The Tale of a President: Aznar’s Personality Profile

This article continues the series The Tale of a President, where the personality profile of the last two Presidents of the Government of Spain, namely Jose María Aznar López and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, is assessed. The personality profile includes a brief fact sheet of the President along a synopsis of his psychological profile according to the three authors Rhenson, Barber and Greenstein.


  1. Youngest of four siblings (three brothers one sister)
  2. High middle-income family / no economic suffering
  3. His father was a successful journalist
  4. College graduate
  5. No deceased parent or siblings
  6. Fluent in French


  1. From the right when he was President of Castilla-Leon to center-right
  2. From the center-right during his Opposition Years to the center in his four years as President
  3. From the center to the center-right in 2000-2002
  4. From the center-right to the right in 2002-2004
  5. From the right to a more pronounced right that flirts with neoliberal positions in his last four years


  1. Grandfather
  2. Political Mentor Manuel Fraga Iribarne


  1. Opposition (1989-1996): active-negative, pragmatist
  2. First Presidency (1996-2000): active-positive, pragmatist
  3. Second Presidency (2000-2002): active-positive, pragmatist
  4. Second Presidency (2002-2004): active-negative, ideologue


  1. Cabinet Members: some belong in Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic group
  2. Foreign Policy: strong ties to Europe and the United States
  3. Basque Terrorism: negotiated ceasefire, strong fighter of terrorism (Islamist/Basque)
  4. Relation with Nationalist Parties: increasingly worsening in his eight years as President
  5. Family Life: well balanced, stable marriage, two sons and one daughter
  6. First Lady: Ana Botella, increasingly involved in politics, now #3 in Madrid’s City Hall



  1. Ambition: Strong, Explicit
  2. Ideology vs Pragmatism: Pragmatism
  3. Rationality vs Judgement: Judgement
  4. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Average, strong leadership


  1. Active positive
  2. Active negative
  3. Passive positive
  4. Passive negative


  1. Political communication: Average
  2. Organization capacity: Strong
  3. Political skill: Strong
  4. Vision: economic (Strong), social (Weak), foreign policy (Europe: Strong, international: Weak)
  5. Cognitive style: Average
  6. Emotional intelligence: Weak