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Scoring presidential candidates' on energy, stamina - real and perceived




Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson (L) and Donald Trump look on during the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson (L) and Donald Trump look on during the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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Over the weekend, the Democratic presidential hopefuls were in Iowa for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and met face-to-face with Iowans who got a feel for the vibe each candidate could bring to the Oval Office.

A supporter of Bernie Sanders told NPR the 74-year-old Senator once again "hit it out of the ballpark" with his trademark feel-the-bern energy. Another Iowa constituent, Bonnie Brown of West Des Moines, complimented Hillary Clinton for her performance during last week's Benghazi committee hearing saying, "Instead of the Republicans trying to tear her apart, [Clinton] instead made herself look more presidential and she still comes out with so much energy after that, so it's very impressive."

Some Iowa Republicans prefer the calm energy of GOP hopeful Dr. Ben Carson. Speaking to “The New York Times”, Jason Walke of Des Moines said, "I believe someone as mild-mannered and gentlemanly as Ben Carson is just about the only kind of person that could [have a chance of changing things in Washington.]"

The low-key Carson (who wasn't always so low-key) has been the butt of criticism by his opponent Donald Trump. Speaking in Miami over the weekend Trump weiled one of his favorite insults saying, "Ben Carson is super low energy, right? He's super low.... We need tremendous energy. We need tremendous energy." Trump has also characterized presidential hopeful Jeb Bush as "low energy" repeatedly.

How much does energy matter compared to stamina? Is Trump talking about charisma or work ethic? And how have past U.S. presidents scored on these traits?

Guest:

Barbara Perry Ph.D., Presidential Historian, University of Virginia.  @BarbaraPerryUVA