When considering candidates, I’m not looking for, in the overused phrase, “the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with” or someone who’d make for a lively evening in a book club discussion. I have other people for that. They’re called friends.
That means “likeability” isn’t at the top of my criteria list when picking leaders. I’ve often voted for people whom I’d probably have found unendurable at a cocktail party, even after a dozen cocktails, and they might well have loathed me after the first hello. So? The way I see it, I’m hiring them for a job, not a ski weekend.
To me, “likeability” is a bonus–nice to have, but I’d like it thrown in on top of wisdom, good judgement, courage, fairness, independence, intelligence, and some realistic sense of what government can do and should do.
Despite those high standards, I do vote, chronically, habitually. I would have voted for the odd, fidgety, aloof and not very likeable Gary Hart had he not been lost in bimbo limbo. I voted for the stuffy, persnickety and not very likeable Al Gore, the sometimes sanctimonious and not very likeable Jimmy Carter, the witty and extremely likeable Ann Richards, the extremely likeable Ronald Reagan, and the towel-snapping, irritating-nickname-bestowing, painfully inarticulate Current Occupant–without liking him much at all. Some get my love, some get my vote, and a rare few get both.
But if likeability’s your game, check this AP/Yahoo survey wherein likely (and perhaps likeable) voters were asked which of the presidential candidates they liked, political preferences aside. Alas, more bad news for the piled-upon Hillary Clinton. The link is here.