Tom Purcell, 2/5/2007 [Archive]

The Handwriting of Bush Reid and Pelosi

The Handwriting of Bush, Reid and Pelosi

By Tom Purcell

It's all in the signature. Just ask Michelle Dresbold.

Dresbold, a handwriting expert -- she was among 19 Americans to be accepted into the U.S. Secret Service Advanced Document Training Program -- has helped resolve some of America's highest-profile crimes (see details in her book "Sex, Lies, and Handwriting," available at

I asked her to analyze the signatures of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President George Bush.*

"Pelosi has very rounded handwriting," says Dresbold. "You see this in people who are very maternal. But her writing is also vertical, which shows that her head leads her heart. Her 'y' is a long, straight line, which shows she is driven."

Pelosi is intuitive, too, as determined by the break between "Nan" and "cy." She's also neat.

"Her handwriting is very precise. This shows she's someone whose closet is in perfect order, her hangers are all in the same direction, and her shoes wouldn't dare be out of alignment."

She organizes people that way, too: poor and middle class folks on one side, the Republicans who oppress them on the other.

"And because she dots her 'i' to the left of the vowel, this shows she thinks things through in a logical, unemotional manner."

It's Reid who is emotional.

Sure, his signature is angular and jagged -- the sign of someone who wants to get ahead. And his letters are bunched close together, which means he's uptight (he looks like the kind of fellow who would wear a necktie at the beach).

But the "e" in "Reid" is a backward "3," a sign of someone who values the finer things. And the "d" in his last name is especially large and round and ends with a whip. That suggests he's very emotional and sensitive and does not like criticism.

Probably not a good idea to ask him about his unusually lucrative real-estate deals, then.

That brings us to Bush. Unlike Reid and Pelosi, Bush's signature is unintelligible. It looks like Pablo Picasso threw up.

"He's very difficult to analyze," says Dresbold. "He writes a squiggly line between the 'B' and 'h' in 'Bush', and his 'h' looks like an 'L.' This is the sign of someone who wants to be ambiguous -- who doesn't want to be read easily."

No wonder he's so misunderestimated.

"But the way he connects 'George' to 'W' is a sign of an efficient, intelligent brain. He's more interested in getting things done quickly and showing results than in being perfect."

He differs from Pelosi and Reid in that regard.

"Reid is someone who does his homework so he'll get A's and look good. Pelosi was probably the good girl, the teacher's pet. Bush is the kind of fellow who might get somebody else to do his homework."

Dresbold says that handwriting originates in the brain, not the hand. The brain determines what one's handwriting looks like. Properly analyzed, it reveals who a person is and what he or she is thinking.

So, based on their handwriting, how will Bush, Reid and Pelosi get along?

"Reid will use his emotions in making decisions," says Dresbold. "He'll need to feel important. Pelosi is far more logical and calculating than she appears, but she is extremely maternal -- she'll need to feel she's making everyone happy. Bush is likely to appear congenial, then go and do what he wants anyway."

If the three were to bake a cake together, Reid would want credit for the ingredients and the color of the icing. Pelosi would want to make sure the cake was big enough to feed everybody. And Bush would compliment them on the cake, and then go grill a steak.

So it will be interesting to watch how things pan out for the three -- how things pan out for America -- as they dance and posture and try to push their agendas through.

One thing is for certain: Bush won't be able to accomplish much unless he can get Reid and Pelosi to sign off first.

As I said, it's all in the signature.

*Signature samples at

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at

RESTRICTIONS: 'Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications."

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