الجمال الرئاسي الأميركي

نيويورك ــ تُرى ما هي الغاية من إجراء مناظرة رئاسية؟ في سياق الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، نستطيع أن نعتبر مصطلح "مناظرة" تسمية خاطئة. فعندما واجه الرئيس الفرنسي السابق نيكولا ساركوزي منافسه الاشتراكي فرانسوا هولاند، كانت تلك مناظرة حقيقية ــ تناولت قضايا جوهرية حقيقية ودامت أكثر من ساعتين. وعلى النقيض من هذا، تأتي المناظرات الرئاسية في الولايات المتحدة أشبه بالأداء المسرحي، حيث يتدرب كل من المتناظرين بلا نهاية على الإجابات على كل سؤال محتمل مع فِرَق من المدربين والمستشارين.

وفي المناظرات الأميركية، يخاطب المرشحون صحافيين منتقين بعناية ونادراً ما يعقبون على الإجابة على أسئلتهم. ويكون التركيز في تقييم أداء المرشحين على طريقة عرضهم، ولغة أجسادهم، وتقلصات عضلات وجوههم اللاإرادية، وتنهداتهم غير المقصودة، وابتساماتهم، وملاحظاتهم الساخرة، وحركات أعينهم الغافلة، أكبر من التركيز على مضمون حججهم. فهل يبدو المرشح متكبرا، أو ودوداً ويستحق الثقة؟ وهل تبدو ابتساماته حقيقية أو مصطنعة؟

الواقع أن هذه "العناصر البصرية" قد تكون عظيمة الأهمية. فيقال إن ريتشارد نيكسون خسر السباق أمام جون كينيدي عام 1960 على شاشات التلفاز: فقد بدا كينيدي رابط الجأش ووسيما، في حين كان نيكسون عابساً في وجه الكاميرا، وكانت حبات العرق تتقاطر على وجهه وقد بدأ الشعر ينمو عليه منذ حق ذقنه في الصباح. وفي مناظرته مع رونالد ريجان في عام 1980، ظهر كارتر في هيئة الشخص المتعجرف الذي يفتقر إلى روح الدعابة، وبدا ريجان في هيئة العم المسن الودود. وخسر كارتر.

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