Deeper Perception Made Practical

The Unpredictable Cheeks of McCain + A Secret the Media Keep


Among leading Republican candidates, John McCain appears to be rock solid, the most dependable.

After all, on any given day, or speech, how outrageous will loveable Huckabee be? Adaptable Romney’s views, forcefully delivered, seem to shift with the polls. But McCain? He has won a reputation for staying power and dogged honesty.

Me? I’m not so sure that McCain’s as predictable as he seems. This two-part face reading will attempt to give this war hero the honor he deserves. Nonetheless, I’m not above raising some questions that you’re unlikely to read in the usual media.

After all, McCain may be the most popular candidate, of either party, in the media. Recently, I read a story about this in my Washington Post. Later, when I searched Google Images for photos as a basis for this face reading, I was shocked to find this one (here’s the link, for convenience):

Did you have any idea that McCain had achieved these epic physical proportions? Now, there’s nothing wrong with life writ large, either physically or politically. But I find it fascinating that never before have I seen a photo of McCain that shows him clearly from the waist down. By comparison, Dick Cheney looks positively petite.

I’ll guarantee you that any Democrat contender with this girth would have been excoriated… just as Al Gore was, at his heaviest. For a public personality, McCain sure has been given unusual media cover-up. More widely circulated portraits hide his belly.


If you’re not yet familiar with physiognomy, the 5,000-year-old art of reading faces for character, here is some background.

You can also learn more about the trademarked update that I developed, which is different from conventional face reading. My version balances strengths and potential challenges (I indicate the latter with a ?). The best way to learn this system is my how-to, The Power of Face Reading, but there is also a more advanced book about how faces change over time, Wrinkles Are God’s Makeup: How You Can Find Meaning in Your Evolving Face.

What, you didn’t know you could find meaning in your photo album?

For the truly courageous and curious face reader, I even offer a Mentoring Program plus a Face Reading Intensive, given just once a year. (This year’s extravaganza will be July 18-20.)

If you believe in free will, you’ll love my kind of face reading. It shows how inner life out-pictures in the face. Because the biggest secret about “The Secret” is that we constantly manifest what we believe. Your own face gives more clues about the balance of your life than the current state of your money, health, or love life.

Now, you can use this good, level photo for Part One of our two-part series on John McCain.


What do you associate most with the face of John McCain? Surely it’s his cheeks. They’re wider beneath the cheeks than above them. Here’s another good photo for seeing this. For even more accuracy, click on the link, copy it, and pull on the corners to enlarge.

The Talent: I call this cheek pattern the pacifist power style. McCain creates harmony around him, there on the press bus. He might do the same as president. Without having to sell himself as “a united, not a divider,” this Republican does have a knack for taking heat, giving back warmth.

McCain is no pushover, either.

Typical of folks with this relatively uncommon power style, the longer you know him, the more you respect him. Hundreds of times, I have read faces with this characteristic and asked, “People think of you as ‘the rock,’ don’t they?” Every one of them knew what I meant and agreed.

The Potential Challenge: Stored anger comes through in outbursts? When your relationships are based on having you come across as the harmonizer, what are you going to do with the very human need to complain about small things that bother you?  Eventually rage builds up. It must go somewhere.

Wide Jaws

Notice the span of those jaws. McCain doesn’t only have cheek here. He’s the proud owner of very wide chunks of bone + muscle, a.k.a. jaws.

The Talent: Staying power, loyalty, strength from inside – anyone who knows McCain’s story knows that he’s shown that. People just love this quality. Winston Churchill had it too. If he hadn’t, all of us, right now, might be living in some little Nazi suburb.

The Potential Challenge: Not knowing when to give up on a cause or a project?

Pointy Jaws

Delving deeper into those jaws, notice how bone sticks out beyond the surrounding muscle.

Pointy jaws are found most often on the anorexic. You’ll see them on movie stars, such as Brad Pitt and his ex, Jennifer Aniston (although she mostly keeps her pointy jaws covered with her gorgeous hairdo’s).

  • Reading auras is the most reliable way to tell someone who is self-starving, for professional reasons or due to personal obsession.
  • Of course, the body can give you clues, too.
  • But, in my experience, pointy jaws are often an obvious indicator.

Not so with our plus-sized politician, just the opposite. So, what else do pointy jaws mean?

The Talent: Huge determination corresponds to pointy jaws. Read them as facial shorthand for “a will of iron.”

The Potential Challenge: Does McCain push himself well beyond the point of comfort? Could there be other problems related to sense of proportion?

Straight Chin

Look at the shape made by McCain’s chin, right at the bottom. It looks like a line.

Some chins have curves there, while others have angles. (Blog-buddies, wait until you see the illustration about this face category in my upcoming book, Read People Deeper: Body Language + Face Reading + Auras. Although I’m in love with all the pictures, this is one of my favorites!)

