In a post published yesterday, Pete noted that among Jon Huntsman’s failures as a candidate was the fact that “he came across as supercilious.” Many others have noted the same tendency.
But while he was certainly supercilious in the metaphorical sense, he was also in the quite literal, etymological sense. The word comes from the Latin superciliosus, meaning the same thing, and that word in turn comes from supercilium, meaning eyebrow. (The English language medical term superciliary means “of or relating to the eyebrow.”)
And, as John Podhoretz commented about his performance in one of the debates last fall, Huntsman’s right eyebrow seems permanently arched, giving him a, well, supercilious air.
By such trifles, it seems, are presidencies gained and lost.