August 27th, 2008
04:08 PM ET
13 years ago

Examining body language: What did Clinton's say?


Watch a body language expert examine Clinton's speech.

(CNN) - What did Hillary Clinton's body language give away at the Democratic National Convention?

Dan Hill, a body language expert and author of "Face Time," told CNN that even while the words Clinton delivered offered an unequivocal endorsement of Barack Obama, her body language was much less affirmative.

"When she spoke about Obama, she really did not emote very much," Hill said. "The only thing she showed was a very weak smile, the cheeks didn't tend to lift very much, it was really almost what I would call a 'crocodile smile' where even the slight corners of the lips sometimes raise into a little bit of a smirk."

"I don't think that helped move the 30 percent of her supporters who say they won't vote for Obama," Hill added. "What she did do was appeal to voters at large, that she did more emotionally."

soundoff (709 Responses)
  1. Charlotte

    I just hope when you guys cover the repub convention, you do (and then put on this webpage) things like body language analysis of Romney when he speaks about John McCain, seeing that he sure did not speak well of him when they were running against each other. Does he REALLY mean he thinks John McCain is the best candidate? And what does McCain REALLY mean when he does that messed up grimace that he calls a smile?

    Next, go out on the floor, find the craziest audience member (crying, usually) and ask them their opinion on world events, the political party, the convention itself. Now broadcast your footage of the crazy person AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN, as though that person is a political expert and you take his or her opinion seriously.

    Now your coverage of the repub convention will begin to be similar to that of the democratic convention.

    August 27, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Delle Jacobs

    You're right about what you saw, but I think you've mis-interpreted it. Hillary will carry a deep disappointment all her life at not winning the nomination, and on this occasion she had to get up before her entire party as well as her constituents and publicly acknowledge by her speech that her dream did not come true. What she did was an amazing feat, and very few of us could have wanted something as badly as she did, but acknowledge not getting it with as much grace as she did. And if she didn't show some disappointment in this, I would have concerns about her mental health. She's not made of wood. She was behaving in the way a normal, healthy but very disappointed person would behave.

    Her disappointment, though, is not necessarily animosity against Obama. She has the intelligence to comprehend she had not entitlement to the nomination, and when a person runs for an office like this, the risk is very high that success won't come with it. Hillary is sorry it's him and not her, but that doesn't mean she hates him for it. He won it and she didn't. That hurts. So what if it shows in her face? That's a show of honesty and humanity on her part.

    August 27, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Catherine

    Of course her body language wasn't jumping for joy. The speech was in essence a concession speech

    August 27, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Tony

    It was an analysis of the delivery and why is that not as important as an analysis of the "talking points", or simply the words used?

    August 27, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Mark

    Anyone who voted for Hillary and is now saying they will vote for McCain, is either a racist, a sore loser, or a Republican. If you call yourself a Democrat and vote Republican out of spite because Hillary didn't win, you should just move to another country because America should not have it's decisions made by you. YOU are what is wrong with this country.

    August 27, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Humberto

    This is my body language: The DNC should scrap Obamas nomination now! before it's too late to win the whiteHouse. No one can change Obama's history and inexperience, no one will vote for him on that premise. Looks like Obama had much more to do with Ayer's (The Pentagon Bomber) then he led on, looks like he surrounds his self and is attracted to many unsavory characters.

    Democrat for McCain if Clinton is not the nominee

    August 27, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |


    August 27, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Phil

    I pray that there is a coup and Hillary gets the nomination. I would love to see the dems squirm!

    August 27, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Chut Pata

    As much as I would hate the Clintons, I think this time on she was as close to honesty as a Clinton can.

    All her body language said was that she was swollowing a bitter pill. She did not like the taste, but she knew that was the right thing.

    August 27, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. JMarie

    As a 50+ woman who has watched her closely, I was hoping that by now she had worked through her loss and was on-board. While I don't think it was intentional, her excitement over her campaign was clear, her commitment to Obama lukewarm. She is still grieving from the loss.

    August 27, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Max

    That is a normal smile for her "croc" like.

