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A thin margin.

Is Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama too thin to represent America, political pollsters ask. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey found that many white men and suburban women can't relate to the Illinois senator's perceived image. "He's too new ... and he needs to put some meat on his bones," one Texas housewife is quoted. "I won't vote for any beanpole guy," a former Hillary Clinton supporter wrote on a Yahoo blog. So a lot has changed since 335-pound William Howard Taft was elected in 1908. The last tall and lanky winner was Abraham Lincoln in 1860, say presidential historians. And former (Bill) Clinton chief of staff Thomas "Mack" McLarty opines that most voters probably don't base their decision on physical appearance, but a candidate's height, weight, and overall look can play a big role in what Americans perceive as "presidential." If so, the 6-foot l 1/2-inch Obama has the vertical edge on Republican rival John McCain, who, by the way, is regarded as slightly above average weight (165 pounds) for a 5-foot 7-inch man his age. Who knew that annual physicals might identify the next president better than any poll?

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Title Annotation:Indications
Author:Frey, Randall
Publication:Family Practice News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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