The roundness of the characters in Lew’s impossible-to-read John Hancock indicates he just might be the cuddly sort, says
, a professional graphologist — that is, someone who gleans people’s personality traits from their writing. Such strokes are common among those who prefer a “softer” approach to problem-solving, she says.
The signers of the Constitution, by contrast, used very strong, angular lettering, McKnight notes — not that leaders throughout history haven’t used circular strokes like Lew’s. Like who? “Well, Princess Di had very loopy writing,” she says.
And the fact that Lew’s signature is illegible may mean that he wants to keep his true identity unknown. “People with illegible signatures . . . like to keep some things private,” she says.
Perhaps Lew will want to spruce up his signature before it makes its prime-time debut, as his predecessor did. The current Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, told NPR last year that he had to work on his penmanship to make his name legible enough to befit its place on U.S. currency.
When is a nominee a nominee? Sounds like the kind of question philosophy grad students could spend hours chewing over (along the lines of chestnuts like “What is truth?” and “Is there a God?”), but this conundrum has a bit more practical application.
Although President Obama stood in the East Room of the White House and proudly declared former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be his nominee for secretary of defense — and a few weeks before that, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as his secretary of state — neither man can properly be called a “nominee.” That’s because a nominee isn’t actually a nominee until the president sends official nomination papers (really serious stuff, too — we’re talking heavy, old-fashioned parchment in an envelope with a wax seal) to the Senate.
Oh, the Senate isn’t in session, you say? Well, that shouldn’t hamper the process. After all, it’s not as if the White House messenger would just leave a note on the closed chamber door like the UPS man delivering a package. The secretary of the Senate has the power to receive messages when the body is not in session.
And so far, the old-school parchment hasn’t arrived. Not that that’s stopping everyone (including the Loop) from using the “nominee” nomenclature to describe Kerry and Hagel. It seems that’s a colloquial term.
But until it’s officially official, perhaps should we call them “presumptive nominees”? Maybe “nominees in waiting”? “Pre-noms?”
Too cold for fire?
If you think the air in Washington is a tad brisk, you’ll need more than mittens in Seoul, South Korea, where it’s been so cold that the U.S. Embassy recently had to postpone its annual Christmas-tree bonfire.