    August 27, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Ian

    Im going to write for the dissent here when I say I think this is a valid and newsworthy story. There is very much a split in party unity, I see it on my own street here in suburban california! While pop psychology like this is probably over doing it, I think they have the right idea. Hillary probably does not have her heart in an Obama presidency. We must admire her, however, for putting her heart and focus on the issues she believes in, and fought for. He unselfishly is trying to unify the party behind her opponent whom she lost too, because she believes things have to change. Even for me, however, its not enough. Sorry Obama, I will be staying home on election day.

    August 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. JoseyJ

    Hillary's speech was all about electing a Dem to the WH – and she was superb!
    More superb than Obama deserves.

    Looks like CNN is still using the Clintons to boost CNN ratings with this ridiculous article.

    Dems for McCain!

    August 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Pat Clarke

    This is why she lost, because she always appears phony. Her platform and Obama's are nearly identical, but she lost because never comes across as sincere.

    August 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. MD in GA

    I don't know much about body language but it's clear she doesn't like Senator Obama. Her speech last night was her way of trying to save her place in the Democratic party.

    Here's the thing though. The majority of AA voters (that 90% no news stations ever bother to mention anymore) will never vote for her if Senator Obama loses this election. We are a different people than we were 40 to 50 years ago. We will no go along to get along. We will NOT allow anyone to help distroy the first viable AA candidates chances at the Presidency then vote for her 4 years later.

    If she blows this, she will never, ever, get the Black vote and therefore NEVER get elected to the Presidency... How bout that...

    August 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Barbie

    It is very serious that someone on the CNN News at the Convention is to report about Hillary's behavior. Do not be afraid to Speak UP !! There has to be honesty spoken out. I can see that the "women " behind her ...are so blinded and deaf....not waking up what she is doing behind our backs !! She is a "agitator" who stir up trouble at the campaign. Dean and the committee had warned her to leave. She has stirred up so much trouble with her stubbornness being so defiant. Now she is asking for the Roll Call. Obama is already the candidate to run for President ! They should have made her leave !!! She did not have the money. Huckabee left without a complaint knowing that he had no more money !! The Republicans asked Mitt Romney to leave..he left very polite. The Campaign is to tell her right now with Dean to get off the platform. She may be destroying our Democratic Party already. The McCain women have voiced this last night and do notice this problem of hers.PLEASE DO REPORT THIS RIGHT NOW !!! Do not have the roll call tonight !! It has to be removed. She has lied saying she was for Obama last night !

    August 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. S Robinson

    Hill was right on target. I read Hillary's body language just as he did. she spoke words that might just as well not been spoken because she was not sincere.

    August 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Steve

    Hill has suffered enough at your expense! SO have we,her supporters.

    August 27, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Matt (Nashville, TN)

    This network is such crap. What a waste of space. Give me a break.

    August 27, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Rick S.

    Body language? Can we please stick with NEWS!!!! What is CNN coming to?

    August 27, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Vickie

    You have got to be kidding! What a crock! Just more of the same Hillary bashing the media has been engaged in since forever. This is considered newsworthy? I agree with other viewers – what's next, an astrologer?!?! Get a grip, CNN. And here I thought you were better than Fox.....

    She supports Obama, I support Obama – we can't possibly survive another 4 more years of Republican fiscal recklessness, environmental destruction, health care denial and foreign policy blunders. Hillary was my first choice, but we CANNOT elect McCain.

    August 27, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Angel

    CNN, what is wrong with you? This is a gossipy, blatant attempt to undermine Clinton, Obama and real sense and loyalty to the Democratic party. Maybe you should call yourself US Magazine instead?

    August 27, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Dave

    Wow. That's some really hard hitting journalism there. CNN has finally become the TV news equivalent of the E Network.

    August 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Mark

    So when will the piece about McCain's body language and speaking style air? Having suffered through this bit, I'm eagerly awaiting the fair and balanced coverage of the Republican spokesman...

    August 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Chaim Gogol

    You guys should look for some something useful to do with your lives – this ain't it.

    August 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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