As the tanks mass on the Syrian border, the over-coverage of the debate continues with a new guide from the New York Times to what to expect from the candidates’ body language.
Yet this guide tackles barely a handful of possible postures. Waving a ball? The pointer? Tilt and nod? There’s more to body language than that. This is the body language equivalent of, “Sorry, I don’t speak body language.” What about the myriad other ways your body can speak during the debate?
To remedy this, here are some other ways the candidates’ bodies might communicate:
Eye-roll: I find my opponent’s response boring.
Blinking: These lights are too bright.
Repeated blinking, seemingly in a recognizable syntax: T-o-r-t-u-r-e.
Gangnam-style ride-the-pony (Obama): demonstrating familiarity with “Gangnam Style.”
Gangnam-style ride-the-pony (Romney): explaining particulars of dressage.
Frenzied hand-clapping: I do believe in fairies!
Flailing with one arm: I think I’m having some sort of seizure.
Points and looks panicked: There’s a spider on my podium!
Points at opponent and looks panicked: That man is a lizard! I should not have tried Rick Perry’s back medication before coming here.
Spills water on self, begins melting: What do you know, I’m a witch!
Spills water on self, short-circuits: What do you know, I’m a robot!
Stands there stiffly, like a board that has been putting serious effort into this for months and months: I’m Mitt Romney.
Stands there stiffly, like a slightly more natural-looking board: I’m Barack Obama.
Hokey-Pokey: I, Mitt Romney, am hip and relevant, like the kids these days!
Suddenly throws arms back behind head, leaves it there: Failed effort to Dougie.
Folds arms: I’m defensive/cold.
Unfolds arms: I don’t want to look defensive, but I’m still cold.
Mimes shooting a gun: That was a zinger you just heard.
Twirls hair flirtatiously around one finger: Hello, sailor.
Twirls hair flirtatiously around entire hand: I want you to notice the high quality of my hair care.
Does backbend: You know, I used to be a gymnast, and I’m still quite flexible.
Bites finger, gazes into camera: I’m a sexy little rabbit!
Leans slowly leftward: I don’t think this floor is even.
Nods sympathetically, smiling slowly: I think I’ve just forgotten all my talking points.
Strokes rim of wineglass: I find you alluring.
Feet pointing away from you: I’m bored and plotting an escape.
Head rotates 360 degrees: I’m either demonically possessed or staff is going to have stern words for my manufacturer later.