Sunday, September 28, 2008

McCain and monkeys

I thought this was an interesting post and was just experiencing the same thing with my new rotation (it's in a monkey behavior lab). However I think they are drawing the wrong conclusions and McCain's lack of eye contact seems to just be a technique to unnerve his opponent. McCain doesn't even look in Obama's direction, thus, to my mind, expressing a lack of interest rather than submission. What I experienced with the monkeys was a somewhat different lack of eye contact. With the monkeys, they would trace an "aura" around your face, never making direct eye contact, but would certainly orient themselves towards you when you spoke, expressing interest. It seems McCain is just trying to put Obama off balance and distract him rather than actually feeling submissive. I've definitely avoided eye contact in a debate for this precise reason. If the person starts wondering why you aren't looking at them or if they are being boring then they might lose their train of thought. Not terribly certain if it works but its worth a shot and it allows you to focus on their words and not their non-verbal communications as well.

Or maybe he had to go to the bathroom, he is old after all...

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps this is not the purposeful tactic that Chris Mathews made it out to be, and which quickly became dogma. To the contrary, it is a well known and time-honored practice in the Senate, and in most other Western parliamentarian bodies, to speak to another member through the Chair, who is sometimes literally named "the Speaker," as in "the Speaker of the House." It is a practice considered both formal and respectful, and thus perhaps not surprisingly alien to Chris Mathews.


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