The Eyes–and Hands–Have It

The State of the Union address was last night–the one chance each year for the President to directly address the Congress and tell them just what he thinks.


Or not.


But I didn’t watch. I’d actually decided not to watch the speech because the messages and the images and the response were going to be the same tired rhetoric voiced over and over by both sides for the last four-plus years.


So I’ve been reading some of the follow-up, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything Earth-shattering. But when I found this article, I realized I would have watched the speech if only CNN would have had instant analysis by a body-language analyst.


Why? Because then we could have instantly known if Obama was telling the truth or lying. Or if Boehner is just upset at that moment, or if he’s always that grumpy looking. Or, even better, that Nixon blinked like a madman during his resignation speech:

Typical human blinks per minute: 20. GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole in the 1996 presidential debates: 147. Former president Richard M. Nixon giving his resignation speech: “an eye blink storm” on a par with schizophrenics, according to Boston College psychology professor Joe Tecce.

Yep. That’s REAL useful information. Where the hell are these people when you really need them? Of course, in the case of Nixon, that’s probably not telling us anything we already didn’t know.


But I think that could be a real public service by the news organizations. Couldn’t you just picture this exchange:


Wolf Blitzer: Dr. Smith, what did you make of that gesticulating by the president in the third paragraph of the speech?

“Well, Wolf, I think the president really indicated there that he’s sincere about gay marriage. Or that he forgot to go to the bathroom after the pre-speech enchilada.”


Wait. Maybe that’s better left to the PBS NewsHour. Or maybe these people just have too much time on their hands.


See you tomorrow.