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. dodo

    As the author of this nonsonse ,I think you're an idiot. Why do you keep creating nonexisting controversisies, you can't think of something more relevant to write about that is going to help voters decide? Or maybe you're just as dumb as some people and so it es easy for you to write tabloid news and dwell on stupid coverages rather than focusing on complex issues that really affect and will continue to affect people's lives when this election is over. Please stop the nonsense!!

    August 27, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Jon Cruz

    A body language expert? What is this, Fox News? Come on, CNN.

    August 27, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Cool Jewel

    I thought Bill's body language was much more interesting. What's up with that guy?

    August 27, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. sam

    this is Fox New nonsense. what is with yout 24 hour newsies and these ridiculous "body language" stories. this is not news and all it serves it so add an element of opinion that doesn't need to be added to an already opinion-laden style of news reporting.

    Stop with these stupid stories.

    August 27, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. TyWebb

    Unbelievable! A new low!

    August 27, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    The election campaigning has really become ugly, mainly emanating from the supporters and the rank and file rather than from the candidates themselves. The emotions are running high and for some, honesty, integrity and personal quality are not things that they want to be handicapped with. I loved what Richard Dreyfus said in expressing that all he wanted to see was the truth and a return to the high integrity that has been missing for some time. I agree with him that the only way for that to happen is to elect Barack Obama as the Republicans, spoiled by too much for too long, have become corrupt, grossly dishonest, arrogantly self-indulgent and without conscience, really cocky and exceedingly bold. I’m sure some of them will quietly take that as a compliment. The truth is, as you can see in these blogs, as you see in the slander and false attacks and just in the garbage that is used to avoid dealing with the real issues and the candidates honest positions, the quality has been literally reduced to a gutter level. The trouble is that the media loves it and how it helps their ratings, so they feed it rather than exposing it for what it is. I would hope that the public could see through all of it and then view it with disgust and condemnation, giving their support to the candidate running the higher quality campaign. I don’t know if that is happening though, as consistent with one of Karl Rove’s philosophies, the offenders just keep saying it boldly, loudly and often, intending to sway some even though it isn’t the truth. The real trouble is that the Republican arrogant and unconscionable self-serving ways will only get worse should they win and we will not only have more of the same (Bush-Cheney policies) we experienced over the last eight years but they will be emboldened and the average American will loose even more ground. What needs to happen is that each voter looks inside of themselves and when they are exposed to the garbage and the attempts to manipulate their thinking, they recognize it, reject it and instead become disciplined to objectively and rationally make their own decisions based on the real issues. If that can’t happen, if the average American can’t intelligently discern what is actually garbage offered with the intent to deceive them, then we may be destined to a continuing Republican dominance and a progressively deteriorating status for the average American. And by the way, the average American category also includes most Republicans who are not of the select few but rather are those who are sold the idea that ‘conservative’ is good and represents benefits only for Special Interests and a select few, and that ‘liberalism’ is bad even when it benefits most Americans and in part is aimed at bringing up those who are down, enabling them to join and help in a productive economy benefiting everyone.

    August 27, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. VS

    Why don't we just ask her if this is true? Does her body language really explain her true feelings?

    August 27, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. M. Bryan

    Experts? Sounds more like plain old criticism to me, and a crock at that. If this is the best CNN has to offer, I will just have to get my
    news from C-Span.

    August 27, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Chris

    This is why I have switched to C-SPAN and stopped watching the coverage on CNN! Hillary delivered a sincere and unifying address last night. Stop looking for a division where there isn't one.

    August 27, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Deborah

    Oh, you forgot to analyze her pantsuit color choice. You're slipping.

    August 27, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Sandy

    Cool – you're right – Bill is fun to watch when there's no microphone. His whole attitude shows in his face and his body. Ha ha ha

    I like him, but he's in the past. Good advisor on some things, but one can never know when he will veer off course (so to speak).

    August 27, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Taruna Agarwal

    GOD! Whats CNN come to...this?

    As crappy as the Bush Adimistration...
    I didnt know CNN has got the Bush flu.

    August 27, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. King George

    I watched CSPAN the whole time and some time switched to CNN to see that CNN tended to show commentaries instead of the speeches.

    MSNBC had better commentaries by Keith Oberman and Rachael Maddow. In the end, all these TV stations are businesses making business decisions to keep people watching.

    The beauty of it is that you get to make your own decision about what to believe. I appreciate free speech and support non-profit orgs for that matter.

    Enough with the obvious. Analyzing Hilliary's body language is too little too late now. What else do we expect her to say? I'm no expert but I sense that she has not fully recovered from the frustration and loss from the primaries. She's a person and not machine that can switch emotion on demand.


