A Reminder: This website serves as an objective reference source for the science and art of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc. are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others' body language as well as the projection of one's own nonverbal skills in many different contexts - not to advance any political or religious agenda.
Ted Cruz has leaked the fact that tomorrow he will formally announce his 2016 candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Politics aside, the freshman Senator from Texas has absolutely no chance to win either the Republican nomination - let alone the White House. One non-political reason is - while he's very good at stirring up emotions, Cruz lacks even a fundamental understanding of building likability and rapport - and the psychology behind it. Without such knowledge and ability, no candidate will ever capture a significant fraction of that middle 1/3 of the electorate.
One example of this interpersonal blind spot is demonstrated above. This image was captured last month at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference - of course a very friendly audience for a republican candidate - yet even here faux pas abound.
Note Cruz is pointing his index finger towards the audience. Forefinger (index finger) pointing is universally offensive across all cultures on the planet - so even if a republican is in front of a conservative group - THIS BODY LANGUAGE WILL ALIENATE. Moreover his finger pointing is the only thing preventing his hand from forming a full, closed-fist. Such an 80% fist is another high-tension illustrator which destroys rapport. In addition Cruz's arm/fist is raised - further drawing tension. And while perhaps solidifying his hardline followers, this gesture pushes away the vast majority of any possible "maybe voters".
Another profoundly important nonverbal principle demonstrated in this image is the correlation between the Senator's face and his hands. When the emotions are sincere - hand tension will tend to strongly mirror facial tension - and vice versa. When the emotions are being feigned - the hands and facial stress levels will very often be quite disparate. Thus we can conclude absolutely that Senator Cruz's anger and disgust displayed on his face in this moment are indeed very sincere - for this anger is reflected by the configuration of his left arm, fist and forefinger - yet these will not build rapport or get him the swing voters he or any candidate needs.
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3133: The Red Flag of Robert Durst's Body Language
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2150: Body Language Advice for President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2963: Barack Obama at the United Nations General Assembly regarding ISIS/ISIL, 24 September 2014 - Body Language Faux Pas
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2596: What Motivates Ted Cruz's Regarding Anti-Obamacare, Body Language Tells on Jay Leno