Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3226: Bobby Jindal Jumps In the 2016 Presidential Race - Puts "Family Meeting" online - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Bobby Jindal made it official today - he's running for President. He's the thirteenth republican to vie for the White House in the 2016 race. No one was surprised by this announcement - not even his family.

The current Governor of Louisiana's announcement is the most bizarre, low-energy, ill-advised and poorly thought-out modes of declaring candidacy ever seen for such a high office.

The 1:49 second video appears to be some semblance of a family-meeting, yet most of the family for the majority of the time was emotionally uncomfortable - including the candidate. The video seems to be clandestinely recorded. And while, as a campaign tactic, this certainly won't win him points with privacy advocates - it is creepy across the board (and whose foot is that on the far left of the video?).

The person we see the least of all is the Governor himself - as he positioned himself behind a tree limb. From a nonverbal perspective, this sends very strong signals of emotional dissonance - like a child hiding behind his mother's skirt at a public gathering, not wanting to be fully seen. This nonverbal alone projects very low confidence. In addition - it's a fundamental nonverbal axiom, that the less we see of a person - the less we trust them - which of course is congruent with the apparent secrecy. If he wanted to use such a video, he should have been seated facing the camera.

For about 5 seconds (0:30 - 0:35) the Governor leaned forward in his chair (when he said to his two sons not to tell to anyone at baseball or soccer - more than a bit ironic - holding his children to a different standard and letting everyone see this).

Mrs. Jindal maintained a position in the middle of her chair - not against its back, yet not fully forward either. Along with her hands hiding below the table - this cluster projects low emotional comfort and non-disclosure. She felt "on display" and with high likelihood had foreknowledge of the video. The Jindal son at the right was the only one seated significantly forward. He was also the only one with his hands above the table. The Governor displayed low-trust and high anxiety with his hands on the front of his thighs (briefly on his knees) throughout the video's duration. This MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) would also be a huge red-flag if this were a business meeting or negotiation.

If both parents would have been seated-forward at the table (taking a cue from their one son), then the other children would have been more engaged. This would also been more and engendered affection. Hugs, hand holding, high-fives, smiling and sincere laughter would have been spontaneous. The laughter here was in large majority nervous and lacking sincerity.

0:41, just after Gov. Jindal says, "... we have decided that we will be running for president this year."

Yet very low energy was projected by everyone.


Thumbs-up illustrator given by the son in the bright yellow-green shirt. He also appears to have a sincere smile when his mother asks, "What do you think about that?"

The Jindal's daughter displays a "hand-shrug" when her mom asks, "What about you?" - at 0:48.

In this context this body language indicates she isn't sure or she doesn't care. If the Governor wanted to show his children as part of this announcement for his candidacy for President of the United States - there's absolutely no way this universal nonverbal display should have been included.

In summary, Bobby Jindal sent strong signals of low confidence, low trust and secrecy on an occasion when he should have been projecting high confidence, assertiveness and openness. Moreover the family image and/or idea of the Governor as a loving family man backfired big-time with this heavily botched announcement.

Time for damage-control.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3225: Fox News Reporter Pete Hegseth Accidentally Hits Bystander While Throwing an Ax - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3224: Jordan Spieth, the U.S. Open, and a Classic Fear Expression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2657: Keanu Reeves's, "47 Ronin" and a Hesitancy to Discuss - a Key Body Language Tell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2595: Barack Obama's Emotional Dissonance, Low Confidence and the "Turtle Retreat" - He Does Not Want To Be There

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2939: Barack Obama in Tallinn, Estonia - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2016: Hillary Clinton, Roosevelt Island, Building Rapport and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3127: Hillary Clinton's Press Conference and a Body Language Down-regulator of Sincerity