    August 27, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Lisabeth

    CNN is really losing its edge. I used to come here every day to read all of the articles. Now I am very disillusioned with the lack of objectivity in their reporting. They are constantly looking for headlines, anything to stir the pot, even if it doesn't exist. If they really want to be known as the best political team on television, they would not be so sensational. If you are tired of this, head to C-SPAN or PBS – you won't miss it.

    Your coverage CNN has felt very disrespectful to the Democratic party and to Barack Obama and really to Hillary Clinton. Is the person who wrote this piece of trash a psychologist specializing in interpreting body language? It is a joke.

    August 27, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. luketheduke

    If the annointed one loses it is because someone convinced him to run without the necessary experience ......... she did all she could to help him.

    August 27, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. tito valentino

    Am an Obama supporter but hillary clinton won my heart yesterday. I no longer think the problem is from her or Barack Obama. THE MEDIA is the problem. They played her so as to lose and they are doing the same thing to Obama. God bless hillary clinton.

    August 27, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Russ

    Good Lord, CNN! Quit letting the Republican pundits drive this event and let's move on! Enough already. Clinton did what she had to do and people will vote as they wish. They ALWAYS do that. This is a democracy. Get over it. Obama '08!

    August 27, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Shannon

    More than what Clinton's body language said, we should look at the actions of the Obamas. They preach hope and change, they talk unity, but when Hillary Clinton called Michelle Obama after her speech, Mrs Obama wouldn't take the call. This is the same Mrs Obama, who was on the stage in her pretend voice trying to say we are all the same, and that the Obamas are all about uniting us. Who would vote for these phony people. Are NBC and CBS making the phone call situation up, I don't think so, did CNN make up the story about how Obama called all the VP choices on the short list personally, but left it to a staff member to call Hillary Clinton. One thing is certain with the Obamas, they will always say one thing and than do another. It's the only thing they won't flip flop on!

    August 27, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. JP2Feminist

    Hillary's body language???? PLEASE!!!! She is a Jennifer Granholm wanna-be!!! Compare the oratory skills of the governor of Michigan to those that Hillary morphed into, and you won't find much difference. Remember that Hillary took speech lessons during the primary race and finally found her hair style. JOKE IS ON US! Take a look at her on a "bad hair day." She's still the same ol' Hillary.

    August 27, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. DJ Los Angeles

    Wishful thinking by the big $ lobbyists and Republicans

    August 27, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Marj

    Too many "know it alls" in the media. The only thing not talked about is what the color of her undergarments meant on what she really wanted to say in her speech. Watch CSpan and think for yourself.

    August 27, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Chris

    After seeing her speech, the Democratic Party made a huge mistake in not making her the nominee

    August 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. jj

    The ticker should read " What did Michelle Obama's body language reveal last evening?!!!!

    August 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Was anyone paying attention to Michelle's face? This woman could not have looked more unhappy. She could have at least faked a smile while Hillary was sucking it up and endorsing Obama! Who cares if Hillary didn't blink as much as we wanted her too, or if he cheek bones were too high...she is out of the race! Focus on the people who are in it CNN.

    –Hillary supporter, still deciding on Obama.

    August 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. arby1

    I stopped watching CNN back during Desert Storm when Wolf was not censured. However, regarding this commentary...body language aside, what you heard from Hillary's tongue was a touchy-feely speech that offered nothing concrete – the same deficiency she shares with Obama's candidacy. 80% was centered squarely on 'Me/Myself & I' and 20% was "Oh yeah, and I support Obama, so too should you". As we all know, the devil of all political platforms is in the details. I'm thinking that perhaps she was handed the gilded puppet strings in exchange for the VP slot as she alluded that her previously unfulfilled visions (and rightly so) somehow matched Obama's goals–socialized health care, etc. Not once did I hear in that 20% of speech that she felt Obama owned solidly crafted goals with responsible paths to effect them, nor that he had what it takes to occupy the Oval Office.

    Now, if you really want to talk body language, did you take a look at good ol' Billy when on camera(?)... blowing kisses, saying 'I love you' over and over, grinning like a Cheshire cat made me think he was going to wet himself. With the VP deal Hillary probably brokered his multitudes of on-camera shots...maybe that's what kept him in his seat so they didn't have to go searching for missing female staffers.

    In today's politics, however, all the posturing about numbers of houses and buying adjacent property is meaningless as there hasn't been a 'clean' politician since the dawn of politics – it's the nature of the beast. Each one "bests" or "worsts" the next. We do need, however, to discern where the personality/character flaws impact our true future. I can't find a candidate who reflects my positions on issues dear to me. But in the end, I'd rather be guarded at 3:00 AM by a lion than a lamb.

    August 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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