President-elect Barack Obama is beginning to reveal how he'll act as president. Michelle Dresbold can predict what he'll do better than most.
Dresbold, a leading handwriting expert and author of "Sex, Lies and Handwriting," has helped solve some of America's highest-profile crimes. You'd be amazed by what she can determine by analyzing a fellow's handwriting (details available at michelledresbold.com).
See Obama's signature at http://cagle.com/images/Purcell/obama.jpg.
"Obama's handwriting travels sharply uphill," she told me. "This means he is upbeat and optimistic."
I'd be optimistic, too, if I pulled off one of the biggest come-out-of-nowhere successes in presidential history, felling two Clintons in the process.
"Obama's overly large signature shows he likes attention and is a bit of an egotist, which is common among public figures," she said. "He does something unusual with the 'O' and 'b' in his last name."
Whether Obama does it consciously or subconsciously, by intersecting his "O" and his "b" he forms the Greek symbol "phi."
"Since ancient times, this symbol has represented the golden ratio, the ideal proportion," said Dresbold. "Obama is determined that things be balanced."
With the exception of the federal budget.
Obama's writing shows him to be an efficient thinker. This is revealed in the way he signs the word "wishes."
"There is a gap between 'wi' and 'shes,'" said Dresbold. "This is because Obama dots his 'i' before he finishes writing out the rest of the word. This is a trait of intelligent people who think ahead."
That sounds reasonable, but how could any fellow who thinks ahead want to inherit the mess Obama is about to?
Dresbold shared another interesting observation: The style Obama uses for his signature is entirely different from the rest of his handwriting.
"His signature is very flowery and hard to read. Whereas his signature reveals him to be a showman in public, it also shows him to be someone who conceals what he is really thinking.
"This is in contrast to the rest of his handwriting, which is simple and direct."
When not signing his name, Obama writes in print script - a combination of cursive and print.
"Print script allows him to write faster," said Dresbold. "People with efficient, logical minds write this way - people who think outside of the box. Whereas his signature reveals his intuitive, emotional side, his other handwriting shows him to be very strategic and pragmatic - a tough cookie."
And a good listener.
"We see this in the way he writes out his 'e,'" said Dresbold. " 'E' stands for 'ear.' If it is open, that is a sign of a good listener. When he writes 'best wishes,' the first 'e' is open and the second closed.
This means he'll listen to different points of view, but once he makes a decision, he doesn't want to hear about it anymore."
That's not to say Obama is inflexible.
"In the word 'wishes,' he writes the first 's' very differently than the second. The first is very open, but the second is very sharp and rigid. This reveals an independent mind that is open to switching."
It's early yet, but already Obama is beginning to show the characteristics Dresbold has identified.
He's flexible (open to tax cuts, a surprise to conservatives.) He's independent (the left flank of his party feels he's acting too conservative).
He's pragmatic (he's promising to dismantle aggressive anti-terrorism practices to placate his left flank, though I'm not certain how pragmatic that move will turn out to be).
America is facing numerous woes and I'm certainly rooting for Obama to succeed. The truth is few know how Obama will conduct himself as president. If only more in the press had asked him during the campaign.
Oh, well, at least one handwriting expert has a bead on it.
Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated by CagleCartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers may contact him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.