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Body Language And The Last Presidential Election

2947 words - 12 pages

PAGE PAGE 1 Balaresque
Antoine BalaresqueProfessor XXXEnglish 1December 15, 2009Body Language and the Last Presidential ElectionOne's visual image has a much bigger impact on the audience than his or her words because it creates a much greater recall for one's message (Reiman 101). That is why a brand with inconsistent visuals seeking market may not be as successful as that with consistent visuals.In the last presidential election, the media covered more than just the campaigns as it used to do in the past. Instead, it has turned out to be a forum of en acting these campaigns. Presidential candidates face the humiliation of being patronized by media interviewers.Media houses expose these candidates' verbal and non-verbal communication cues. Moreover, journalists never lack awkward questions to put to candidates. On their part, these candidates have come to the realization that hasty and imprudent replies to any question may end up haunting them for many months. The same may be said of inappropriate body language by these candidates.The public prefers presidential candidates being put through their paces as opposed to just being carried into office (Cook 204). While this is desirable, it is often a hardening process that lacks any real rules. As a result, many candidates end up developing rote answers to most predictable questions (Pease 51).On their part, interviewers try their best to knock the candidates off balance. Television viewers get used to candidates truckling to television interviewers. Candidates' impromptu answers end up becoming the television discussion. The candidates' full speech is therefore hardly ever heard. Above all, the candidates' body language is keenly watched by the viewers.Body language played a pivotal role in the enactment of the last presidential campaign. All the candidates were trying to stand out by using specific body language techniques. It turned out to be efficient for some candidates but to be a real weakness for some others. Hillary Clinton was conspicuous by her hand gestures, Barack Obama by his posture, John McCain by his facial expressions and Sarah Palin by her winking. It is recognized that candidates' body language influences the voters. Consequently, successful candidates place a premium on it during their campaigns.Many candidates are distinguished by their non-verbal cues, such as fist thumbs and finger pointing. In the last election, Hillary Clinton was well-known for her hand gestures (Hartley and Karinch 6). She could be seen 'hammering' the air with her fists clenched so as to stress on a particular point such as healthcare.She also used smoothing motions with her palms down as if practicing the backstroke. Whenever she enumerated her opponents' flaws, she would use a crooked finger and at the same time use an admonitory gesture.Clinton often animated her speeches with numerous waves and nods (Hartley and Karinch 6). She seemed to understand how powerful one's body language is in winning the...

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