Body Language Shows Clinton to be ‘Sad, Anxious’ When Discussing E-mail Controversy

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 18, 2015. (REUTERS/David Becker)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 18, 2015. (REUTERS/David Becker)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faced repeated questions about her use of a private computer server for emails while secretary of state during her recent Las Vegas news conference. Her discomfort with the topic was evident — especially if you compare her facial expressions in Las Vegas to her June 13 campaign launch announcement in New York. You can see the sharp contrast if you watch both events with the sound off, focusing on Clinton’s facial expressions and body language.

Clinton is described, by both supporters and critics, as “brainy,” “tough” both personally and politically. In Las Vegas, however, her expressions were more like a tired boxer’s, slightly off-balance and woozy.

For relatively long stretches, given that she was holding a news conference, Clinton repeatedly closed her eyes. By itself, that facial muscle activity is a sign of sadness. But add to this how often she also raised her eyebrows, in ways not necessarily emphasizing her comments. This was unusual for her. And it usually signifies both sadness and anxiety.

Back in New York in June, however, Clinton had been crisp, polished and forceful. Fully two-thirds of her launch announcement news conference involved her either smiling happily or showing resolve – as when she talked about how she would move America forward.

But the Las Vegas version was a startling contrast. There this veteran politician closed her eyes — perhaps signaling she was weary, maybe wanting the email debacle to just go away — roughly nine times more often than she smiled. And her smiles were usually compromised by her simultaneously making an ironic or even sarcastic remark. Normally a confident speaker, the Las Vegas Clinton betrayed an equal number of instances in which her mouth pulled wide in a classic look that can signal fear.

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SOURCE: Dan Hill
Reuters

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