The Talent: Decision are based on the principle of the thing. Not convenience! Not polls! Isn’t this one of the strongest components of McCain’s appeal?

The Potential Challenge: Zealotry, inflexibility – okay, those count as two possible challenges, don’t they?


His lower teeth stick out, or can stick out, way past the upper set of teeth.

The Talent: Deep tenacity is in this man’s nature. He’ll do anything to win. The higher the stakes, the grimmer he’ll get. Again, no surprise here. Still, it’s worth noting.

The Potential Challenge: How far will he go to defend himself, when he feels pressured?

President Nixon had this kind of tenacity, too. (You’ll see a great underbite photograph in the final chapter of Wrinkles Are God’s Makeup, where I do a detailed profile of the famous man’s rise and fall.)

Incidentally, Richard Nixon also had the pacifist power style on the right side of his face (That side corresponds to career, so it’s the one to read in a president or a presidential candidate.)

Tomorrow, let’s continue to explore the face of an admirable man who is also complex in ways that may not be obvious to his biggest supporters. How well do YOU know John McCain?

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  1. 1
    Colleen says:

    Dear Rose.

    I can’t wait for part two. (I’m no face reader either.)

    I sense that McCain has been almost willing to make a faustian pact in order to win the Republican nomination. I don’t care what he said about the 2000 campaign being,”just politics”. He was really stung and angry and did not think well of George Bush..nor does he now.

    He seemed to go against his own personal instincts to try to garner support from the “right wing”. When he went to Bob Jones University to speak…I thought…”sellout”. He is not the same maverick he used to be. Just my thoughts.

  2. 2
    Anita says:

    What an interesting man – fascinating, multi-layered, and complex.

    Exactly what I would expect from a presidential candidate!

  3. 3
    Fred says:

    What’s up with your slamming McCain’s girth? He’s up in years and doesn’t appear to be inordinately large for a man of his age. Does body girth have something to do with the ancient art of face reading or is your reaction actually grounded in modern day ageism or fashionable and shallow body worship?

  4. 4

    Fred, great to hear from you at the blog, along with Anita.

    My reason for bringing up McCain’s girth was about MEDIA. Here are the relevant parts:

    “Did you have any idea that McCain had achieved these epic physical proportions? Now, there’s nothing wrong with life writ large, either physically or politically. But I find it fascinating that never before have I seen a photo of McCain that shows him clearly from the waist down. By comparison, Dick Cheney looks positively petite.

    “I’ll guarantee you that any Democrat contender with this girth would have been excoriated… just as Al Gore was, at his heaviest. For a public personality, McCain sure has been given unusual media cover-up.”

    If you read much at this blog, or my regular website, you’ll discover that:
    1) I couldn’t be less a proponent of ageism
    2) I don’t do any kind of body worship, including the shallow kind
    3) The form of face reading I do isn’t the ancient kind so much as a contemporary version, one I trademarked as Face Reading Secrets(R), which is even more free-willish than older varieties.

    So, please, keep reading and keep commenting, too. Great to meet you,


  5. 5
    Ryan says:

    Fred: Perhaps you misunderstood what Rose wrote. Her style of writing and organizing information is rather artistic, and I tend to think and organize information like an engineer, so Rose sometimes writes things that I find to be confusing or ambiguous because they are not organized in ways that mesh well with how I think.

  6. 6

    Ryan: You are so right that I have zero engineering component to the way that I write.

    Over the years I have worked hard to improve as a communicator, but my natural experience of expanding while I write does not make for a crisp, objectively organized style of writing.

    That’s why it took me three months of bliss to write my first draft of “Empowered by Empathy” and 3 1/2 years to edit it and make the book intelligible to other human beings.

    Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I write at the leading edge. Readers often thank me for expressing things they had experienced but never found words for. Balance that against the rest (or maybe combine them) to understand where I’m coming from, doing my best to communicate.

    One reason I like this blog is that it gives readers a chance to ask questions. And me a chance to answer them. Or, even better, have them answered for me by a blog-star like that Ryan!

  7. 7
    kat says:

    Thank you Rose for your fascinating studies. You are spot-on re McCain!

    John ‘Bomb,Bomb’ McCain wrote his autobio (Faith of My Fathers) in 1999 to head of/pre-empt investigators into his dark, immature, irresponsible, criminal past.
    After reading his own account, one comes away w/ the decided impression that the man is totally insane, soul twisted and worse….

    Then reading accounts of some US Vets in “The Nightingale’s Song” by Robert Timberg, which included McCain’s murderous acts against his own shipmates, setting two US ships on which he served on fire, w/ many deaths (100’s) on board through his deliberate irresponsibility, plus betraying his poor Vietnamese rescuer from his
    plane wreck by not acknowledging him, though the Vietnamese official records were clear in McCains rescue.

    He gave up all secrets immediately when questioned by the VietCong.

    His autobio says it all, except for his treatment of his current wife, Cindy, continuing his dark, grotesquely monstrous side….

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