Deeper Perception Made Practical

Huckabee Will Never Look the Same


As you know from a previous profile (written before he won his first primary) Mike Huckabee’s aura suggests that he is the strongest contender among all of the Republican candidates. Yes, I know that right now McCain is winning, too. And Romney. We’ll read them another day. Fear not.

Huckabee is the strongest speaker. Observers know him as a natural campaigner with a straightforward appeal to the Religious Right. But to a face reader, he’s not straightforward at all. The deeper you look into his face the more surprises you’ll find.

And after our analysis of him today, you may or may not agree with my interpretations. But I can guarantee you this. The politician’s face will never look the same.

As always, we’ll use my system of Face Reading Secrets®, a practical update of the 5,000-year-old art of reading faces for character.


Like many of the candidates, Huckabee has a powerline dimple in his right cheek. That’s the dimple shaped like a parenthesis. The corresponding talent is charm based in humility, a kind of “Aw, shucks” graciousness.

But when he smiles, that dimple changes into a hard, circular dimple of such depth, you’ll do a double take when you check it out in a photo like this one.

This dimple, also, is on Huckabee’s right cheek only, so it relates to the public side of life rather than the Arkansas politician’s personal life. This highly unusual, muscular dimple corresponds to an aggressive charm, “I’ll make you like me whether you want to or not.”

In short, Huckabee is made of steelier stuff than you’d find at first sight.


What’s the first thing that a seasoned physiognomist (face reader) will notice about this presidential candidate? In most photos, his lips proportions, upper to lower, are 1:5. My colleague, Lailan Young, has dubbed this characteristic “Blarney Lips.” It’s common in politicians. Huckabee has an extreme version of this gift for persuasiveness.

What isn’t so common, in politicians or anyone else? Check out the straight edge to that lower lip bottom. Expect tough talk from Huckabee when he isn’t campaigning. Currently he’s flexing his charm muscles, the aforementioned cheek talents. But if he were to win the White House, you will hear unsentimental speech, delivered straight up. At least, that would be straight up for a politician….


Huge lower eyelid curve is the first impression from Huckabee’s eyes. Notice how rounded they are in the lower half? This corresponds to openness with strangers, adding greatly to the campaigner’s folksy charm. In office, you could expect him to listen appealingly to the views and needs of different constituents.

But wait a minute! Notice the size of the pupils within those eyes? Have you ever seen larger pupils, less white, in a human eye? Not me, and I’ve been reading faces since 1975.

Extra-large pupils indicate extreme pragmatism, viewing every situation and person with an eye to what will advance his own ego. So, if you’re buying what Huckabee’s selling, politically, this is a highly encouraging form of single-mindedness.

Like it or not, do you appreciate the contradiction? Huckabee seems highly open to others, and is. Yet deeper down, he’s one of the most self-focused individuals you could ever meet.


“Asymmetry” is the technical name for difference between left and right. I became fascinated by asymmetry when I spent 9 ½ years writing my book about how faces change in meaningful ways over time, Wrinkles Are God’s Makeup.

The easiest way to see asymmetries is to take a blank sheet of paper and hold it up to a photo. Cover one side at a time, then compare. If you do this with Mike, what you see might well make you gasp.

Huckabee has a right-leaning nose, way more nose on the right side of his face than the left. This is “The fame trait,” indicative of an inner drive for notoriety that is common in celebrities.

His mouth pulls toward the right, as well. A right mouth pull suggests speech directed toward pleasing the public. Often it goes with popularity, yet it is one of the clearest signs of chronic lying that you’ll ever see on a face.

When Huckabee smiles, it’s a crooked smile that angles higher on the right. How often have you heard that a crooked smile is charming? That’s the talent. But to a face reader there’s a more ominous meaning, lying. Specifically, this variety is about speaking to impress others, seldom believing what is being said. (You can read more about this in Wrinkles Are God’s Makeup, pages 162-164.)

None of these right-leaning characteristics is truly surprising to find in a politician. In fact, you will find extreme versions of all three in our current president, George W. Bush. When first elected, his nose was left-leaning, but it moved toward the right. Many members of his cabinet have a right-leaning mouth pull or crooked smile. Among the Democrats, John Edwards has been pulling more toward the right with each passing year.

Think that you could pass the integrity test if you were ambitious enough to campaign for president? It’s a rare politician who manages to keep a mouth where it rightly belongs, centered in the middle of the face.


Now that you’ve started comparing right and left on Huckabee, what is the elephant in the room or, at least, the most overwhelmingly obvious characteristic of his face? Hint: Most of his photos are angled in an attempt to disguise it.

You’ll seldom see a face with more right side dominance. Notice? The whole right side of Huckabee’s face is longer. It’s stronger. At the forehead and cheeks, it’s wider. Altogether that right side pushes out further, for a greater 3-D effect, in his photos. The left side is shorter, thinner, flatter.

Thus the Huckabee you see in public isn’t only his better side. That public role is what he lives for. If he were to win highest office, would he have the reserves of strength to support that public role?

Not since Lieberman, Gore’s running mate in 2000, has a serious candidate had such a shortage of face. (Senator Lieberman’s face caves in at the chin.)

Candidates’ faces can be compared to balloons. On the whole, it’s better if they’re fully inflated. If not, you’ll find more complexity.

In private life, dominance of one side of the face need not be a problem. The asymmetry simply is part of a person’s life contract, with growth potential and strengths, like any unusual face data. In a politician, however, radical asymmetry does represent a problem. And whoever expected to find it in a man whose persona radiates such folksiness, friendliness, and salt-of-the-earth wholesomeness?

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  1. 1
    Anita says:

    Wow. An empathic merge with this man would be both fascinating and revealing.

  2. 2
    Colleen says:

    Very interesting read. Uh oh…I have very large pupils myself. This may make clearer some ego issues for me.. A nursing instructor once said that I should wear a medic alert bracelet, for if I ever went into an emergency room, they would know that my pupils were not dilated from being high! Oh my.

  3. 3
    Lisa W says:

    In this post back in January, you said:

    “Among the Democrats, John Edwards has been pulling more toward the right with each passing year.” You got it!!!!!

    Recently, I saw a picture of John Edwards in a magazine with his mouth VERY much pulling to the right. He was talking out of the right side of mouth only. I just laughed.

    I also saw a picture of Elizabeth Edwards with anger flags, one running upward, like a mark of devotion.

    I looked for online links to these great pictures, but couldn’t find these new ones. If I find good links, I’ll send them.

  4. 4

    LISA, it’s a sad thing, given the infidelity and scandal that Edwards entered into. Thank goodness, the scandal doesn’t seem to have much traction for the American public. Over the years, I’ve noticed a major double standard, where Republicans can pretty much do as they like (think Newt Gingrich) but Democrats are just ruined.

    I’m really not sure how public a matter it ought to be, regarding a politician’s personal life. But I do strongly believe that whatever our collective standard, it ought to be applied fairly.

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