the current president George Bush. All characteristics referred to below were true at their time of presidency or candidacy. Remember that biotype has nothing to do with political affiliation. Two pancreas types for example might have quite different political affiliations.
Bill Clinton is 6 feet 2.5 inches tall, suggesting strong Thymus function, and he is remembered for saying he felt others’ pain – a sensitivity that also suggests Thymus type. At 226 pounds (or a body mass index of 28.3) he is considered only "overweight." Many Thymus-Pancreas types are overweight but don't become obese because of the added height and because pure Thymus types are often on the slimmer side. He does not suffer male pattern baldness, but he is quite social and friendly, a common characteristic of Gonad and some Pancreas Types. He has been criticized for his sexual dalliances, a weakness of Gonad types. Under stress he ate and gained weight, suggesting a strong "parasympathetic stress response," which would tend to rule out Thyroid type or the more balanced Adrenal type. Although very social and considered an excellent communicator, his forehead is neither wide nor protruding, and in fact narrows enough to perhaps qualify for strong Pineal function. Bill Clinton's IQ is published as 140, well above the average of 90 to 110. Considering his weight and stress pattern, he is certainly not a Thyroid type, so his intelligence could come as the quick learning and self-awareness of the Pineal type. Pineal over Pituitary further suggests his social skills link to Gonad and Pancreas. From these and other characteristics, Bill Clinton might be a Thymus-Pancreas type with moderate Gonad and Pineal function. "Balanced type" might be appropriate.
John Kerry is tall – 6 feet 4 inches – but slimmer than Bill Clinton, possibly 210 pounds (exact authoritative figures not found). This suggests Thymus type. His face is long, and he is known to be very passionate and intense, common Thymus type characteristics. Kerry’s forehead is average, neither wide nor narrow, possibly ruling out unusually strong Pituitary or Pineal. And without strong Gonad or Pancreas, we would not expect him to be highly social or naturally physically friendly with others. His published IQ is 122, above the average of 90 to 110, and there is no sign of weak Thyroid as he is known to be articulate and knowledgeable. Kerry is very active, engaging in many physical activities. Such activity can come from a strong Pituitary (relying on will power to force the body to action) or it can come from strong Adrenals. Kerry has a strong jaw line and only average forehead, suggesting strong Adrenals are at play here. Overall, Kerry might be a Thymus-Adrenal type with moderate Thyroid function. Interestingly, pure Thymus types are often criticized for easily changing their minds or being wishy-washy, a charge leveraged by his opponents. Since Kerry was only a candidate, we did the same range of data as we could with Bill Clinton.
George Bush junior measures in at 5 feet 11 inches and 189 pounds. His compact frame, physical endurance, interest in outdoor activity, and excellent muscle tone suggest Adrenal type. His weight is from muscle. He is also known to quickly make up his mind and strongly stick with decisions – qualities of many Adrenal types. Adrenal types have high energy and endurance but a calm response under stress and aren’t normally prone to weight gain or loss. Unsurprisingly, Bush gained weight only at the highest point of stress during his re-election campaign, and stayed calm during the time of crisis after 9/11. The balance between Pineal and Pituitary is interesting. Like John Kerry, Bush has an average forehead – suggesting he is neither strongly Pituitary or Pineal – and his published IQ is 123, also above the average of 90 to 110 but not exceptional. In his younger years he was known for excessive alcohol use and some drug use; and to overcome these turned to the opposite extreme. While alcoholism is separate from biotype, addictive or extreme tendencies are common for Pituitary types. Bush was not exceptional in school and is known as inarticulate (he makes fun of his own malapropisms) but he is also known to be strongly engaged with people and ideas around him. This suggests a weak or average Thyroid but moderate to strong Pituitary. He is not prone to water weight as a pure Pituitary type would be. Bush has more male pattern baldness than Kerry or Clinton, who have none; and is known to be very compelling in person and more physically friendly than Kerry. Overall, Bush might be a Adrenal-Pituitary-Gonad type, possibly with average Pineal, which would differ from most Adrenal or Pituitary types.
Do observations of biotype contribute to our understanding of our leaders? Biotype is useful because it informs us of how leaders might react under stress and what kind of weaknesses they may have. This examination also reminds us to consider variations in qualities that might be clumped together. Clinton, as a Thymus-Pancreas-Gonad type has a very wide range of people skills – emotional sensitivity, pleasant affect, and social friendliness. In contrast, John Kerry’s people skills are more limited to his strengths as a Thymus type. Mental ability can also come from different places – Thyroid, Pituitary, or Pineal. A much broader and precise study of presidents and presidential candidates might reveal patterns in public preference or suitability. Perhaps the greater the number of strong glands, the more resources a leader has to drawn on in different situations and kinds of crises.
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Copyright Laura Power and Dario Nardi, August 2004.
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