Oh! How They Woo Us

blog_obamaPolicies and platforms are never enough to make a politician — they need something that appeals to the people’s gut; Barack Obama has a touch of romance, which he emits with each gallivant to New York for a date, or every stroll down the Champs-Elysees — activities that have prompted awe, and some ire; Hugo Chavez has his own method of speaking to folks, which includes lots of Venezuelan slang, like using a word that means “penis” to refer to a cell phone; Italian playboy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi uses his media empire to show Italy his best side, and it’s effective enough that an ongoing sex scandal that would have dethroned others barely put his party down in a recent poll; and Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has long used his gritty background to win the hearts of the poor and the military, but now veterans of the Iran-Iraq war are turning their support toward the reform candidate days before presidential elections, even alleging that the incumbent fabricated his war service. -SS