Reading Hillary Clinton’s body language when she talks about the email debacle

September 1, 2015

The faces of Hillary Clinton: The left side is images from her campaign launch in New York, June 13, 2015. The right side has shots from her Las Vegas news conference, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Archive

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faced repeated questions about her use of a private computer server for emails while secretary of state during her recent Las Vegas news conference. Her discomfort with the topic was evident — especially if you compare her facial expressions in Las Vegas to her June 13 campaign launch announcement in New York. You can see the sharp contrast if you watch both events with the sound off, focusing on Clinton’s facial expressions and body language.

Clinton is described, by both supporters and critics, as “brainy,” “tough” both personally and politically. In Las Vegas, however, her expressions were more like a tired boxer’s, slightly off-balance and woozy.

For relatively long stretches, given that she was holding a news conference, Clinton repeatedly closed her eyes. By itself, that facial muscle activity is a sign of sadness. But add to this how often she also raised her eyebrows, in ways not necessarily emphasizing her comments. This was unusual for her. And it usually signifies both sadness and anxiety.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures after she delivered her "official launch speech" at a campaign kick off rally in Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City

Hillary Clinton gestures after her official launch speech at a campaign kick off rally in Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park in New York City, June 13, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Back in New York in June, however, Clinton had been crisp, polished and forceful. Fully two-thirds of her launch announcement news conference involved her either smiling happily or showing resolve – as when she talked about how she would move America forward.

But the Las Vegas version was a startling contrast. There this veteran politician closed her eyes — perhaps signaling she was weary, maybe wanting the email debacle to just go away — roughly nine times more often than she smiled. And her smiles were usually compromised by her simultaneously making an ironic or even sarcastic remark. Normally a confident speaker, the Las Vegas Clinton betrayed an equal number of instances in which her mouth pulled wide in a classic look that can signal fear.

Yes, Clinton’s been known to have a temper. But in Las Vegas any strong signs of anger — when the muscle below the lower lip bulges — were almost matched by the number of times Clinton’s mouth hung open in surprise. She seemed almost stunned at how long media focus has remained on the server issue.

Her hand gestures in the two news events were also remarkably different. During Clinton’s launch announcement, she demonstrated textbook retail politics. She was firm and in control. Reading from prepared remarks, she crisply emphasized parts with in-command finger pointing and miniature hand chops.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks on as she speaks during a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada

Hillary Clinton during a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker

The Las Vegas Clinton was, in contrast, awash in loose hand gestures that expanded and contracted, dipping and weaving. She would pull toward her chest when she came back to her theme that she had done nothing wrong.

What to make of it these contrasts between the two news conferences? Even as Clinton in Las Vegas raised her outer eyebrow, which can often indicate fear, she insisted, “I’m very comfortable.” While she said, “I want the American people to see everything,” she closed her eyes. On that impromptu, Nevada give-and-take, we saw a hesitant, less combative Clinton. The old Clinton may well have been, in Obama’s infamous words, “likeable enough.” The new Clinton used a Ronald Reagan line in Las Vegas, “facts are stubborn [things?].”

Whatever she may have wanted to shield from public view by using her own email server, what Clinton’s can’t hide is that she’s now deeply discombobulated.


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Stick a fork in her…she is done. I hope she does prison time and think she will.

Posted by rls247 | Report as abusive

She looks and sounds like a middle school principle; when she gives a speech she nobs her head up and down like she is giving out the rules for the students on how to line up for the cafeteria properly.

Posted by J4ck | Report as abusive

Awww. Poor Shrillary. So sad. NOT.

Posted by | Report as abusive

But she already has her super-delegates locked in. oops this is all for show, don’t you know.

Posted by shaygirl | Report as abusive


Posted by 35millville | Report as abusive

I’m tired of seeing this pancake makeup on TV every night, with the fake smiles and insincere rhetoric. Her track record speaks for itself. But, considering what people voted into office the past two terms, she does have a chance to become president. Obama already offered free cell phones. I wonder what she’s offering to buy votes?

Posted by microboob | Report as abusive

The ones feeling sadness and anxiety are the Dem voters

Posted by jwden | Report as abusive

H_____y is controlled with an array of remote bots. Every move she makes/word she says is designed to throw off observers. So much of this story is designed to cover up this fact. Its a Reuters story folks and they will do their utmost to shield their darling.

Posted by no-mo-libs | Report as abusive

Give the woman a break. At her age all this stress has got to affect her.

Posted by cooldela | Report as abusive

Hillary for Prison 16!

Posted by Bob76 | Report as abusive

Brainy? Only in the dreams of her admirers.

I would not be surprised that if there is a bit more pressure she cracks. If Biden gets in and pushes her she could crack on live TV.

She has had flare ups in the past and her true nature has come screaming out – will again.

