That would be me. TheWeb site CelebrityTypes.com has a 50-question personality test so you can find out which president you are most like. As Ilya Somin reported on Facebook, he found out that he was most like Thomas Jefferson.
The Obama-Kopel personality type is: “High on Extroversion…open and talkative. High on Openness…impatient with the way things are and always on the look for the new, the untested, and the untried. Average on Agreeableness…alternate between being tenderhearted in some situations and tough-minded in others. Extremely high on Conscientiousness…focused when it comes to goals and deadlines. Low on Neuroticism…relaxed, cool under pressure, and not shy about presenting yourself or your ideas.”
If you have the Obama-Kopel personality, you are, inter alia: “Not likely to discriminate on the basis of race or sexual orientation. Likely to enjoy complex and abstract discussions. Likely to be more knowledgeable on academic topics. More likely to have a tolerant attitude towards smoking. More likely to watch TV, read the news, and stay up to date on current events. More likely to mobilize your friends to take part in your own interests. More likely to enjoy fitness training and physical exercise. More likely to nurture a few select beliefs that you regard as settled in stone. More likely than the average person to enjoy bitter vegetables like broccoli and arugula.”
Another uncanny parallel: Barack Obama has written for the Charleston Law Review, and so have I, twice; yet no other Volokh Conspiracy author has written even one article for Charleston.
My articles are Pacifist-Aggressives vs. the Second Amendment: An Analysis of Modern Philosophies of Compulsory Non-Violence (Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008), and How the British Gun Control Program Precipitated the American Revolution (Vol. 6, No. 2, 2012). The CLR editorial staff is very good, which is why I elected to publish the second article with them.
President Obama’s article is the Foreword to volume two, issue 1, 2007. He writes persuasively about the many reasons that lawyers should participate in public service. He points to great historical examples of such service, such as: “It was Archibald Cox who knew during the Watergate scandal that if our democracy was to remain one of laws and not of men, telling the President of United States ‘no’ was essential. And more recently, it was Sandra Day O’Connor who reminded us in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that ‘a state of war is not a blank check’ when it comes to the civil liberties of American citizens.”
Then-Senator Obama listed some of the challenges of the early 21st century, including: “Our constitutional system has been assaulted by an overreaching Executive Branch cloaked in secrecy and hostile to precedent and evidence-based decision-making.” He concluded by exhorting all lawyers to find their own ways to engage in public service, such as by “restoring integrity and trust to public leadership—whatever vision you have to make yourself useful, each of us has a special responsibility to answer the call to public service. The time is now.”
Unfortunately, President Obama’s Foreword no longer appears on the Charleston Law Review Web site. According to Charleston Law Review‘s current editor in chief, Leigh Ellen Grey, when the CLR Web site was revamped in 2011, it was discovered that none of volume 2 had been preserved in electronic form. Further, according to Ms. Grey, because CLR in its early years did not put page numbers on forewords, nor were forewords listed on the cover, the Obama foreword was not included by Westlaw in its database of law review articles. Fortunately, my personality twin’s foreword is still available via Archive.org, to which I linked, above.
Of course the personality test has the inherent limit that the creators had to guess about how various presidents would have answered various questions. Notably, only a few of the questions concerned policy issues; just because two people have a similar personality does not mean that they would always have the same policy outlook. This is true even when they might answer a policy question the same way. For example, the quiz asked whether “we should show special care and attention to society’s weakest.” I indicated the strongest possible agreement with this proposition, and presumably President Obama would do the same. But twin-like as the two of us are, we each favor very different particular approaches towards our strongly shared goal.
However, it does seem clear that if you want to ask a VC writer “WWBHOD?” and the question doesn’t involve the details of policy implementation, you should ask me. I will answer you as as soon as I return from my shopping trip to Whole Foods for a fresh bag of kale.