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Political Posturing: Radar's State of the Union Body Language Decoder

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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In a shocker to naysaying pundits who predicted a Bush bomb last night, the POTUS pulled off his strongest State of the Union address yet. ("Confident" and "relaxed" seems to be the general consensus.) But his nonverbal cues told a different story, says renowned body language expert Patti Wood, author of Success Signals.

George W. Bush, she says, was positively seething.

"He still did his little sticking out his tongue thing—I stopped counting at about 50," Wood says, adding that the gesture is a sign of passive aggression in most people. "It says, 'I want to hit you, but I can't because there are people watching.'"

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Then there's the the tongue-thrusting, sour-puss wearing Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "The fact that she did not control her emotions says how strongly she feels about Bush."

And the blinking, good God, the blinking—up to 70 blinks a minute ("Normal is 23," says Wood.) Was that Morse Code? (Watch the clip, above.) "I think part of it was that she was wearing false eyelashes, but it typically means nervousness."


After the jump, Wood's minute-by-minute analysis of what the faces and gestures of Bush, Pelosi, and Condi Rice were really saying.



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