Barack Obama, in His Own Hand

Handwriting analysis may not be everyone's favorite analytical tool, but millennia of such exterior methods have yielded largely intriguing and historically valid conclusions or observations.

With reference to the 44th president: if you did not already know of his enormous arrogance and cocksureness, the president's signature would shake you into that realization.

His initial "B" and "O" are about six times the size of his following letters, a sign all by itself that his hubris is massive.  But his signature also reveals an unusual feature not often seen in regular folk: he encapsulates the "ba" in Obama inside the enormously inflated "O" of his last name.  Further, his idealism and egotism are announced by the elongated and extra-tall "b" of Obama.  This is a strong indication that he is above all self-protective and unlikely to admit wrongdoing or flaw.  He is guarded on all sides by his self-love and imperviousness to exterior assault.

The straight up-and-down of his letters, absent any slant usual for most people, indicates his astringent and non-emotional aspects -- he does not come across as a warm human being, and he cannot be  swayed by sentiment, as he has little on show or available.

The generous left-hand margin of space before his signature begins indicates his generosity -- to himself.  His no-margin at the right-hand margin of the signature shows he is careful to a fault with giving to others.  His strangely niggardly charitable contributions over the years we have been following them indicate that this aspect of his signature is accurate: his annual giving is paltry in contrast to the monies he has made over the past decade, during which time his book sales, senatorial salaries, and presidential perks have kicked in millions.

To the side of good is the clarity of his letters, which are so clear as to suggest printing, not cursive writing at all.  This indicates that -- unlike many physicians' signatures, for instance -- he wishes to be understood above all.

The slight downward tilt of his name on a horizontal axis indicates a proclivity to moodiness and depression, but it is slight.

Interesting is the final "k" in Barack, which is in proportion to the rest of his non-capital letters, approximately twice the height of the small letters "arac."  However, this "k" is at variance from the "b" in "Obama," -- which "b" is outlandishly extended to pierce the "O" in "Obama."  This second-banana "b" is also some four times the height of surrounding letters, and five times the height of the "k" in "Barack."  The huge extension above the line is echoed, uncommonly, below the line.  That is, this "b" descends as if it were almost becoming a "p" -- which trend does not happen often.  Either it indicates excess energy or drive, or it shows a manifestation of hesitance.  My first husband had that peculiarity of signature; he paused for a brief second every time he signed his name, darkening the ink on portions of his initial letters, and indicating some contest internally that had not been resolved.  The president shows this unresolvedness in the up-and-down extension of that outsized "b."  One can speculate about the etiology of that momentous pause, knowing Obama's background and vicissitudinous early life, but one cannot know precisely why it is the way it is.

The president himself might or might not be able to shed light on this, but likely not, since these stressors and strains are deeply buried and not accessible to easy disinterment.

The "B" in Barack is measurably larger than the "O" in "Obama," too, indicating his sense of ego and confidence in himself exceeds that which he has harbored as part of his once-upon-a-dead-father, the senior Mr. Obama from Kenya.

The initial "B" in Barack is enormous, as we have stated.  But it dispenses with the usual cursive cross-stroke and downstroke common in all teaching of handwriting.  The president has instead begun to write his name with an extremely introverted upsweep that again indicates self-protectiveness, and is unusual in that it begins not at the top of a normal "B," but "below the line," and is a fluid sweep upward into a flourishing and powerful double-loop to form the body of the "B."  He shows a healthy internal physiognomy in his flourishy signature.  No evident health problems are indicated.  Yet the initial "O" in "Obama" is not smooth, and more resembles a wobbly egg than a full-on open "O"; he is showing a stronger predilection for himself over his family (name).

Caveat: Perhaps his having learned to write English at an Indonesian school might explain some of the anomalies; the books used in Indonesia, and the teaching methodologies, may differ from those taught in the West.  But Obama's long history and experience in this country subsequent to his youth in a majoritarian Muslim country, where pedagogy might well differ from those current in Europe and the United States, militates against placing too heavy an emphasis on his educational paradigms at 4, 5, or 6 years of age.

Additionally, his clear letters and spiky letter-tops show an analytical turn of mind, and the size of the letters indicates, in graphanalysis argot, some degree of intelligence.  (The smaller one's letters and writing in general, the theory goes, the more intelligence and concentration ability is displayed.)

His curt endings show not only that he is a person who can keep a secret, if need be, but that he is not a sympathetic ear.  If you need a shoulder to cry on, this is not your man.

Finally, there is no break between the end of "Barack" and the beginning of "Obama," showing that he leaves no room for others to intercede or to extract anything from him.  Such a "chain-smoking" linkage is absent in 99% of signatures.  Almost everyone leaves a measure of open space between his or her first and second names.

NB: Handwriting is developed quite integratedly with one's growth and maturation.  If one has a physical ailment, that will be reflected in one's writing.  If one has a secret kink, such as an erotic proclivity best left unbruited, say, that too often manifests in various whoops and whorls of one's signature.  One does not determine what one creates as a signature.  Thus, Obama has developed a clear window into what he thinks, feels, and acts on.

Caution is advised in that this meta-analysis is done on only one sample, and only on his signature, not on a more extended excerpt, one that might reveal a modulation of the signals given in the autograph.  This analysis is not predictive.

Marion DS Dreyfus has worked as a graphanalyst for private companies and police agencies in the United States and elsewhere.

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