July 24th, 2007
01:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton wins body language battle, one expert says

(CNN) - Sure, what the candidates say is important, but body language can also make an important impression on voters.

A body language expert, Jo Ellan Dimitrius, studied all of the candidates throughout the two-hour debate and decided that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, won the battle of the body language. Sen. Clinton stood confidently behind the podium and kept her hands on top of the lectern, rather than nervously grabbing onto the sides, Dimitrius observed.

According to Dimitrius, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, also had a strong performance by using confident hand gestures and keeping consistent eye contact with the audience.

During the questions about gay marriage, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, had a nervous look, and he put his hands in his pockets, which is also a classic sign of nervousness, Dimitrius said.

- CNN Producer Ted Metzger

Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Eric, Burbank, California

    I agree with this assessment. Clinton looked confident because she is confident. She was quite simply the most composed tonight.

    John Edwards, on the other hand, came across as fake - he tries too hard with his "presidential" hand gestures - very calculated. I didn't trust him at all.

    July 23, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. Roy, St. Paul, MN

    Sen. Hillary R. Clinton did an excellent job and I believe she has the ability and experience to be next President of the United States.

    July 23, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. Lakisha St.Louis, Mo

    I think Senator Clinton is over rated. I didn't enjoy to much tonight.
    I thought Obama and Biden did cool. Edwards was cool also.

    July 23, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. J. Scott

    Fantastic. I'm glad that now we're picking candidates based on body language rather than their words and records.

    Bravo CNN, you're continued lowering of the news, editorial, and political bar seems to know no bounds.

    July 23, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. Rich Prov

    My god please has anyone met someone who supports Hillary all these fake polls that you show when in reality the American people like Dennis ,Mike,and online its definitly Richardson but I'm a republican so it doesn't matter but cnn you are just the old media your biased in analysis

    July 23, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  6. Brian P., Dallas, Texas

    I was very impressed with Hillary Clinton tonight and I agree with the body language assessment. She is very confident. Obama did well too. Out of all the canidates tonight, I'd have to say I only see 2 real democrat contenders for the 2008 election: Clinton and Obama. And, if those two combine and run on a ticket together – it is a done deal.

    July 23, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. Brenna Bella Vista, AR

    I feel that Clinton and Obama came across as the most confident and capable candidates. However, I feel that Obama performed the best. Clinton came across almost too controlled and a little flat at times. Obama was by far the most engaging of all candidates.

    July 23, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  8. Alex, Lake Worth, FL

    I saw nothing but deception in their body language. These people are coached 24/7 on how to talk,respond to questions, move, think, and appeal to the voter's feelings. Politicians know how to persuade and manipulate the voters to vote for them. The bottom line, they are selling you a Lexus and delivering a Yugo.

    July 23, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    nice job whoever the photographer was.

    July 23, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. Aidyn, NY, NY

    Hillary did great tonight!!

    HILLARY 08!!

    July 23, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  11. Jared Heiner, Dallas Texas

    Who cares about body language? Are we going to elect someone based on gestures?

    July 23, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  12. BCP, Leavenworth KS

    Yes, but have you seen her behavior whenever a republican is doing the talking? She rolls her eyes and shows no respect for her opponent. If that is how she feels about her opponents, how does she feel about their supporters?

    July 23, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  13. Jacob, New York, NY

    get real, CNN...your varied camera angles and continued airtime disparity is going to trickle down to this blog too? Youtube this wasn't.

    July 23, 2007 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Amy, Lanark IL

    What about facial expressions? Clinton consistently appears (even in the photo accompanying this story)haughty, self-righteous, and insincere. The only way to truly describe it might be "Stepford." Maybe that's what alienates so many of us?

    July 23, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. TSeither, Burlington, Kentucky

    It's easy to stay composed when there is no real debate going on. The only one with any substance to his answers is Joe Biden. Hillary looks like a well trained puppet up there.

    July 23, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  16. J, Seattle WA

    Didn't Hillary vote for the Iraq war?

    July 23, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  17. lyn Rocville MD

    How about the fact that he won the NH focus group for a headline versus body language. Obama won 33% Hillary got 8%

    July 23, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  18. Joe, Boulder, CO

    I agree, I think Mrs. Clinton did the best job tonight out of all the candidates. If body language loses an election, did you see Biden's hand popping up and down during the "How did you get here tonight question"?– ouch, and I really liked him.

    BCP asked: "Yes, but have you seen her behavior whenever a republican is doing the talking? She rolls her eyes and shows no respect for her opponent. If that is how she feels about her opponents, how does she feel about their supporters?" - probably just like I feel, utter contempt.

    July 23, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. Ramon Gibbs Colorado

    If we voted on hand gestures I would vote for Jim Carrey.

    July 23, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Jeffrey Milton NH

    I guess the thing that bothers me about these "debates" is that they seem like a rather cheesy political "American Idol". They seem like people running for sophmore class president. It's just too early to be doing these debates.

    July 23, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  21. Jaime, Orlando, FL

    No, we are not going to elect people based on gestures, but some 90% of communication is nonverbal so it does indicate some level of confidence and trustworthiness, albeit it's not the most important factor in a debate.

    And this wasn't so much a debate as it was a Q&A session among the candidates and voters. I for one thought it was a brilliant concept and felt it showed the candidates' true colors (i.e. Biden exclaiming that the only thing he likes about Kucinich is his wife, and Gravel's constant whining about being treated unfairly and incessantly going over his minutes, ignoring moderator Mr. Cooper).

    July 23, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  22. James Ford, Pittsburgh, PA

    Body language for president!
    Maybe if Hillary would wear something more revealing. I'm not saying Lindsay Lohan style.
    I like all the candidates.
    Hard not to with all the bozos in the current administration.
    John Edwards has my attention at the moment.
    He is articulate and has a real plan for some of the problems in America.
    Ex. health care and ending the war.

    July 23, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Tenn Gurl Memphis, TN

    What the heck. These so called experts are the same people who told America Bush was the best because you could have a beer with him. Yes, Clinton is really good at the Bush like soundbites. But she is all fluff and no substance where is her healthcare plan? Look what we they sold us in 2000 a compassionate conservative. Honestly, Obama won hands down.

    July 23, 2007 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. James, Northern, CT

    If Mr. Metzger was honest, he would recall a few times when the camera was right on Hillary Clinton's face and there was anger and disgust in her eyes because of a comment from another candidate or a question that was posed to her, such as the challenge of 28 years of Bush's and Clinton's and such as the challenge of whether a woman should be President, when many foreign countries do not respect female leaders. And, by the way, Mrs. Clinton, just because they'll meet with you doesn't mean they'll respect you.

    July 24, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. Laura, Suffern NY

    Hillary Clinton did an amazing job tonight. She spoke with confidence and ease, debating and discussing the issues that are so important to America. As a 22 year old woman living under the Bush regime,I passionately and desperately desire a president who does understand that we can no longer separate women's rights from human rights. I am the future of America, and I want my role model and my leader to be Hillary Clinton, a confident and qualified leader.

    Bravo to CNN and YouTube to introducing this radical and revolutionary debate format, you truly understand the new internet era we live in, and have certainly taken a positive step in connecting with the youth voters.

    July 24, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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