July 24th, 2007
01:40 PM ET
3 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. J.Murphy

    They all did a good job, but it was clearly the Hillary show. She is way ahead of the pack, and surely the best choice. I think she'll make a great leader, not only of the USA, but of the Free World. Don't under estimate a Women leader. Remember Golda Maier in the 1967 war, and Margaret Thatcher in the 1982 Falklands war. They commit to winning. Hillary. will Change the World for the better.

    July 24, 2007 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  2. Slim

    What kind of crap is this? You have to be kidding me. Next time have a fortune teller give their opinions. Hey how come you didn't have this when Bush debated Kerry? Wonder who would have won in that debate? CNN just can't do enough for Hillary Corp. Please, just objective news. I know it's hard for you guys, but try.

    July 24, 2007 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  3. Barbara Mills, New York, New York

    I am surprised that more people don't comment on Obama's rather arrogant demeanor at times. Additionally, I think that some of his replies and language are somewhat platitudinous and some even make it a bit difficult to know what he really MEANS. I don't think that he is or soon will be seasoned enough to be the leader of the free world yet. On the other hand, I think that Senator Clinton is proving her early critics wrong - she is becoming more and more comfortable and showing more of her true self and her refreshing sense of humor and warmth. I've never doubted her intelligence, her leadership or her ability to work hard. She has shown this in both her efforts as First Lady - her travels to other countries and meetings with world leaders, etc., and her work as the junior Senator in my state, where I think she has surprised some of our denizens by her diligence and careful attention to communities and individuals throughout the state. She is more calming than any of the other candidates and therefore, would be more reassuring.
    I am also (and always have been) impressed by the fact that she (and in most ways, Bill, too) took such care to shield Chelsea from the potential harm the press and the public can inflict on a First Daughter or Son. Clinton's success as a mother, which helped to create a lovely daughter, has always spoken well for her, and she doesn't get enough credit for this.

    July 24, 2007 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  4. Barb Bjornsen, Incline Village, NV Lake Tahoe

    Senator Clinton had cosmetic surgery for this debate tonight. (Botox and a peel or even laser surgery). Changing her 'body language' tonight was just a ploy. She lost terribly in the last debate when she yelled loudly and furrowed her brow. This election is everything Hilary has planned for since she was a late teen in college and she means to win. After advice from others and watching herself in that last debate she made some strategic changes in her approach tonight. It is also very curious how she has agreed with John Edwards on several key issues making it look like she and he could be running mates. She is a cunning woman that is totally ensconced in the political system from the Good 'Ol Boy Network (Skull and Bones member). Don't be fooled by her botox and body language- if she were elected we'd be up the creek that much further than we are now. She's a female wolf in sheep's clothing. Senator Mike Gravel said it best when he warned us to 'Follow the Money'.

    (I've done extreme research on all these issues and the candidates for the last 10 years, so I know what I'm talking about. Gravel is only running on the Dem ticket because he knows that Independents haven't won in the past. Refer back to some of my emails).

    July 24, 2007 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  5. Matt, Charleston, Illinois

    It's a good thing we don't decide the president based off body language.

    July 24, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  6. Tim, Citrus Heights, CA

    Biden: responses were strong and emphatic. Obama: calm and deliberate. Edwards: displayed more of a nervous confidence, "I know what I want to say but, am I getting it across the right way". Clinton: cool, calm and positive in her responses.

    Kevin in Cincy, as far as being disenfranchised with Bush, I served 20 years in the military, fought in two wars – both under a President by the name of Bush. Afghanistan is fine, Iraq is not. He's o.k. with more troops dying to prove that he's correct and the hell with 70% of the American population.

    I would have asked them all: Do you believe that you can pull the troops out by the end of your term if elected. If you fail, will you give your word that you will not run for re-election?

    July 24, 2007 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  7. Billye Graham, Detroit Michigan

    I liked Obama's youtube because he held true to his theme that it is about the American people and what we can do as an intelligent collective to turn this country to a new direction. Obama has vision. For those of you who think he lacks experience, the mark of an intelligent person is to surround themselves with those who do. What we need is vision and experience. Personally I hope Obama and Hillary can work something out.

