By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 12, 2008; Page C01
Twenty years ago, in the midsummer heat of the George H.W. Bush-Michael Dukakis battle for the presidency, I began a lonely effort to warn America of a bone-deep bias that has poisoned our presidential politics and rendered our media's campaign analysis largely irrelevant.
I wrote a story in Style about the problem then, and have done so every four years since on the same topic.
Few people have paid attention.
I don't actually cover politics and couldn't interpret a polling report if my pension depended on it. But I have trudged on, hopeful of eventual vindication, and have seen promising signs in the latest voting trends. I thought the election of 2008 might be a triumph for my point of view, and a great day for America.
That is, until a young Democrat from Illinois, Sen. Barack Obama, began to win caucuses and primaries and rise in the polls. Uh-oh. Once again, sweeping aside all the demographic intricacies and issue comparisons that are supposed to be important, it looks like the taller guy is going to win.
Not that I am against the 6-foot-1-inch Obama, or anything like that. In the two decades I have been ranting about the influence of height on presidential elections, I have admired the character and intelligence of most of the candidates, including him and his 5-9 opponent, Sen. John McCain.