Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Heights II - Or the Dangers of Political Vanity

Hot on the heels of the report of Berlusconi's month-long absence from the spotlight due to plastic surgery, comes, via Davids Medienkritik, the amusing image below:

Schroeder on Pedestal

Schröder would have been better off not faking it for the camera, or, better yet, conducting a seated interview, rather than risking this sort of embarrassing revelation.

The height thing really does seem to bother a lot of politicians terribly, though. Berlusconi is even more notorious for his attempts to disguise his diminutiveness (he stands at an estimated 167cm, or 5' 6"), and both Dennis Kucinich (5' 7") and Howard Dean (5' 8") have been the butt of jokes about their stature. I don't know that it matters as much as they think it does, though: the 5' 9" Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford (6' 2"), while George W. Bush (5' 11") defeated (or, depending on your political persuasion, "cheated") Al Gore (6' 1") to obtain the presidency. Still, if height does factor in the presidential elections, the Democratic Party can take comfort in the fact that the present front-runner, John Kerry, stands at an awe-inspiring 6 feet 4 inches.