Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2984: Florida Gubernatorial Debate (Fangate) - Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Last night, Florida's current Governor (Rick Scott, republican) and former Governor (Charlie Crist, now a democrat who previously served the same office as a republican) participated in a debate which had a bizarre beginning. It took Crist about two minutes to get on stage while it took about another five minutes for Governor Scott to show up.

I've prepared many a politician for debates, yet I've never seen this ultimate body language error - no "body" present. Wow. Both camps made mistakes, although Scott made the bigger one here. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis:

Many in the military or former military personnel would take offense to a lazy salute in a non-military context (0:39 - 0:40). Although he intended it to be friendly, this was not wise of Gov. Crist in a debate scenario.

After the moderator first addresses the issue of the fan Gov. Crist, clears his throat and covers his mouth (1:23) and then (see below) ....

.... during 1:23 - 1:24, he exhibits a very brief eyebrow flash along with a contraction of his entire forehead width.

This throat clearing, mouth cover, eyebrow flash, forehead contraction body language cluster indicate an embarrassment-anxiety of Gov. Crist.

Because Crist had walked over to the opposite side of the stage, he was not prepared when Scott finally walked out on stage and he shook Scott's hand. Crist turned his back to the audience - which is a major body language mistake. He also did not have his body parallel to Scott's which is also a significant hand shake faux pas.

Governor Crist received the first question, "Why did you insist on bringing a fan here when your campaign knew this would be a contentious issue?"

Crist answers, "Why not? <laughter> You know it's ah, is there anything wrong with being comfortable? I don't think there is. Having compassion with other people? <tongue jut> We, we did fine. Thank you Elliott."

This tongue jut signifies Crist believes, he almost got away with bad behavior - yet he was caught (5:15).

Maps and Surrogate MAPs (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) - rubbing his fingers and playing with pen - during 5:20 - 5:23. A significant anxiety indicator, particularly within the context of a high level political debate.

The Moderator asks, "And Governor Scott, why the delay in coming out over a fan?"

Gov. Scott answers, "He said, he said he was going to come to the debate - so why come out until he's ready? Well I waited, see, p- (inaudible), tell til we figured out if he was going to show up. He said he wasn't going to come to the ah, ah he was he said he was going to come to the debate - so why come out until he's ready?"

Then (5:31) Gov. Scott immediately looks down to his right - the quadrant where we tend to look when we're sad or feeling shame.

His mouth simultaneously assumes a configuration of regret

Gov. Scott's verbal explanation simply does not make sense. With lots of stuttering and misspeaking, this is highly congruent with the high anxiety of of his nonverbal behavior. This congruency is another strong indicator of deception, shame and regret.

Immediately following, during 5:33 - 5:35, Governor Scott's eyes then open very widely, with a relaxed forehead and a false mouth smile.

This nonverbal cluster indicates an extremely insincere smile. It is not to be trusted even in an otherwise honest person. If seen often - it is a huge red flag. Stay away.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2983: Shia LaBeouf on His Arrest on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1907:  Governor Rick Scott tells a Lie

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2725: Ted Nugent: Calls Barack Obama, "a Subhuman Mongrel" - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1706: Amanda Knox Interview after Guilty Verdict - Body Language Tells 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2586: Harrison Ford in "Ender's Game" - Microexpression and Macroexpression of Regret - Harrison's Brand and the Stanislavski Method

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2408:  Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via  Senators Graham & McCain -  Republican Body Language in Response to  President Obama's National Defense University Speech