The little details of a person that come out in unconscious ways are almost always the most interesting—and definitely the most revealing. One such way of tapping into someone’s undisclosed mind and character is through handwriting analysis. Those harmless little dotted i’s, crossed t’s and looped g’s say more about the person writing than what the person writing is saying with them. So naturally, politicians are prime subjects.
To get behind the shiny facade and painstakingly crafted persona that politicians affect as part of their careers, Politico Magazine enlisted United States Secret Service’s Advanced Document Examination grad and expert handwriting analyst, Michelle Dresbold, to uncover the secret quirks and characteristics hidden in the scrawled signatures and doodled writing of each 2016 candidate.
The findings? Hillary Clinton’s leads with her head over her heart, while Donald Trump is driven by bigheadedness, anger, and fear. Read on for more of the major takeaways from the analysis, plus check out Dresbold’s full breakdown here.
“The upper loop of the ‘J’ in ‘Jeb’ [is] big and full. This shows that he is willing to take on a lot of responsibility.” Interestingly, the ‘Jeb’ is larger than the unreadable ‘Bush’. This shows he wants to stand on his own two feet and would like to distance himself from the Bush name.”
“When upper letters are exaggerated, it shows a writer who can get stuck in his head and thought process… The ending says even more: Carson loops down and forms a line underneath his signature, which shows that he has confidence in himself.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton
“Clinton’s handwriting is straight up and down. A vertical slant takes a lot of control… Also notice that the ‘y’ in “Hillary” is a straight firm down stroke. This strong downward stroke (no loop) appears in the handwriting of strong-willed people determined to reach their goals.”
“Ted Cruz’s signature is written in heavy and thick tones. This demonstrates that he is determined and dogmatic… His ‘d’ ends sharply and abruptly, indicating that when he says something, he means it. He will cut off anyone who thinks or sees things differently.”
“Her rightward slant shows that same passion… These breaks [in her last name] demonstrate that Fiorina is an intelligent, creative thinker. Her ‘F’ is formal and a bit pretentious, showing that she likes things to look clean and proper.”
“Angles show a writer who is feeling angry, determined, fearful, competitive or challenged. When a script is completely devoid of curves, the writer lacks empathy and craves power, prestige and admiration… The ‘p’ in ‘Trump’ [is rather over-sized]. This large phallic symbol shouts, ‘Me… big hunk of man’.
“The ultra-high capitals indicate Rubio’s drive to reach the top. Rubio’s signature appears to read ‘Ma Ma’. Could this be because Rubio’s driving force is his mom and his family history?”
“Pataki makes his capital letters small, simple and unpretentious, meaning he most likely comes from a simple, homey background. His middle initial that resembles a backwards ‘3’ indicates that he is well read and enjoys culture.”
“Chris Christie’s handwriting leans upward, expressing a positive, upbeat personality that is success driven… The ‘t’ crossing in his last name ends with a dot…This effect resembles a bat and ball, which means Christie could have a deep interest in baseball.”
“Scott Walker’s signature appears to be a strange version of ‘Joe’… When a writer uses ambiguous letters, it shows deception—someone who shows one thing and delivers another.”
“Right-slanted writers are emotionally driven; their hearts rule their heads…[Sanders] hopes for the best. However, ‘Bernie; looks like a ‘B’ and an ‘X’, which could be a sign that he has a fear of destruction and always has his eye out for the worst.”
“His first name is angular, showing a tough, determined, ambitious, competitive man. The extreme space between his first and last name shows that he is feeling isolated and separated from the rest of the world… he’s feeling very tightly wound and could start to unravel.”