Rocky Mountain News

Pen and inklings on presidential hopefuls

Graphologist says truth dwells within candidates’ writing

James B. Meadow
Published February 22, 2008 at 12:30 a.m.
Rocky Mountain News

Photo by Ken Papaleo / The Rocky
Kathi McKnight, an expert in handwriting, says her specialty is “a science that’s been around since the days of Aristotle.”

While it might be difficult to figure out who among the pretenders to this nation’s presidential throne has the right stuff, it’s apparently less tricky to make judgments about their write stuff.

At least it is if you happen to be Kathi McKnight, a local graphologist whose no-nonsense arguments in favor of graphology – the study of handwriting – being not an art but a science have all their i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

“It’s not my job to sell graphology. It speaks for itself,” she says, before, well, speaking up.

Her shockingly blue eyes fixed in an unblinking stare, the 50-year-old McKnight says, “Oh, yes, graphology is a science. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. It’s a fact like the world is round or the sky is blue.”

In fact, it’s a fact that graphology is “a science that’s been around since the days of Aristotle. Confucius used it. Carl Jung used it, too.”

So, apparently, do “80 percent” of European corporations, posits McKnight, explaining that the firms rely on handwriting analysis to help screen job applicants because “sometimes, what people are saying in an interview is different from who they really are,” and because graphology in the hands of a skilled practitioner is “like getting a peek inside the soul.”

Exposure came on a whim

McKnight more or less began peeking inside souls some 17 years ago. The daughter of an Indiana chiropractor who “was my spiritual mentor – my father exposed me to many wonderful things and one of them was handwriting analysis,” McKnight became serious about graphology after taking a class in it on a whim at the old Denver Free University. Years in the corporate world had left her feeling like a “fish out of water,” but when she found graphology, she found “my calling.”

After studying with master graphologist Gwen Sampson, McKnight began establishing and expanding her own practice. Throughout the years, she has authored pamphlets (Rate Your Date Before You Mate, 72 Handwriting Analysis Tips), run seminars, developed home-study courses, analyzed rock bands (she delved into Blink 182 for Teen magazine), handled inquiries via her Web site from “the United Kingdom to India to Paris to Podunk, Texas,” and held consultations with a panoply of people from all walks of life.

Given her street cred in the inner secrets of penmanship – and the Rocky’s quest to perform public service for our readers – McKnight was enlisted to help provide some signal insights from the signatures of the four remaining presidential candidates.

Although McKnight cautions that it would be better to have samples a wee bit longer than just four John Hancocks because, “The signature is just the tip of the iceberg in handwriting. It only reveals a small portion of who that person is,” she also insists that “one’s signature is a force to be reckoned with. It is our statement to the world of who we are.”

In other words, “What does show up in a signature carries up to five times the weight of importance compared to the rest of the body of the handwriting.”

And that’s saying something, because, with graphology, you can tell, uh, well, what exactly can you tell from someone’s handwriting, Kathi?

“Actually, it would be easier to tell you what handwriting analysis can’t do,” she says, ticking off items such as “it can’t predict the future, tell the gender of the person writing, tell the age of the person writing or tell if the person is left-handed or right-handed.”

That’s it?

“Pretty much,” she says, insisting that “with the right letters and enough writing,” she can tell a lot about someone’s social aptitude, intelligence level, sexual satisfaction, visionary ability, propensity for violence, even whether someone “is a molester or has been molested.”

Seeking insight

The trail of clues that McKnight investigates can start with the way the handwriting slants. Or the way a letter loops, or where it’s crossed. She looks for insight in the spacing of words, in the pressure of the pen to paper, the sizing of capital letters in a name. And, as the clues emerge, she uses them as materials to construct a profile, as lights to illuminate tendencies, as paving stones to lay a path toward understanding.

In uncovering the hidden and not-so-hidden building blocks of someone’s psyche, McKnight says her guiding credo is to “be honest with people and empower them with the truth – whether it’s good news or bad.”

Ultimately, she says that graphology is “like learning another language.”

Curiously, that’s what’s often said by a lot of people trying to make sense of a politician’s mumbo jumbo.

Although she freely admits that graphology can’t necessarily tell who might make a better president, it can be used as one more tool to learn more about those who aspire to lead the country. Because, if there’s one thing that McKnight is convinced, it’s that “handwriting never lies.”

Which is more than you can say about, well, some politicians.

But now, without further filibuster, we present McKnight’s brief peeks into four would-be presidents. A brief marriage of ambition and graphology that you just might call – what else? – a course in political science. or 303-954-2606

What’s in a signature?

Some of Kathi McKnight’s handwriting analyses of four presidential candidates:

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

If you were to put a ruler underneath his name, you might think he’d written right on top of it. Although this base-line indicator can sometimes indicate perfectionist tendencies, here, I think it shows stability.

When someone has such a far right-handed-looking slant to his writing, he will lead by his heart and by his emotions. The highs will be really high and the lows will be low. They can be impulsive, also. So he has put something in place as a sort of checks-and-balances system.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

The first thing I noticed is his writing is threaded – the letters lose form, they look like a loose piece of string. This shows the writer is thinking so fast, he’s sacrificing form – he’s skimming over the details because he can see the end result so quickly.

While the majority of us write out two names with a space between them, look at how his run together, as if they were one unified name. To me, this shows wholeness. He doesn’t separate his ego, his personality (first name) from his family, from his heritage.

John McCain

John McCain

It’s hard to ignore the uphill slant that McCain uses to sign his name. For the record, this is the same way Donald Trump signs his name. This type of slant shows a writer who thrives on challenges, will even seek out a challenge for the sheer pleasure that comes from conquering problems. An uphill slant also is indicative of optimism. McCain was feeling optimistic at the time of writing.

Notice the period at the end of his signature? A person who puts a period at the end of his name is someone who intends to have – and will have – the last word.

Hilary Clinton

Hilary Clinton

Look at the printed L’s in her first name. They are printed, not written in cursive like most of the rest of her name. Printing means the writer is not allowing you to see her close up and intimately.

Now look at the top of the first L. Imagine drawing a straight line up to the top of the second – it would taper upwards. This shows the writer is poised and diplomatic, even a little anxious to keep harmony. But deep inside she always feels the eyes of others are upon her critically, scrutinizing and appraising what they see.

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