Vice President Joe Biden’s distasteful laughing and facial contortions in Thursday’s debate are reminiscent of Al Gore’s ill-timed sighs in the 2000 presidential debates against George W. Bush, according to GOP strategist Mary Matalin.
Gore’s negative body language hurt him against Bush, and Biden’s could hurt the Democratic ticket this time around.
“That condescending, smirking, laughing — it was akin to Gore’s sigh,” Matalin said on CNN Thursday night.
Others felt the same way, Politico
reports. “Biden is at risk of having his laugh come across like Gore’s sighs,” Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter during the debate. “He should knock it off.”
Non-partisans felt the same way. “I’m not sure what that was — a smile?” Katherine Hall Jamieson, a professor of political communication at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Washington Post, referring to Biden’s smirking. “Not really, not a laugh, either. And actually not a grin. It was really just something that said, ‘I have an answer to that and I’m holding it.’”
Lillian Glass, author of the upcoming “Body Language Advantage,” agrees. “That mugging, those condescending looks — it was a complete turnoff,” she told The Post. “He was bullying, he was smug, he interrupted . . . I think he lost a lot of his message based on facial gestures.”
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