I have a love-hate relationship with personality tests, but the one that always gets mileage at cocktail parties is the Myers-Briggs. Originally developed for use in determining personality types of women who could work well in wartime industry (according to Wikipedia), the test has remained popular since WWII. Each personality is defined by a series of dualisms: Introvert/Extrovert, iNtuitive/Sensing, Thinking/Feeling, Sensing/Perceiving: Read more about the types on the official site. Slate administers a Myers-Briggs test to the candidates–remotely and without their knowledge. The results:
Hillary Clinton is a Guardian, and her specific type is an ESTJ, what Keirsey calls "the Supervisor." Supervisors are, Keirsey says, steadfast, cautious, methodical. They are the reliable, detail-oriented people without whom organizations and society fall apart—which is something ESTJs won't hesitate to point out. "[T]heir first instinct is to take charge and tell others what to do," says Keirsey. They are "devoted public servants, seeing their role in government … in almost sacred terms of self-sacrifice and service to others." This service is an obligation, not given "freely and joyously."…
Barack Obama—no one will be surprised to learn—is an Idealist. His specific type is an ENFP, what Keirsey calls "the Champion." ENFPs, says Keirsey, are "filled with conviction that they can easily motivate those around them." Champions work to "kindle, to rouse, to encourage, even to inspire those close to them with their enthusiasm." Idealists "usually have a tongue of silver" and are "gifted in seeing the possibilities" of institutions and people….
John McCain is an Artisan, and his specific type is an ESTP, what Keirsey calls the Promoter. The ESTP is, according to Keirsey, "practical, optimistic, cynical, and focused on the here and now." If the ESTP portrait gives you a feeling of déjà vu, it's because George W. Bush is an ESTP, too. They are a common presidential type: Both Roosevelts, JFK, and LBJ were ESTPs. "Artisans need to be potent, to be felt as a strong presence and they want to affect the course of events," writes Keirsey. They hunger to "have a piece of the action," "to make something happen" whether "on the battlefield" or "in the political arena."
NB: Here's what Slate found for Bush's type (ESTP) the last time around:
"They are decisive and little bothered by second thoughts and self-doubt." "Since [they] do not reflect very much on their errors or analyze their mistakes to any great extent, it is difficult for them to learn from their errors, and so they can become caught in a loop, repeating their mistakes."
Full-disclosure: I am an ENTJ, a type sometimes called "the Executive." Maybe I should be president.