Mulroney handwriting reveals a risk taker: experts
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:37PM EDT
OTTAWA - Handwriting analysts say the key to understanding the mind of Brian Mulroney isn't in his newly published memoirs -- it's how he crosses his Ts.
The former prime minister, who once famously declared that he would "roll the dice'' on Canada's future, is so supremely confident in his own ability that he takes dangerous risks, they say.
The Canadian Press faxed manuscript samples from Mulroney's new book Memoirs to three analysts -- two of them based in the U.S., who said they'd never heard of him.
Their findings were strikingly similar.
All three said the samples, taken from inside the front and back cover of the book, were written by a highly intelligent man.
And without any prompting, both Americans described the author as a self-assured man who sets lofty goals that will either result in dazzling success -- or staggering failure.
It's a surprisingly accurate assessment of a man known for aiming big and succeeding half the time.
One California analyst compared Mulroney to a home-run hitter in baseball: he'll always swing for the fences, and will either pound one into the bleachers or wind up on his rump.
"Sometimes they hit a home run, and sometimes they strike out,'' said Bart Baggett, who offers a graphology course at www.handwritinguniversity.com.
"(They have a) high, high self-image with a tendency to overshoot goals.
"These people tend to be ambitious, good leaders, but they tend to overstate their abilities because they believe they can walk on water.''
Experts said Mulroney's confidence is demonstrated in the letter T -- in the way the horizontal bar hovers high above the vertical stem.
Baggett said real-estate mogul Donald Trump and U.S. astronaut John Glenn also scribble the top bar high on the letter -- but that Mulroney's is far more exceptional in that it doesn't even come close to touching.
Handwriting analysis, or graphology, is used by some large companies to help screen potential employees but is derided by critics as a pseudo science.
New York analyst Derrick Watkins said the former prime minister is extremely bright, very emotional, and enjoys the company of people -- and he's almost impossibly ambitious.
"He had a lot of goals and dreams. But I think sometimes his goals and dreams were a little too high to reach at particular times,'' said Watkins, who examines handwriting and also does forensic analysis in court, through www.handwritingexaminerusa.com.
"(Mulroney) had a very high self-esteem -- very confident.''
One Toronto-based analyst -- Mary Ann Matthews, who runs www.handwriting.ca -- said Mulroney's confidence should not be confused with egotism, and her U.S. counterparts agreed.
While the U.S. experts had never heard of Meech Lake, or even Mulroney, their assessments could have been delivered by a Canadian political pundit.
The former prime minister did indeed have big successes and failures.
Mulroney staked his career on a free-trade deal with the U.S. and ran a successful 1988 election on it.
He pushed his fellow world leaders, including Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, to help dismantle South Africa's apartheid regime, in an effort that is regarded as one of Canada's great foreign-policy successes.
But his attempts at constitutional reform nearly tore the country apart. Mulroney arrived in office with a crushing majority and with support for Quebec independence at a historic low.
He left nine years later with support for independence at a historic high, with separatists planning a referendum they would nearly win, and with disaffected westerners abandoning his party in favour of the new Reform movement.
"(Mulroney) really just believes he can move mountains. . . That's only a bad thing if you fear falling down, scraping your knees, and getting up again,'' Baggett said.
"He has no fear of failure.''