GREENPOINT, Brooklyn, Sept. 3...Does size matter? "Maybe not in sex and basketball," Efraim Durg says, " but in geopolitics it's the only thing that counts."
Durg, CEO of Durgometrics, a hedge fund that specializes in high risk bets, is advising his clients to back John McCain to win the Presidency for one reason only---he's short.
"Issues come and go, but over the last ten years one variable has remained constant throughout the world ---the winner is always short."
An informal survey shows that no elected world leader is over 5 ft. 9 in. and most are hovering around 5t.6.
Russian Prime Minister Putin is 5:5. His anointed heir apparent Dmitry Medvedev is exactly the same height. French President Sarkozy is 5:6. German Prime MInister Angela Merkel is 5:6 in her "practical" shoes. Former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda is 5:6. Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is so short that he actually brags about being 5:7. British PM Gordon Brown claims 5:10, but often looks shorter than former PM Blair, who seems no more than an inch taller than President George W. Bush, who is hovering around the 5:9 mark depending on his shoes, but in photographs with Putin seems to be closer to the Russian's 5:5.
"The G8 meeting this year looked like a Munchkin call for "The Wizard of Oz," Durg says.
At the cocktail reception, the leaders spent a lot of time on their toes, measuring themselves against each other and trying to rise to new heights.
"Have you noticed, I'm the little guy in my family," Bush told Berlusconi. "And I'm 5:11."
Berlusconi repressed a sneer at this obvious exaggeration. "Satirists describe me as a dwarf," he said. "But I'm 5:7 without lifts."
Bush smiled down at the top of his head.
"Well. I'm taller than Putin or Sarkozy," Berlusconi said.
In the group photo all avoided Chinese President Hu Jintao, a virtual giant at 5:10.
McCain at five-seven. with broad shoulders and short arms fits the winner's profile to a tee, Durg says. But there are more amazing similarities.
McCain is the shortest person in his immediate family, several inches below his dad and grand dad and only an inch or two above his 94 year old mom. He is the same height at his wife Cindy, but she towers over him in her heels, which may be why she is always photographed sitting down.
President Bush is dwarfed by his dad and brother at 6:3. Even his mom, Babs, looks down on him. His wife Laura has to wear flats and stand on the bottom step to look him in the eye.
Sarkozy's wife, singer-model Carla Bruni, plooms over him at 5:9 and 1/2.
Putin has never been photographed with his wife, but rumors link him with a diminutive Russian gymnast, who hits the mark at 4:11.
"Power is trending short," Durg says. "In every election we studied, the little guy won over a much taller opponent-Bush-Kerry, Sarkozy-Segolene Royal, his taller female rival, Berlusconi over Prodi, etc."
The US was founded and led by tall men for most of its history. George Washington was measured at 6:3 and 1/2 on his death bed, which made him a pituitary oddity in Colonial America. Andrew Jackson was 6:1 and 1/2. Abe Lincoln was 6:4, more than a foot taller than his opponent, Stephen Douglas.
"If that election were held today the short, fat, rich, political insider Douglas would win in a landslide," Durg says.
Durg doubts that the trend will reversed in 2008. "Look at Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin,,,Short men tend to hold on to power once they get it."
Barrack Obama at 6:2 is well-aware that his height is the biggest hurdle he faces to the Presidency," Durg says, and he has been trying to lower the bar. Recent statements from his campaign had him at 6:1/ and 1/2. "Expect that to shrink to 6 feet even by election night," Durg says. At the upcoming debates his podium will be raised to his chin to make him look shorter.
Michelle has gone below the 6 foot mark to 5:11. But she still has to double over to speak to the ladies on "The View."
"This isn't the year of the tall person," Durg says. "If the Democrats really wanted to make history they should have nominated Gary Coleman."
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