Posted by JNH67 | Report as abusive

She should have already been charged and sentenced to spend 5-years in a room with Rosie McDonald.

Posted by freddylee1 | Report as abusive

All I ever see is resentment, arrogance, and anger.

Posted by KevinStowell | Report as abusive

Prison would give anyone indigestion

Posted by irishjohnny | Report as abusive

I do not think she is capable of remorse in recognition of her own actions.

I do think she has realized the plebeians are holding her to the laws that apply to them.

Posted by NeilLynch | Report as abusive

So we’re supposed to vote for her because she’s “sad”?
Every problem she has she created through her paranoia and ingrained corrupt nature. She’s only sorry and sad that she’s getting exposed and her lame excuses are upended with the next week’s revelations.
Obama is pushing her out of the race, and will likely offer a pardon to this “sad, old woman” in exchange for her keeping her mouth shut and dropping out “because of health issues”, or “sadness”, or “spend time with her grandchild”, or whatever they think the idiot electorate will swallow.

Posted by NedReid | Report as abusive

One thing Clinton always does when she’s lying is to look down or around instead of looking at the person asking here a question. Follower her eyes when she has a news conference and you’ll see what I mean.

Posted by Maxwell48098 | Report as abusive

Hopefully there are not enough militant feminists, welfare leeches, illegals and other societal “victims” to nominate her, much less elect her.

Posted by OracleJones | Report as abusive

More disturbing is the fact that some actually support her.

Posted by DualBag | Report as abusive

Keep wearing orange Hillary… the official color of prison.

Posted by dave70 | Report as abusive

This is what Political Masochism looks like. From this, there is no escape.

Posted by GuidoV | Report as abusive

It is painful to watch the demise of a woman who has “clawed, lied, stolen and believe entitled” for the presidency. It is even more painful to watch a political party “back, support, defend and encourage” a corrupt “caught in the act” candidate as their standard barrier. Please don’t make me live in a very painful America – by voting in this failure and misfit.

Posted by Bibianna | Report as abusive

HRC is an old and tired boxer who has been in the ring too many times and too many years. Yes, indeed, age begins to tell and in her case, age will become a burden to heavy for her.
I would not be surprised that her health will decline and she will have no choice but to ask her seconds to through in the towel.
That is a TKO.

Posted by Longdrycreek | Report as abusive

“In Las Vegas, however, her expressions were more like a tired boxer’s, slightly off-balance and woozy.”

She looks like that all the time to me.

Posted by MS240 | Report as abusive

uh. Don’t read ’em too well do y’all. Her body says liar and believe me. Her eyes lust for power. A thing she cannot hide.
Nero and Caligula would not let her near themselves.
Democrats want to elect her. Enough said.
I cannot believe Obama was twice elected. Voters are so dumb.

Posted by OdinsAcolyte | Report as abusive

If Hillary isn’t imprisoned, public cynicism will skyrocket and country will suffer in ways we can hardly imagine today.

Posted by sarkozyrocks | Report as abusive

Does this woman not have a conscience? It would be more appropriate if she confessed her guilt.

Posted by indianatown | Report as abusive

Brainy? You have to be kidding! As Sec State she is so incompetent she can’t even figure out what is classified or not classified? She can’t even follow the law in guarding classified information? If she were anyone else her security clearance would have already been pulled, and like Petraus she would be in front of a judge with a lawyer.

Posted by Sambamalam | Report as abusive

Her INCREASED STRESS makes everyone happy. :-)

Posted by DickRitalin | Report as abusive

I would love to see Hillary debate Carly Fiorina.

Posted by dexterpie | Report as abusive

Personally, I will vote for anyone who promises to prosecute this woman to the fullest extent of the law as well as Obama, Learner, Holder and the rest of their cadre.
Gowdy for Attorney General? Yes please!!!!

Posted by Heartlandman | Report as abusive

The last time I looked, the Democrat Limo ws filled with Ancient 1960s Hippies, chock full of their old, twisted, economically unworkable self-aggrandizing ideas. They seem to be on a fool’s mission to recapture their wasted youth at the expense of future generations. Grandma Hillary needs to find her vocation in life, a Madam. She has enough experience managing Bill’s ladies.

Posted by thk | Report as abusive

Hillary the anointed…now not so much. Even the dems have figured out that she lies too much for their liking, and that is saying something.

Posted by mark77 | Report as abusive

“Hi I’m Hillary. My body language says “Wide Load Ahead”. I mean, behind. And I’m a big fat liar.”

Posted by doctorfixit | Report as abusive

I don’t see the sadness, I see the madness.

Posted by imfreakingout | Report as abusive

This woman needs to be charged with felony charges and convicted. Obama destroyed general Patraeus was drummed out of the armed forces for a crime similar but much less than Hillary’s crime. Her emails were read by the chinese and russians and caused national harm. Patraeus crime was showing his biographer his schedule. Jesus, were are the damn liberals now?

