How Important is Presidential Character?

James David Barber, believes that it is very necessary to understand the character of someone who plans to run for President.  Knowing about a candidate’s character will give the voter a better understanding as to how a President may govern.  Presidential character, as Barber defines it, can be divided into four parts.

1.  Active-Positive:  Presidents who fall under this category are very active in their job, have high levels of self-esteem, and work hard towards accomplishing goals.

2.  Active-Negative:  Those who fall under this category tend to be aggressive in their work, but act as if “they were trying to make up for something or to escape from anxiety into hard work.”

3.  Passive-Positive:  In this category, Presidents tend to lack self-esteem but have a positive outlook on the results of political decisions.  They look for rewards from others because of their positive outlook on life, not because of the work that they do.

4.  Passive-Negative:  This is someone who believes that they have place in the political system, but a.) does little in his work and b.) does not enjoy the work that he has to do.  These individuals believe “that they ought to be in politics” despite their sour nature.

What category of character does President Obama fall under?

14 responses to “How Important is Presidential Character?

  1. I believe Obama is passive positive. He does not seem to have the highest of self esteem but does have a positive out look on the work he does. It is important to realize he has done some good things for this country but people tend to say he has done nothing, When they do say that he does not prove to them that he has improved the country in some aspects.

  2. I would say that Barack fits best in the Active-Positive category. He works hard to accomplish goals, he set a goal of creating insurance for everyone, and even though it has its faults, he worked hard despite that many people did’t agree with it. Same applies to his immigration reform that he is working on. I would also say he has high levels of self esteem he is able to defend his ideas, opinions, and decisions well well faced with questions from the press. He also seem very active in his job, I believe he does have a very demanding career and is always working on public relations with different countries.

  3. I feel that President Obama is passive-positive. He has managed to push important legislation like Obamacare through congress, showing he is a competent politician. However, due to the backlash, he isn’t able to praise himself much on his work, and definitely isn’t cocky.

  4. I feel that he changes lately he has been for a long time passive positive Obama has not done anything he just talks about what he will do its annoying

  5. Tiffany McLaughlin

    I see Obama as active-positive. Mostly because those who actually follow his work see him ACTIVELY proposing suggestions for change and is constantly shut down by congress. He’s active-positive because he is confident when he speaks and doesn’t back down when his opinions are crossed. He stays publicly passionate and confident no matter what. Another reason is that he fought to give us healthcare. it may not be for everyone like he wanted, but it surely gives more people the chance at affordable healthcare. He could have just completely sat on it and did nothing, then people would really be complaining. Is he the perfect president? Probably not. He also has his faults, but so does every president.

  6. I think Obama falls in the active-positive category. This has nothing to do with if I agree or disagree with his decisions or if I think he is a good President or not. I think he shows a lot of those qualities, with a positive attitude and gives the sense that he will do whatever he can to take care of what he believes in being the right thing, even if it may not. He moved himself up the political latter with this type of attitude, and public speaking is a huge strength of his. How he is behind closed doors? We can never really know. But his public face as the President of the United States, he is active-positive.

  7. I feel that President Obama is a passive-positive, because when he first ran for office he had plans. As time went on his plans kept changing but I don’t feel that he was the one making the changes I believe he was just following orders from a higher power. I believe that if he was more active things would be done right and not half way.

  8. Tasneem Abdelmajid

    I think Obama is passive-positive. He doesn’t seem to have a cocky attitude in any way after being reelected and I think that is because of the backlash he has faced. People like to say he has done nothing but he has had plans since his first term that keep getting shut down by Congress. For the most part, he has tried to make a positive impact since his election.

  9. I would consider our President to be an Active-Positive especially after the executive order that he recently made. It speaks to his level of confidence as well as his drive to get things done and make a difference in this country. I believe at this point, He’s figured out the level of support he will or will not receive on certain issues, he’s made several attempts at working with congress, and now has decided to move forward and do what’s best for the nation.

  10. I really think Obama is passive-positive, I didn’t see much big changes come from the president but Obama care. His so called plans are not going through because congress keeps shutting them down is why I feel like he is positive.

  11. I think President Obama is passive-positive. Through out all of his speeches, he seems to repeat himself on how he thinks will be “great” for the American people, yet there hasn’t been any proof for anything he has done. Just as Chris mentioned, he was very he pushed legislation for Obama care. And after that didn’t work out, you don’t see him very often praising his own work.

  12. I think he is ActivePositive! He never backs down from a challenge, a debate or any controversy. He explains what he feels, how to better the situation and what is being done now to start that positive change. He is actively trying to make a change but not many people view it in this point of view because congress is always refusing to listen or accepting the positive change for out country. Because of this, I think he gets misunderstood.

  13. I believe that he is active positive. I firmly believe that Obama is trying hard to get the things he believes in done. I support immigration fully, non of us would be here unless you are native american, anyone who doesn’t want people coming in just simply doesn’t believe in freedom or equality.

  14. I believe presidential character is very important. It shows what kind of person the leader of our country is. Which could lead him pr her into another term.

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