Keller @ Large: Body Language Expert Analyzes Obama, Boehner, Others

BOSTON (CBS) – Body language can tell you a lot about someone, especially politicians and troubled celebrities.

WBZ’s Jon Keller spoke to body language expert Don Khoury about the body language of politicians and what it can mean.

Khoury analyzed how the top politicians have looked during the debt ceiling crisis.

How has President Obama looked?

Part 1:

“He’s not as smooth as he normally is,” said Khoury, analyzing a particular piece of video from a recent press conference about the debt ceiling debate. “His movements are more rapid and jerky. He’s using his finger more than he would normally use it. He just doesn’t seem to be as comfortable as he normally is.

How about House Speaker John Boehner?

Part 2:

“He wears that (pink/purple) tie often when he wants to deliver a strong message,” said Khoury, analyzing a video of Boehner at a recent press conference. “He wants that pink to soften his message.”

Khoury went on to analyze Casey Anthony along with local figures like Alan Khazei and Jeff Mullan, among others.

More from Jon Keller
  • mikey

    President Obama and all the misfits serving in Congress should be featured in a movie: “Clueless in Washington.”

    I’d like to kick their cans down the road. What a pathetic bunch of politicians, not a statesman among them.

  • tsal

    He isn’t smooth because he sees the idiocy of the right side of our government and their willingness to bring this country and democracy to its knees to keep the wealthy and the corporations in power at the expense of the average American. How can anyone watch this and be at ease.

  • Willow

    And this is an exact science….right?

  • Willow

    I’m guessing that this man thinks that according to body language, Casey Anthony is innocent, right?

  • Stuart Kurtz

    Dear Mr. Khoury (Dr. Khoury?):

    For about 7 years now I have been railing against body language experts for the way you all reduce the complexities of human behavior to a code.

    I believe you cannot tell more about a person from body language than from words. The President is under great pressure and getting little sleep, so that will have an effect on his gestures. It doesn’t mean that he has no conviction, nor do Congresspersons’ head shaking mean that they are disimulating.

    A job interviewer once followed me out of the office and held my elevator back to proclaim that I was nervous in the (five member) interview. She said, “When someone is nervous, I think they may not be telling me the truth!” Nonsense. “Lady,” I wanted to say, “Are there times when a person might be nervous? For example a groom approaching the alter. So, that means, by your account, that when he says ‘I do,’ he doesn’t mean it. Might someone be sweaty and nervous in a job interview? Compound that by not one interviewer but five.”

    Don’t you encounter people who seem tense or fidgety or testy and feel, “What did I say to make her upset” Then you find out that person just lost a relative or a job, and that it had nothing to do with you?

    You present body language as an exact science. If so, it would be admissable in court. Now it can only add to demeanor of the accused/witness to help with the psychological state of the subject, but it is not an accurate scale.

    We have enough codification of our likes and dislikes by marketers. Psychological testing on job interviews purportedly can create profiles of applicants. We do not need to be reduced to another restictive and pervasive code. Thank you.



  • Naughty Gitty

    I think all this fuss about body language is not helpful, as it is predicated on arbitrary values. Observation of it depends also on the present emotional state of the observer, just as scientists say that experiments have to have a little allowance for the experiment itself, since the act of experimenting changes the substance.

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