In middle school I was taught that in order to be president of the United States, you had to be native-born and at least 35 years of age. My teachers left out the requirement that you be left handed. While not formally a requirement, lately being a lefty has been pretty helpful for becoming president: five of the last seven presidents have been left handed.
Ten to 15 percent of men are left handed, which means, according to my calculations, that this many recent left-handed presidents would only happen by chance one time in 1,000. Adding to the mystery, a number of the losing candidates in recent elections (including John McCain and Ross Perot) have also been southpaws.
My son Nicholas is left handed. For that reason alone, I’ve tried to get him interested in baseball, to no avail. I’ve also heard that lefties are often good at math and art. Those two talents seem to have passed him by as well.
I had resigned myself to the fact that left-handedness would be nothing but a burden for him. I’m cheered by the news regarding presidents
I did a quick search and couldn’t find any systematic evidence that lefties were more likely to be found in leadership positions more generally. Sure, some historic figures like Napoleon are supposed to have been left handed, but there have been a lot of historic figures. Does anyone know whether lefties are overrepresented among C.E.O.’s or world leaders outside the United States?
Meanwhile, I’ve got to run and help my son hone his stump speech.