CommCore Blog and News

Temperament and Body Language

Not since Nixon v Kennedy have we seen so much discussion about body language and temperament as in the Obama v McCain contest.

The recent Time Magazine cover on temperment in President and candidates reinforces the points. Is it a smile or a condescending grim? Is it anger or righteous indignation. Many of our friends and acquaintances have talked about who seems more “presidential” than policy differences.

What have you been picking up? Is it the American flag lapel pin? Is it the age v. youth? Before we shift the discussion to what the next President must do in the first 90 days, tell us what you make of the “temperament” issue.


Steve Hamilton

McCain looks shifty and sometimes nervous while Obama looks calm, cool and collected.

NIck Peters, SVP CommCore

The interesting thing, Steve, is that McCain has shown in the past how comfortable he can appear in a town hall setting. Yet during the second debate in Nashville — in a town hall setting — he was, as you said, shifty and nervous. Pressure at the uphill battle and the negative fallout of the Palin selection? Physical fatigue? Or is Obama just that much better at it, rattling McCain?

Thomas Dale

The “temperament” issue is very important. What people perceive you to be can be much more influential than what you actually are. Our President needs to have the ability to project a certain image day to day.

Les Blatt

I’m not sure we learn (or have learned) much from the debates, which are not debates in any classic sense. I’m also not sure we’ve picked up many clues as to temperament – as with so much else this election year, it seems to be in the eye of the beholder.

Nick Peters, SVP CommCore Consulting

Thanks for that, Alex. Very interesting link. We should spread that one around to anyone interested in communications. As to Les, well, the eye of the beholder, as you noted, is what it’s all about whether it’s substantive or not.

john elder

Obama portrays an image of intelligent poise. His campaigh has been so well managed that I hope he applies those skills to the many problems of the presidency.

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