The Body Language of Power

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The body language of power

From Hillary, to Obama, to McCain, Huckabee and Romney: CyberShrink leaves no about-face unstoned.

The presidential candidates this time about are added absorbing than they were in 2004. That doesn’t yield much, though. We accept the Chipmunk, the Stepford Wife, the man you could yield home to mother, and some also-rans.

What do their physique accent and the way they accept to backpack themselves in accessible acknowledge about them?

The capital contest

The added you see of Barack Obama, the added you like him. It’s the adverse with Hillary Clinton ? the added you see of her, the added afraid you feel.

That doesn’t beggarly I wouldn’t like to see a woman adopted as admiral of the US ? but does it accept to be Hillary? To accept the amiss woman as admiral could accomplish it an clumsily continued time afore there is another.

Though she’s aiming to aback confidence, Clinton comes beyond as smug, cocky, and imperious. She seems to alluvium a faculty of entitlement, and seems algid and aloof, as if she has anxiously apposite the motions of actualization friendly. It all seems planned, and aloft all, stale. There’s something about her automatic movements, consistently stiff, never actualization spontaneous? she’s about even jerky. She makes even the tightly-wound Martha Stewart assume sloppy. And that hair! The heavily-lacquered access adds to the helmet-hard, aloof feeling.

Obama comes beyond as warm, affable (but no pushover), sincere, and intelligent. And, aloft all, fresh.

When Clinton was accomplishing abominably in New Hampshire, she appeared briefly tearful, created a awareness and a above addition in her popularity. Apparently, the adumbration that she ability be animal was abundantly auspicious to her supporters. I begin the arena off-putting. She seemed to me to be artful even now, recognising her moment of weakness as an opportunity, and authoritative abiding the cameras got it.

When Hillary talks, as she does, of the abyss and beyond of her experience, one has to ask ? of what? Is the acquaintance of tolerating intolerable conduct in a spouse, absolutely something we should apprehend of a president? Simply accepting the wife of a admiral doesn’t agree to accepting experienced.

She again tells us she is accessible to become Commander-in-Chief of the aggressive ? as if accepting sat for a time on the Armed Services Committee somehow prepares one to command troops. Her sole austere action plan was on the Clinton Health action initiative, which absolutely failed.

What about Iraq? This may be the individual better blooper in contempo American history. She voted for invasion, Barack adjoin it. In acknowledgment to her base attack ad about the emergency buzz campanology in the White House ? from the world’s and America’s point of view, which of them would one rather accept answering that phone?

Obama feels like the future, Clinton like the past. She is a constant able on politics, just if America is growing absolutely annoyed of that. She jeers at Obama’s abridgement of experience, allegedly not recognising that this is absolutely what abounding like about him ? the admeasurement to which he is admirable by the aback apartment of Washington.

Hillary has complained that Barack has not been challenged on his claims, but I haven’t apparent her challenged on hers.

Those last-decade pants suits, the artificial grin, the smile that doesn’t absolutely ability the eyes ? these all accomplish her arise like the past. She stands on stage, acclamation in time to the music, aiming to attending cool. She credibility at humans in the audience, face greetings. The arrangement is predictable.

Obama, by contrast, comes beyond as absolutely alarming and convincing, and shows a convincing and self-deprecating wit (I accept never apparent affirmation of a Clinton faculty of humour). He appears energetic, eager, and in fact admiring to see people.

Huckabee and McCain

The Republican applicant who is no more, Mike Huckabee, was a bit of a no-hoper from the start. His abundant weight accident fabricated him attending like a hardly abandoned Muppet. He consistently reminded me of a hardly bare buzz car salesman, affairs abroad enthusiastically, but somehow acquainted that he wouldn’t be accepting any agency on this one. Yet Rolling Stone letters that this preacher already capital to be a bedrock musician. Go figure.

John McCain has an absorbing face, with the actual advanced cheeks of a chipmunk, added jowls than Hillary, and a rather baby and bound mouth. He usually comes beyond as sincere, accurate and kindly, but allegedly has a above acceptability for a angry temper, and is apparent as annoyed and irritable.

Change and challenges

Everyone is talking of change (after George Bush and Cheney, who wouldn’t wish some array of change?) Predictably, anniversary applicant would accept America accept that they themselves are the alone one able of bringing it about, after anytime accepting actual specific about absolutely what changes they’d manage.

Too about abandoned is the affair of electability. I haven’t managed to acquisition anyone who doesn’t like Obama. Not alone his own party, but Independents and even decidedly abounding Republicans like him. Whereas, admitting the abounding who like Clinton a lot, there are aswell many, in her own affair and alfresco it, who arise absolutely to animosity her ? and would either vote adjoin her, or abstain.

Feminist comment

Lest it be thought, as some simplistic commentators say, that it is somehow anti-feminist to criticise Hillary, I was adequate to see the comments of the feminist guru, Germaine Greer, who alleged her cold, absolute and manipulative, and about unappealing to feminists. It is not sexist to alarm a absolute being bossy. And I accumulate she declared the Clinton alliance as “a cardinal confederacy, not an affecting partnership”. Ouch.

(Professor M. A. Simpson, March 2008)

The Science of Presidential Complexity. Shankar Vedantam. Washington Post, Monday, January 28, 2008; Page A03

Lucian Gideon Conway III, University of Montana at Missoula, in the account Political Psychology.

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