After President Obama speech two days ago at the National Defense University, Republican leaders gave their responses. The video above encapsulates John McCain's and Lindsey Graham's opinions; and although Kelly Ayotte's verbal response cannot be heard here (read transcript of her response here), her nonverbal responses were very telling.
Beginning at the 0:50 mark, Senator Graham says, "... I believe we're in a War that's not winding down ...". Immediately after this, Senator Ayotte rapidly reaches up with her left hand and rubs and/or scratches the top of her neck & base of her skull. The configuration of her arm does not leave her armpit exposed. While she maintains a fairly stoic poker face (but not perfect - see below) the display of this body language MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) is strong indicator that Graham's Statement is causing the junior Senator from New Hampshire some significant anxiety. It is particularly rapid (almost as if she was bitten by an insect) and also noteworthy is the direction of her elbow - pointed at Graham.
Now go back a few seconds to the 0:46 mark and watch carefully. At 0:49 just as Sen. John McCain says, "... Al Qaeda will be with us for a long time ...", the corners of Kelly Ayotte's mouth (more prominent on her left side) momentarily tighten primarily laterally and slightly upwards (without a nostril flare) in a fantastic example of a microexpression of regret. As with all microexpressions this it very evanescent and subtle. Some may mistake this nonverbal for a display of contempt - however in this moment she feels regret.
What other very telling body language did you see in the video?
Why are John McCain's facial expression sometimes asymmetric?
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