Handwriting Analyst: Trump Is A D*ck, Cruz Is ‘Dogmatic.’ Like We Didn’t Know That? (VIDEO/IMAGES)

In their continuing game of “let’s talk about everything except where candidates stand on the issues,” the media is being forced to come up with new ideas to make sure that low information voters stay that way. What’s the latest ruse, you ask? Handwriting analysis.

You might think that the people at Politico  might be above things like this. Sorry to disappoint you. Politico hired “handwriting expert” Michelle Dresbold to look at, and explain, what hidden messages are contained in the presidential candidates’ signatures. When you’re done reading, you’ll realize that she just told you a bunch of stuff that you probably already know.

Dresbold has impressive sounding credentials. She’s a graduate of the United States Secret Service’s Advanced Document Examination training program. And she has written a book on the subject of handwriting analysis. Unfortunately for Dresbold, and the folks at Politico who decided to waste everybody’s time with this, a lot of other people have written about graphology, or handwriting analysis as well. And a lot of them call it total BS.

Take Dr. Barry Beyerstein, for example, who has this to say at Quackwatch:

“Graphologists have largely convinced an uninformed public that their craft is a scientifically respectable way of assessing personality, aptitudes, and predilections.”

Beyerstein explains that graphology relies on what he calls the “Barnum Effect,” after showman P.T. Barnum.

“As many studies have demonstrated, people invariably interpret vague, positive generalizations that are true, in some form, of nearly everyone as if they applied specifically to the particulars of their own lives,” he says.  “Have you ever opened a fortune cookie that didn’t somehow apply to you?”

“Vague, positive generalizations that are true.” That is exactly what Drebold gives readers in her Politico piece. She really doesn’t tell us anything about any of the candidates that an astute political watcher didn’t already know. Bernie Sanders, for example, is “emotionally driven.” Anybody who has followed the career of the Vermont senator knows that he is hands down the most passionate of all the 2016 candidates. This puts Drebold in the same category as that astute “fortune teller” who subtly gets information out of a client only to repeat it to them as their “fortune.”

Here are some of Drebold’s observations about the other candidates (all images of signatures are via Politico).

Jeb Bush

Drebold says that Bush wants to “distance himself from the ‘Bush’ name.” Hello? People were saying that as soon as they saw his campaign signs, which simply say, “JEB!”

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz writes in “heavy and thick tones.” This makes him, according to Drebold, “determined and dogmatic.” Or it could make him a guy who signed an autograph with a worn out Sharpie that had a blunt tip. Determined? This is the guy who stood on the floor of the Senate and read “Green Eggs and Ham.” He was also largely responsible for the last government shutdown. We didn’t need his signature to tell us that he will go to any lengths to get what he wants.

Bobby Jindal

Drebold thinks the space between Bobby Jindal’s first and last name means he feels “isolated,” and that the swirls in his last name mean that he is “feeling very tightly wound and could start to unravel.” This is extremely old news. Many of us watched Jindal unravel as he gave the response to the president’s State of the Union address in 2009. After that debacle, no wonder he feels “isolated.”

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been a known quantity for years. Drebold says that his signature reveals a number of things about him, but none of those things are a revelation. She says that Trump’s writing shows that he 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.”

Again, things we didn’t need a handwriting analyst to tell us. And on top of all of that, Drebold says that the oversize “p” at the end of his name is a “phallic symbol.” Yeah, we know he’s a dick, too.

Chris Christie

This may be my favorite, and about the only one where Drebold’s analysis departs from conventional wisdom. Chris Christie is a “positive, upbeat personality,” according to Drebold. Maybe. But he’s never more upbeat that when he’s beating up on people. Drebold says that the way Christie ends his signature indicates he “could have a deep interest in baseball.” Thanks for reminding us, Michelle. We’ve been trying to get these images out of our heads for months now.


So Politico managed to waste several minutes of their readers’ time last weekend on this nonsense. If they can’t manage to focus on the things that really matter, how can we expect outlets like Fox News to do so?

Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Jamelle Bouie