Election 2008

Artisan Politics: A Personality Test for Candidates

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, "Rational" Ben Sklar/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ben Sklar/Getty Images

You know that test you sometimes have take when applying for a new job that assesses your personality? It's called the "Keirsey Temperament Sorter-II" (KTS-II) and it determines which of the four personality types or "temperaments" you fit into. There's the dutiful and dependable "Guardian," the trusting and big-hearted "Idealist," the bold and spontaneous "Artisan," and the pragmatic and strong-willed "Rational."

Today a new online community launched — it's called PersonalityZone, and it's brought to you by the folks who developed the KTS-II. You can take the test, figure out your personality type, then go to the various "zones" on the site to link up with other "Artisans" or "Guardians" and chat about work, money, love or whatever with like-minded people.

But what I found interesting on the site is a blog called the Fieldmarshal Report that applies the four personality types to the presidential candidates. Apparently KTS-II researchers found that over the past 100 years, Americans have voted more "Artisans" into the Oval Office (core characteristics: playful mates . . .seek stimulation . . . want to make a splash. . . Hello, Bill Clinton).

According to them, both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson are "Guardians," generally people who "believe in following the rules and cooperating with others." Because that's just how New Yorkers think of Giuliani . . .

Mitt Romney is pegged as a "Rational," reportedly the rarest personality type seen of all four (though he does share the distinction with Al Gore, Barry Goldwater and Dwight D. Eisenhower). The site says that Rationals "often appear wishy-washy because of their tendency to continue to debate issues in their own minds, even past the time most others have moved on." How many days after the CNN debate did Romney fire those illegal workers?

The Fieldmarshal Report will classify the personalities of more candidates in the coming weeks, but they can only draw conclusions from public personas and track records of the candidates- not actual tests. But wouldn't it be great if running for president was like applying for some Fortune 500 company and candidates did have to take a personality test? How do you think George W. Bush would have answered these KTS-II questions?

Do you speak more in:

A. particulars than generalities

B. generalities than particulars

Are you more comfortable:

A. after a decision

B. before a decision

Do you pride in yourself:

A. a vivid imagination

B. a strong hold on reality

Do you more often prefer:

A. tentative preliminary statements

B. final unalterable statements

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"The answer to your question is, 'yes.'"

Sent by Will G | 8:11 PM | 12-11-2007