Both major party candidates are southpaws, contributing to a largely unexplained phenomenon that has vexed researchers and historians — and drawn notice from a federal judge destined for the Supreme Court. Though left-handers comprise just 10% of the population, they are dominating presidential politics.
Their recent success transcends ideology. Since 1974, presidents Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton have all favored their left hands, while President Carter and the current President Bush are righties. The trait is also not exclusive to winning candidates: Vice President Gore is left-handed, as are past presidential contenders Robert Dole, John Edwards, Bill Bradley, and Ross Perot. A prominent New Yorker who flirted with a White House bid, Mayor Bloomberg, is a lefty.
And here's something I didn't know:
A scientist at the National Cancer Institute, Amar Klar, has found another, more novel trait that may distinguish left-handers from right-handers: hair growth. "Handedness is related to the way the hair spins on the back of your head," he said in an interview.
His research shows that the whorl for right-handers curls clockwise in 92% of cases. In left-handers, the distribution is random, with half exhibiting a clockwise whorl and the other half spinning counterclockwise. Mr. Klar said he could spot a counterclockwise whorl from seeing Mr. McCain and Mr. Clinton on television and looking at the way they appear to comb their hair.