Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2168:
John Sununu's Comments on
Colin Powell's Endorsement of Barack Obama -
Anger, Anxiety and Contempt

John Sununu was interviewed by Piers Morgan on CNN on Thursday 25 October 2012. One question he was asked was how he felt about Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama. His response, now well-known, was that the former Secretary of State was motivated by racial bias. 

     Sununu:  " .... and frankly when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether 
                    that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason
                    for preferring President Obama."
     Morgan:  "What reason would that be?" 
     Sununu:  "Well I think that when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of
                    being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."

Sununu's Body Language is noteworthy. At the 0:45 mark, just as Piers asks the question, Sununu displays a tongue protrusion. This is indicative of anxiety and here also is suggestive of disgust. Shortly thereafter, at 0:47 mark, the former George H.W. Bush White House Chief of Staff displays a great example of lip compression - a nonverbal which is highly specific for the emotion of anger. His eyelids open very wide for a split-second here as well, indicating an intense anger level - that of rage. Sununu also shows subtle signals of contempt at this same time (left side of mouth, nose & mid-face).

During the first forty-four seconds of this clip, Sununu blinked an average of once every 2.2 seconds. When the subject of Powell's endorsement was raised (the final forty-two seconds) his rate of blinking increases to once every 1.4 seconds. Both blink frequencies are elevated significantly over normal, and particularly with the further increase demonstrates a strong and well known nonverbal tell of anxiety.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2167: Colin Powell Endorses President Obama - His Body Language Display of Anxiety, Contempt & the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle 

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 813: Ask Osama Bin Laden Appeasement

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2164: Mitt Romney's Disgust Display regarding President Obama's Relationship with Putin and Russia - ".... I'll give you more flexibility after the election ...."

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2146: Biden vs. Ryan Vice Presidential Debates - Both Candidates Displayed Body Language of Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2148: Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan and the "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" in the Vice Presidential Debate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2155: Body Language Tells at the Second Presidential Debate - Mitt Romney at Attention & President Obama's Disapproval-Subtle Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2045: Disgust in New Delhi

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1841: Disgust in Response to Rep. Barney Frank's "Hoodie" Joke 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1496: Tiger Woods' Disgust, Body Language & Biofeedback

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2161: Body Language of the Third Presidential Debate - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - What Did They Do With Their Hands When They Weren't Talking?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152: Second Presidential Debate - Barack Obama's Duping Delight - Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" - Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence