Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2641: John McCain with Protesters in Kiev, Ukraine - You Feel Safe There? (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Senator John McCain is currently in Kiev, Ukraine. He is speaking directly to the protesters - whom for a month have been very vocal and in large numbers objecting to their President's (Viktor Yanukovych) desire and intent to strengthen socioeconomic ties to Russia as opposed aligning with the European Union.   

McCain appeared this morning on "Face the Nation" where somewhat off-handling he was asked by Bob Schieffer (beginning at 2:19), "... Ah, We have seen scenes all week, some of these look like the scenes from the movie 'Les Misérables', ah, out there in the streets of Kiev, ah, I know you think you're bullet proof, but do you feel safe there Senator?"

McCain replies, "Ahhh I always feel safe Bob, I, I, I've told you in the past, I know I'm going to die but it's only going to be in bed."

At 2:34 as he says, "... always ..." and again at 2:35 - 2:36 as he says "... I, I, I've..." he shrugs - primarily with his left shoulder.

A shrug is an example of what is known in body language parlance as an "Emblem". An emblem has an excepted and specific meaning within a city, country, region or cultural group. Some emblems are universal or nearly so. A shrug is just such an emblem (here a partial emblem since it is mostly with his left shoulder). It is a nonverbal indicator of: "I don't know", "I don't care" or "What Does it Matter?".

In the context of a declarative statement - here, "... Ahhh I always feel safe Bob ..." this shrug strongly suggests doubt McCain has in his own words. That is, Senator McCain does not feel safe in the midst of the Kiev Protests. Note also when he shrugs in greater amplitude as he says, "... I, I, I've..." he is stuttering - which when particularly clustered with a unilateral shrug, is also strongly highly suggestive of doubt, deception and/or self-deception.

Mr. McCain's suffers from the residual effects of a peripheral Cranial Nerve VII palsy (probably Bell's palsy) on his left. This makes his facial asymmetry difficult to interpret. Shrugs can have a number of components - several on the face, the hands - and even the legs and feet.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2583: German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle - Is Your Cell Phone Being Tapped?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2379:  Bill Clinton's Speech at the  George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening  Body Language of Former and Current President

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2308:  Bill Burr on Conan O'Brien -  Body Language of the Abbreviated Shrug

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2623: Kim Jong-un Impersonator - A Valuable Body Language Tell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2414:  Sen. John McCain after his Trip to Syria -  Body Language of Regret and Contempt 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2195:  Sen. John McCain's Body Language when  Comparisons made between Condoleezza Rice to Susan Rice &  War with Iraq to Benghazi, Libya Attack

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2464:  Gen. Martin Dempsey (Chairman U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff) Sen. John McCain and The Self-Righteous Torso Wiggle Body Language on Capitol Hill

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1267:  John McCain, Sarah Palin and Bell's Palsy