BUSH: Style is his strength

Marie Albu

City College Communication professor Sarah Hock offered her professional opinion on the candidates’ appearance. Though, she said, “I think how you interpret that is intimately tied to your political perspective.”
“The candidates take what the polls say are their greatest strengths, Bush’s brand has been ‘I will protect this country,'” she said.
They have even tried to brand each other in a negative light. Many are familiar with Bush’s calling Kerry a “flip-flopper.”
“Bush was pre-debate trying to brand him as a flip-flopper and he did that pretty successfully,” Hock said.
Hock said that she believes that both candidates are also aggressively courting the single female voter because that group has been shown to be largely undecided.
“I think that you saw this with Bush in the last debate the thing that stood out to me was when they were asked ‘tell me about the strong women in your life.’ Bush talked about falling in love with Laura at a barbeque and how he loves her. This could definitely appeal to women,” Hock said.
Physical appearance can also play a major role. Bush chose a blue tie for the first two debates, then switched to red, matching Kerry.
“It is amazing the power of things like that everything from how the candidate is framed in the shot, to ties that are worn, to height – historically the taller candidate has won,” Hock said. “I think the red tie is a better choice, it has been used in the past because it stands out more.”
“I think during the debates one of the things Bush needed to do was make more direct eye contact with the camera. I would tell him not to forget the TV viewers, make eye contact with the camera so the people sitting at home in their living rooms feel connected to you,” she said.