    July 24, 2007 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  8. Matt, Port Huron, MI

    Clinton, to me, is the Democratic John McCain – politically savvy, name recognition and motivated by power. But both are ultimately hollow, and neither offers anything of substance for the American people. Clinton's campaign is all smoke and mirrors. She doesn't want to be president to make this country better – she just wants to be president.

    And body language? Come on. Way to boil down the most important decision an American can make into a image contest. I want a president who is smart, cool-headed and has a solid plan for America – not one who ACTS like they do.

    July 24, 2007 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  9. A.P. SAN FRANCISCO, CA

    WHY ARE WE JUDGING CANDIDATES SOLELY ON BODY LANGUAGE? IT'S ISSUES WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT. THIS IS NOT HOLLYWOOD.

    The title should also be changed to:
    Clinton wins body language battle, one "expert" says

    July 24, 2007 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  10. Matt, Baton Rouge, LA

    There seems to be negative spin circulating around college students my age about Hillary Clinton (more so than among mainstream America), and for a while, I sort of bought into it. That was before I got serious about the upcoming presidential election (despite it being over a year away). I did my research, have watched the debates, have watched past speeches the candidates have made, etc., and my past superficial negative image of Hillary has faded away quickly. I now support her 100% and strongly feel she is the best candidate. I think too many people like to buy into the negative spin surrounding her and don't put aside their personal bias and not really give her a chance.

    I don't agree with her completely on every issues, but I feel she has the most experience and the best ideas to hit the ground running in 2009 to initiate change as president. She consistently presents herself as an intelligent, confident leader, and always seems to come across the most "presidential" in the debates, even among all the men. I don't care who her husband is and whether HE was a great president or not. SHE is most certainly qualified ON HER OWN.

    This MAN will be voting for a WOMAN in the primaries and hopefully in the general election.

    July 24, 2007 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  11. Leo, Charlottesville, VA

    Re Edwards' response: Ann Coulter was right.

    July 24, 2007 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  12. Jarrod, Santa Rosa, CA

    I don't think body language is too big of an indicator when it comes to ideas. Yeah, I think it matters when it comes to police interrogations, and telling confidence levels- but as far as gauging whether or not they really mean what they say, or trying to assume whether or not you can trust someone is ridiculous. Some people have different nervous reactions for different reasons. To conclude anything from the body language is vague and irrelevant.

    As for CNN being biased, I don't think so at all. They're more balanced and objective than any other news network I've seen lately.

    July 24, 2007 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  13. floyd, los angeles, ca

    As a Democrat it is funny to see some many people in Hillary's corner. She clearly has CNN in her coat pocket. Everyone on the panel, (mainly women) who spoke on the debate said she was the clear cut winner. I personally was extremely impressed with Obama and thought he blew everyone out of the water with Joe Bidden in second. I wasn't and have never been impressed with Hillary. She does well in debate, but I am smart enough to do my research and I follow her and know where she really stands.
    Now you say her body posture was presidential!!! What a load of crock. How was her body posture when her husband was accused of sexually assulting "3" woman which he denied. How was her posture when he was accused of getting a blow-job in the oval office which he actually tried to deny even though there was an abundant of evidence that said he did. (If Bill was an African American rapper or athelete, would he be jail by now?????) How could you be for woman rights and pretty much brush off sexual assault aligations. How was her body language when Chris Matthews asked her about pardons which her husband was know for on his last day on the job. (Injured someone who was convicted of sex with a minor.)
    Hillary and the Clinton Machine is by fay the worst choice for President. They have a clear track record of scandal, lying, and cover up. You mean to tell me this is who you want in office after George Bush. Bill and Hillary had the Corruption Ball rolling way before George W arrived. Power does not discriminate. Man or female, if you were a corrupt First lady and a corrupt Senator, you will be an even more corrupt President.
    Do YOUR research. Choosing someone because of Main Stream Bias, how they dress, how they stand, how quickly they answer questions, or who they marry is dumb and reckless. (And trust me, I am not bashing her because she is a woman. I'm pointing what many informed people already know, SHE IS A CORRUPT POLITICIAN.) Obama is taking the high road which will cause him to lose; however, the repulics will play Raw Politics and it will not look good for the Democrats.