Posted by libsukbigtime | Report as abusive

Not one supportive comment here. That is telling.

Posted by tougar | Report as abusive

Nixon in a pantsuit.

Posted by RightWingYahoo | Report as abusive

Due to Hillary’s incompetence as Secretary of State, four Americans were murdered by rabid Muslims in Benghazi…she then had the gall to stand beside their coffins and tell the victims loved one’s that the attack was all because of a video. LIE! She and Obumbler knew almost immediately that the attack was a well planned co-ordinated operation. But then, “WHAT DIFFERENCE AT THIS POINT DOES IT MAKE?!!”

NEVER expect a democrat, especially Hillary Clinton, to tell the truth.

Posted by CmdrBuzz | Report as abusive

Please add anger, vindictiveness, egotism, and deceitfulness to Hillary’s attributes.

Posted by sstflyer | Report as abusive

She is going to get hammered. Look at what happened to David Petraeus.
I don’t like her at all, but that has nothing to do with her email debacle. Like her, love her, or hate her, she was wrong on this one. It shows a strange and complete disregard, even unawareness, of security.

Posted by Cleveland2012 | Report as abusive

Frustration over getting caught, and that she can’t do whatever she wants? Perhaps

Remorse over breaking the law? Never

Posted by FreeKansan | Report as abusive

Levenworth… Ready for hillary

Posted by semk | Report as abusive

Hillary for Prison

Posted by semk | Report as abusive

Thought filter check

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

Yep, only certain comment get published

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

Psychology is fake and so is reading body language and facial expressions.

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

All the candidates are old, tired, and angry.

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

Hillary looks old be cause she is old.

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

LOL! Like we NEED to read her body language to know she’s a lying, cheating criminal! The whole Clinton family is a walking crime wave. A living, breathing scandal.

Posted by DonMcCoy | Report as abusive

LOL! Like we NEED to read her body language to know she’s a lying, cheating criminal! The whole Clinton family is a walking crime wave. A living, breathing scandal.

Posted by DonMcCoy | Report as abusive

LOL! Like we NEED to read her body language to know she’s a lying, cheating criminal! The whole Clinton family is a walking crime wave. A living, breathing scandal.

Posted by DonMcCoy | Report as abusive

LOL! Like we NEED to read her body language to know she’s a lying, cheating criminal! The whole Clinton family is a walking crime wave. A living, breathing scandal.

Posted by DonMcCoy | Report as abusive

You left out “stupid”.

Posted by chiliboots | Report as abusive

Can you hear my tiny violin?

Posted by WEM | Report as abusive

what’s the big deal. She’s a congenital liar and thug – perfect potus material

Posted by chardest | Report as abusive

Reading Hillary Clinton’s body language when she talks about the email debacle…suicide imminent.

Posted by dwhit29 | Report as abusive

Remember her outrageous remark about Benghazi, she got away with that and just assumes she is above the law. Most senior politicians also believe they can pass anti constitutional legislation and to hell with what the tax payers think. So far they have been successful due to the Socialist dictator style of government that Obama has managed to get away with. Hillary and Bill have been putting up a smoke screen for years, catering to other world leaders for more wealth and power under the guise of the Clinton foundation. Non political business owners and doctors getting such huge percentages of the polls proves that people are tried of career politicians.Ben Carson is probably our best hope and Trump is just too much about himself to ever save this nation. Giving Hillary a cell with Obama and his wife would be a good start. Then hold trials for all the politicians who have violated their sworn oath and administer prison terms on the severity of the crime some of which have been traitorous acts. The openness and public ways that these violations have been administered just proves how untouchable they think they are.

Posted by oldloggerak | Report as abusive

She is certainly not “normally a confident speaker.” She’s stiff, brittle, uncomfortable in her own skin, and habitually condescending — in short, Nixonian. There’s nothing appealing about her as a candidate, ever.

Posted by Insecure | Report as abusive

Anxiety? Clinton has a lot to be afraid because she is a criminal. “The wicked flee (i.e. even) when no one is pursuing.” (Proverbs 28:1)

Posted by Jack49 | Report as abusive

I disagree with your take on Hillary’s body language. She is running in the race for the 2016 White House like there is no tommorrow and this is taking her all over America. So she is tired at times. Look for the media to start talking about Hillary’s great come back in April and stories like this will be long forgotten

Posted by cooday | Report as abusive

Hillary is a pathetic bag of bones & lard – how could any sane person even consider putting this corrupt weathered old hag in the White House?

Posted by gts58 | Report as abusive

Hillary – time to call if a day! You’re 15 minutes of fame is all used up! Go home Grandma and spend time with your grandbaby!

