The Swiss are famously neutral in all things (mostly wars, actually—offshore banking, not so neutral), but their president Ueli Maurer takes being mild-mannered to the extreme. Watch the video above and see if you can even tell which one is the president. Eventually the station interviews him, which outs Maurer as president, but even in the interview, it looks more like a “man on the street” interview than a talk with the leader of a European nation.
President Obama has kept some friends close to him in an effort to stay normal, but he has his own plane, and when he travels, he moves in an entourage of maybe ten limos (if you are going to try to attack him, you have to guess which one). Presidents and kings tend to look like royalty, and it’s always obvious who they are. This has to do with protecting them from bodily harm and protecting their time from being wasted by admirers and debaters, but it also has to do with our sense that rulers are supposed to look like royalty.
The most endearing part of the footage of Swiss President Maurer is watching him retrieve a luggage cart (wheeling it with one hand, holding the bag in the other) and stacking bags on it. Getting the bags to stack right is one of those everyday human challenges that stresses people out at the airport. Maurer does it without too much trouble, though he only has a few bags. This is no three wheelies + two duffels + a backpack + a purse challenge.
Rulers of the world, take a page from Ueli Maurer. Acting like the rest of us is a small thing, but we tend to appreciate it.