    July 24, 2007 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  14. Nik, Houston Texas

    Seriously people, when two people are so tied in appearance on so many issues... body language and looks/appeal becomes extremely important. Believe it or not, most Americans have no clue what the real difference between Obama's and Clinton's agendas are – they see a young black guy and a woman running for president.

    IMO Obama did well, I didn't watch the whole thing and he does ramble a bit still though this was clearly better than last time.

    July 24, 2007 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  15. Doug, Philadelphia PA

    If there is no news it's okay to not report anything.

    July 24, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Body Language?! You have got to be kidding me! That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of!

    July 24, 2007 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  17. Susie Brower, Syracuse NY

    I had a hunch but finally decided last night that I am NOT a OBAMA fan and I will never be. Body langauge, non verbals aside, his words are exclusionary with the race card always at the top. Tuskeegee Airmen? CMON! I really wanted to like him throughtout these months. I really was intrigued. He has sold out. No Julian Bond, for sure. He sidestepped the issue and went for the applause. Hillary was direct and fortright. I do like Biden's candor and style. He would be an effective VP with Clinton.

    July 24, 2007 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  18. Mark Winchester, Rochester, NY (proud Louisiana native tho)

    What's most interesting is the total blindeye EVERY candidate turns to the REAL reason why we're in Iraq...M-O-N-E-Y. The very same reason why we went to Vietnam. Col. Fletcher Prouty was totally correct. It's even more interesting senior bush was meeting w/ Bin Laden's cousin 2 blocks from the Pentegon when the plane crashed.

    EACH canidate knows why we're there. They're all paying lip service and saying whatever they've been told to say which will get them elected.

    What are they gonna do??? Tell the truth as to who is pulling they're AND bush's stings? I think not. As the FBI says "Follow the money".

    July 24, 2007 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  19. Dorna, Los Angeles, CA

    I like Hillary a lot, as a 24 year old woman in engineering grad school I completely understand what she had to go through to get to where she is. I have read a lot about her and am very impressed by her personality and intelligence.

    Unfortunately people in the U.S. do not see a strong, serious woman as a charming one and that is what bothers a lot of people about her. Because she wants to be taken seriously and that is considered annoying for a woman. But I have to behave that way every day, so do all girls that want to accomplish great things in society and that is precisely why we need Hillary, to get people used to seeing a woman in a leadership position.

    It's probably too late for me, but I think our daughters and sons deserve to be brought up in a different world, that only Hillary can promise.

    July 24, 2007 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  20. Jerenda, Dallas, TX

    but body languange can also make an important impression on voters.

    Please spell check before publishing to the world, ok? Who cares about body language? Do the candidates have substance and morality?

    Those are more important.

    July 24, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  21. DH Saginaw, MI

    Clinton may have seemed more confident but only because she's lied for so many years and about so many subjects that she is no longer bothered by it.

    July 24, 2007 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  22. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Kevin of Cincinnati is absolutely right. Hillary Clinton as President will just continue to polarize the country. She evokes strong feelings of dislike, not only from conservatives and not only from men. I really think that the Democrats will give the election to the Republicans if they make the mistake of nominating her for their candidate.

    July 24, 2007 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. Russell Atlanta, GA

    Could there be a less fulfilling job than studying body language? Of all the jobs you could choose and majors to study, someone chose body language?

    I'm so happy to hear we are electing candidats by virtue of their body language and gstures. Nice waste of our time CNN.

    July 24, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  24. Barbara Glendale, AZ

    The questions were the same old boring ones. What about the most important question, "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IMMIGRATION". Who thought these questions up? Come on CNN get with it.

    July 24, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  25. Jeff Elijah, Wheaton, IL

    Wow, this is hard-hitting journalism. Can we get a story on the candidates' bathroom habits, or maybe their choices in bedroom curtains? Send Wolf out on that right away.

    July 24, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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