Posted by gts58 | Report as abusive

GOP deletes 22 million emails. Whines about Hillary… again. flashback-rove-erases-22-million-white-h ouse-emails-on-private-server-at-height- of-u-s-attorney-scandal-media-yawns/

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Seems to me she could be charged any time now right? I just don’t think they want to

Posted by WayneSwift | Report as abusive

Or maybe, she is just tired of all this BS.

Posted by Trenaenae | Report as abusive

“Ms. Clinton you confirm that none of these classified e-mails end were supplied to supporters of the Clinton Foundation?”

Posted by jaspercat1 | Report as abusive

Kind of amazing how idiots still support this lady…

Posted by thebruce | Report as abusive

Hmmmm….let me see what other people say about body language… According to 6former CIA operatives, one big red flag is:
3. Hiding the mouth or eyes
A deceptive person will often hide her mouth or eyes when she’s being untruthful. There is a natural tendency to want to cover over a lie, so if a person’s hand goes in front of her mouth while she’s responding to a question, that’s significant. Similarly, there’s a natural inclination to shield oneself from the reaction of those who are being lied to. If a person shields her eyes while she’s responding to a question, what she might well be indicating, on a subconscious level, is that she can’t bear to see the reaction to the whopper she’s telling. This shielding may be accomplished with a hand, or the person might even close her eyes. We’re not referring to blinking here, but if a person closes her eyes while responding to a question that does not require reflection to answer, we consider that a means of hiding the eyes, and a likely deceptive indicator.

Posted by cynccook | Report as abusive

Thunder thighs Hillary is indeed UGLY, externally as well as internally.

Posted by 49er | Report as abusive

Hillary, Oh Hillary. Don’t forget your pledge (In this case, the press)You know,the one about ’embracing our enemies’.

Posted by flackjacket5 | Report as abusive

If the Democrats were smart, they’d find a way to expedite the dumping of Hillary. She’s a boat anchor on them.

Posted by mbolce01 | Report as abusive

well we are sad that she is still here! please go away.

Posted by farfel | Report as abusive

I am an expert in body language too. I have learned to read when Obama is lying. It’s subtle. His lips appear to be moving….

Posted by ScottyGunn444 | Report as abusive

She is NOW discombobulated? She has been scattered and unsure for decades now. It is so obvious. I honestly do understand why she is even running. Why? It is like her and Bill do not know how to just live away from the spotlight.

Posted by leaveacomment | Report as abusive

I thought closing your eyes and looking away was a body sign of lying…. lack of eye contact..

Posted by dianarae | Report as abusive

I’m sad there are missing emails.

Posted by LilB | Report as abusive

Happily, she’s toast.

Posted by midiaa | Report as abusive

A look a Hillary and you see a person that is not capable of running a garage sale, let alone be our pres.

Posted by BobS64 | Report as abusive

Powell and Rice turned over no emails at all. Suddenly the GOP is into emails? Haha. Good luck.

You guys must really love losing elections. Donald Trump? A birther is your candidate? Awesome. Run him. See what happens.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Hillary has the twice the public support that Trump does in America. Remember that Trump only appeals to the extreme fringe of his own party. Clinton’s is broader within her own party, and she’s a centrist candidate.

So keep knit-picking with these silly allegations, instead of developing policies for the middle class. See what happens :) Maybe Karl Rove will have some brilliant predictions about a GOP win again. Haha.

GOP = professional election losers.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Ultracons have Trump. Libs have Hillary. Rational people have Bernie.

Posted by Munderwood | Report as abusive

Only the naive conspiracy whacks expect prison for Clinton. Political obscurity is the most likely outcome.

Posted by Munderwood | Report as abusive

She’s past her opportunity – Obama took that from her. She should have just quietly gone into retirement.

Posted by Munderwood | Report as abusive

Trump is the only GOP candidate that really comes close to beating Clinton in the polls. Gotta make you think – especially if she’s as bad as the ultracons say. Trump? Really? LOL.

Posted by Munderwood | Report as abusive

clinton is a pathological liar and truly evil. She is the perfect democrat.

Posted by steveb. | Report as abusive

“I had to run. They gave us a LOT of money. They MADE me run!”

Posted by gjmowery | Report as abusive

Fox News quality junk article.

Posted by Valfreyja | Report as abusive

So stiff, so phony. That phony smile is what she had to plaster on her face when Slick Willy came home from one of his dalliances reeking with the smell of another woman with one less cigar tucked in his front shirt pocket. She had to deal with that for the past 30 years or so.

Posted by BarryBamboozler | Report as abusive

Hillary did not have email issues eight years ago yet she lost to a black junior senator. She needs to ask herself “Would I buy a car from a salesman I don’t like?”!

If she truly thinks her explanation for using private email would be accepted, she must think most voters are stupid.

I’m on the far far left.

Posted by FarFarLeft | Report as abusive