The physical and mental qualities that make a person appear to be suitable for the job of United States president.
"John's strengths as a candidate were always going to emerge," said Mr. Jordan, his former campaign manager. "That is, he always was going to be what voters were looking for in this cycle." He added: "He's back because he got a lot better, but I think some of what's going on now is a misunderstanding of voter behavior. Different voters finally kicked in, a broader swath who were looking for something different and were really struck by John's presidentialness. He's big, he's masculine, he's a serious man for a serious time."
Todd S. Purdum and David M. Halbfinger, "With Cry of 'Bring It On,' Kerry Shifted Tack to Regain Footing," The New York Times, February 1, 2004
Kerry may project more "presidentialness" with the towering height, the stentorian voice, the measured demeanor than Dean, but he also comes with the longest paper trail of any of the candidates, including 19 years as a senator, with votes on the full range of national issues.
Linda Feldmann, "Already, GOP framing a Kerry fight," The Christian Science Monitor, January 30, 2004
The conflict between political and private morality has occupied deep thinkers over the years. It has produced good drama, for example Gore Vidal's "The Best Man." I, myself, once wrote a book based on the premise that, "What happened during several hours on Chappaquiddick Island tells us something about what kind of president Ted Kennedy would be. But what has happened in thousands of hours on the Senate floor tells us more."
I don't apologize for that view. At least I didn't go as far as Schlesinger Jr., who once said that not only didn't Chappaquiddick disqualify Teddy but that it improved his presidentialness! ("I think that with Chappaquiddick the iron went into Edward Kennedy's soul.")
Theo Lippman Jr., editorial, The Baltimore Sun, February 22, 1992