A couple of nights ago, I watched yet another Presidential debate. This time the Democratic candidates were on the dock in Las Vegas. Each candidate was announced, prior to the start of the debate, like an NBA basketball star before the tip-off of a game. Although, as they entered the arena, the candidates didn’t give each other “high five;s or slap each other on the butt.

All the usual topics were part of the evening’s debate. But it wasn’t the topics that caught my attention. It was the “connection” or lack thereof each candidate found (or didn’t find) with the audience. Studies on emotional intelligence tell us that certain people have an innate ability to connect with individuals, teams and groups of people. Their persona’s seem warm and confident and their words resonate with the longings inside the group. Simply, they supply and evoke inspiration in those around them.

Barak Obama does that.

Joe Biden does it a lot.

John Edwards, yep—quite a bit of the time.

Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson also connected at times, but not as much.

Dennis Kosanovich connects to a certain group more around his ideas more than his persona.

Hilary? Well, she’s interesting. She has the ability to connect, but she also—as is the case with so many leaders—gets in her own way.

I’ll explain how she gets in her way in the next post.