It continues to surprise me that some people can survive and even prosper with what appears to be a complete lack of tolerable personality. Bill Clinton has it in spades, Hillary a lot less, Kerry none. Similarly in Irish politics. The Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, is charming. But I offer a story from a friend here in banking. An Irish TD (basically the same as a British MP) walks into a bank to cash a check. He is fairly well-known, but the teller is fairly young and does not recognize him, so asks for ID. Instead of showing it to her, he starts getting upset, doing the whole "Don't you know who I am?" routine. An older teller who recognized him rushed over to settle his ruffled feathers, leaving the young bank teller upset and embarrassed. I won't say who it is, because I do not want the legal hassle, but I will note who it is not. It was not Bertie, obviously. Bertie would have shown her ID, and then spent five minutes, Bill Clinton like, persuading her that it was all his fault, and he would have left the bank with her worshipping him to the end of her days.
This is the very reason, my friends, that it really doesn't matter that Barack Obama had 17-year-old parking tickets, or that his church is a tad too Afro-centric.