But Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos pressed the candidates hard enough to cause an interesting phenomenon to manifest itself in both Clinton's and Obama's body language. That phenomenon was the head tilt.
When Obama was asked about his 'God and guns' comment his head tilted, angling to the right. He did it again when his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, was the subject of several questions. Through much of the debate, he kept tilting his head.
Clinton did a much better job of keeping her head level. But like Obama, she tilted her head when she was asked about statements misrepresenting her Bosnia experiences.
Does this mean anything?
Two McGill University researchers hypothesized that "when a head is bowed, the face should be perceived as submissive, sad, displaying inferiority emotions (i.e., shame, embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, and respect)....Conversely, a raised head should be perceived as more dominant and displaying greater superiority emotions (i.e., contempt and pride)...."
I'm writing this as the debate takes place, so this is being published online before the post-debate deconstruction of the candidates' performances takes place. So the declared 'winner' is unknown to me at this time.
But keeping in mind that women are more closely scrutinized for their body language cues more frequently than men, the fact that a level head is demonstrated more consistently by one candidate over the other says something to me as a woman and as a voter.
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