Body Langauge - Obama and other interesting tidbits...

Here are some interesting body language comments from others:

Body language reveals the naked truth
By Allan Markin - Penticton Western News - February 28, 2008
We communicate with each other in many ways. I find our body language the most interesting, perhaps because our physical messages often occur without our realizing it.
Body language can tell us what a person is really like. I’ve been watching Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaign for the Democratic nomination to become the next U.S. president, sure to happen unless the Democrats foul things up as they have done in the past. Remember the fiasco a few years ago when their super delegates chose Walter Mondale?
Now that Obama has taken the lead and is enjoying a surging campaign, Hillary’s body language has been showing signs of desperation. She still smiles sweetly, like somebody’s mom. Then, eyes aglow with disdain and fury, she launches into vituperative attacks on Obama, looking and sounding like a stern mother scolding a son who stayed out past curfew time and came home drunk.
Indeed, where once she looked directly at Obama when he was speaking, suggesting that she had real interest in what he was saying, now she turns away, as if to convey the message that he’s not worth listening to. This body language indicates arrogance, disrespect and feigned self-confidence — messages that will not bolster a faltering campaign.
Someone should tell her that such behaviour is not presidential. True leadership means being magnanimous and rising above small-minded petulance. Obama, to his credit, has been measured and calm in his responses. His body language continues to convey quiet confidence and poise. He looks presidential, even now when the heat on him has been turned up and the scandal-mongering that plagues American politics has emerged from the political slime.
Sometimes body language makes me angry. Recently I watched Elmer Mckay, former MP and cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s government, testifying before the Commons Ethics Committee regarding the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. Mr. Mackay should be ashamed of his juvenile behaviour.
He slouched arrogantly in his chair like an unrepentant high school student in the principal’s office. He smirked. He played with his glasses. He shrugged. He smiled sweetly. His nonchalant attitude was quite disrespectful of the committee and its chair. I hope the affair becomes a full public inquiry when individuals like Mackay will be under oath and their arrogance won’t be allowed to slight the serious business of this country.
On the lighter side of things, let’s take a quick trip to Russia so I can share some of my observations of body language on Moscow streets. Beautiful young Russian women sure can walk. It’s worth the price of air fare just to watch them slide along the sidewalk, silky and stylish, like they were walking down the catwalk at a high-fashion house in Paris.
I have finally figured out what draws me to the body language of Russian women. Unlike North American women, who seem to prefer keeping their torso still during their peregrinations, when Russian women walk they lead with their pelvis, as if to declare to the whole world that Russian women don’t all look like tractors.
Body Language and the Democratic Debate by Dr Nick Morgan 2/1/08
What can the non-verbal communications from Senators Obama and Clinton tell us about the debate last night?
Overall, they performed well. They are two consummate professionals who waited respectfully while the other was talking, said their own bits with minimal fuss, and generally played nice. They were trying hard to get along, and mostly they did. Their non-verbal cues suggest that Obama is a big-picture thinker, impatient with details, and Clinton is a manager who loves to get down in the weeds of policy. Of course, their verbal messages say that too.
But there were a few revealing moments. When Senator Obama responded to the question about a "dream team" of the two of them as President and Veep, Senator Clinton listened hard, turning directly toward him for the first and only time that evening. When he refused to rule out the idea of the joint ticket, saying it was premature and presumptuous, she visibly relaxed, then moved toward him very slightly as he continued to answer.
Conclusion: the Clinton camp HAS thought about asking Obama to be the V-P, and it's still on the table. Depending, of course, on how things go. You heard it here first.
When the debate was finished, Obama stood up and helped Clinton with her chair. Depending on your perspective, this was either a) a nice, gentlemanly thing to do; b) a calculated, sexist put-down; or c)an unscripted attempt to take charge.
The only moment during the debate when Clinton showed real passion was on the immigration issue. She decried a Republican bill to criminalize any attempt to help an illegal alien in passionate terms: "That would have criminalized Jesus Christ and the Good Samaritan."
Conclusion: She's really hot about helping those less fortunate, and working through the system. She's a true product of her church and the system.

ELECTION TELLS (British) Date and Author Unknown

Politicians are getting more and more aware of the impact of how they say things rather than what they say. And we all respond more powerfully and subconsciously to body language than we realise. So where does that leave us when we have to make a decision about who's going to run the country for the next five years? That's right - confused. Do their policies and their personalities match up? Are we blinded to what they're really saying by how they're saying it? The truth about people's relationships and their thoughts is always evident in those actions that they can't control or which they don't know they're producing. Here's a handy guide to the election tells of the 3 main party leaders to help you decide when the wool is being pulled over your eyes!
Tony BlairTony is the consummate politician, difficult to fluster and smooth talking. But there are some interesting leaks and tells that he makes which reveal what he's really thinking.The mug shot - Tony likes to be seen holding a mug. It makes him look workmanlike, a man of the people.Finger puppet - When Tony is making a point emphatically he will often press his thumb onto his forefinger while talking. This is reflection of him symbolically taking control of an issue he's discussing. However, when he is anxious he will play with his little finger.Smile - In this election, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown can be seen frequently smiling and looking at each other while they are speaking. However, you can see from the way that Gordon bites his lip when Tony is challenged that he is secretly amused, trying to control a smile. You can also see when Gordon is speaking that Tony often has his mouth open, a sign that he would rather be doing the talking. Are they as united as they seem?

There are a bunch of House of Commons video clips of Blair at this site:

Facial symmetry

Facial symmetry is attractive to us and when the face is animated we look for matching of the each side of the face that is what is going on the right side to match what is going on the left side and matching of the top and bottom of the face. The top of the face from the middle of the eyes up is under less conscious control so if we are looking at someone and the top of the face is doing one thing and the bottom another we may know they are laying or we may just feel uncomfortable.

You’re More Expressive Half

When most people smile or frown, the left half of their face (which is controlled by the right brain) is more emotionally expressive. If you were to cover up half of your face and look in the mirror, you would notice distinct emotional differences in expression. Research studies of people looking at photographs of faces show that when people expose more of their right cheek (the public face) they show less emotion. Exposing more of the left side of the face shows more emotion. When people speak or think emotionally, the eyes tend to dart to the left, and the left arm becomes more active. If someone says, "Let’s talk about it now," the right brain analyzes the paralanguage to determine whether talking about it now will be a fun or perhaps painful experience. And the left emotional side of the face shows it.