Debate Body Language

Friday, October 12, 2012

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debate in Danville, Kentucky (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

We open the phones to take your calls on what you thought of the vice presidential candidates' body language in last night's debate.



Lillian Glass

Comments [33]

Gale from Nassau County

I would like to know if the caller from New Jersey is a psychologist or a psychiatrist. He states that he is in the field of "neuropsych," which would imply that he is a psychologist, but he also makes reference to his "field of medicine," which would imply that he is a psychiatrist. I make this distinction, because it is clearly stated in the American Psychiatric Association's ethical code that making diagnoses of public figures, and making those diagnoses publicly known, in the absence of a personal evaluation, is unethical. As far as I know, the American Psychological Association has no such ethical restriction, which I find unfortunate. As a practicing psychiatrist, I am concerned that such outlandish, irresponsible statements, as made by the caller, may serve to undermine the behavioral health field, and may further stigmatize those who suffer from mental illness.

Oct. 12 2012 07:57 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I was worried for Biden during the debate.

He could have broken his hip.

Oct. 12 2012 12:39 PM
Margaret from NJ

Biden,Biden, Biden - BRAVO!!! He was confident and at ease. Ryan's smirks were not enough to hide his total incompetence. The calling "Quack" was very disturbing himself. You should screen calls better.Please.

Oct. 12 2012 12:26 PM
Len from UES

@Henry from Manhattan:

I have a better one. Its about arithmetic. It takes a bit of time but you'll be thankful when you're finished.

Get two pieces of paper. Designate four columns on each paper. One column has a person earning $20K a year with no deductions, one column has a person earning $75K a year with $10K in deductions, one column has a person earned $150K a year with $20K in deductions and the last column has a person earning $1M a year with $100K in deductions.

One one piece of paper, figure out how much tax liability each person has with the current tax system.

On the other piece of paper, figure out how much tax liability each person has under the Ryan tax plan.

Compare the differences.

I'm an financial planner and I've actually done this analysis. Under the Ryan plan, every taxpayer is worse off EXCEPT the person making $1M.

Oct. 12 2012 12:10 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

They must have loaded Biden up with lots of caffeine. All those toothy smiles and face contortions and jumping on Ryans talktime made Biden look out of control.

Coverage on CNN had a clock on the lower right of the screen showing how many minutes each speaker had used. Biden took more air time than Ryan.

Oct. 12 2012 12:06 PM

Speaking as one who has worked in healthcare for over 20 years, I think the "doctor" who called in to "diagnose" Biden goes to prove that individuals in the medical professions can be as self-motivated, unprofessional, untrustworthy and underhanded as anyone else. A lesson we should all take into account in the wider healthcare debate. If he wishes to use his professional credentials to judge the fitness of a Vice-Presidential candidate he should have the gumption to give his full name and we may all judge his fitness to make such determinations.

Oct. 12 2012 11:50 AM

Oy vey! Spare me the armchair psychoanalyst Romney is the dangerous one. How would he analyse someone who says anything that works no matter how contradictory and refuses to be specific about policies that will affect us all.

Oct. 12 2012 11:49 AM
Henry from Manhattan

The caller claiming that Biden is mentally unstable? Weak sauce.

Biden was making those faces in response to Paul Ryan because those are faces that many of us want to make in the presence of Romney/Ryan rhetoric.

Undecideds. Get a piece of paper. Write down a list of issues. Write down which ticket comes closer to your preference. If you don't know their positions, then go find out, the Internet is that way ---->.

Vote accordingly.

There's nothing that hasn't been said that is going to be said in the upcoming debates and days ahead.

Oct. 12 2012 11:49 AM
Edward from NJ

The last caller reminded me of this...

Oct. 12 2012 11:48 AM
The Truth from Becky

Smirking and drinking water as if he were working out...OMG I just knew they were going to take a potty break any second!!

Oct. 12 2012 11:46 AM
William from Manhattan

I agree that last caller was disturbing. I hope he isn't really out there practicing medicine.

Oct. 12 2012 11:46 AM
Susan from Manhattan

Oh good grief, should I ever have some sort of neurological problem, I will make sure never to go to the caller who claims to be an expert in neuropsychology. I was incredulous about some of Ryan's claims. Sometimes when claims are too egregious, the only way to cope is to laugh.

Oct. 12 2012 11:46 AM

That was the weirdest call. And why are you even entertaining his idea?

Oct. 12 2012 11:45 AM
Lauren from Bed-Stuy

So: as evident in your hero image above -- Ryan smirks too. And he hides his smirk by drinking water while Biden speaks. I much preferred Biden's hiding by looking down, maintaining a serious affect, and taking notes while Ryan is speaking, unlike Ryan's wide-eyed nonlistening. He doesn't have to listen, because he is going to stay on message. I believe Biden is listening to Ryan; I think Ryan is not listening to Biden.

Oct. 12 2012 11:44 AM


That psychoanalyst caller takes the prize!

Oct. 12 2012 11:44 AM

To the caller who thought Biden was disturbing:

If you think his body language was disturbing, then he must think the entire Fox News primetime lineup has mental issues. It was practically the same kind of performance.

Oct. 12 2012 11:44 AM

Does the caller also have any thoughts on Romney's and Ryan's sociopathic tendencies? This is far more frightening than any "disorder" Biden might display.

Oct. 12 2012 11:43 AM
john from office

Brian screen your calls please, the expert was a joke.

Oct. 12 2012 11:43 AM
Joe from nearby

@caller "Bret"--

You claim to be "independent" but clearly you aren't. You're a GOP hit man sock puppet.
After're from Monmouth County. Nuff said.

Oct. 12 2012 11:42 AM
Seth Pickenstiff

This caller is the one who's a nut case. If Biden is deranged, then so is Romney - they did the exact same things.

Oct. 12 2012 11:42 AM

Come now - this "neuroscience" caller is a troll.

Oct. 12 2012 11:42 AM
Jane from nyc

your physiological expert caller needs to give his name... lawyers can use that when they cross him..

real expert... haha

Oct. 12 2012 11:42 AM
carolita from nyc

I agree with the caller who said that if Biden had waited patiently and politely for Ryan to finish, he'd have ended up just like Obama, never getting a word in, never having a chance to express incredulity. Ryan attempted so many times to twist things to his advantage, saying Biden was "under duress," turning Obama's quote about "making people run from the other party" against him, and trying to mock Biden for words "that don't always come out right," that waiting politely would not have worked. Ryan had been coached in manipulation, obviously. The debate was supposed to be about issues, not about who could be meaner and snider. That kind of behavior needed bulldozing.

Oct. 12 2012 11:40 AM

Gish Gallop my ass!

Both lied and exaggerated. For example, Biden lied on Libya denying that there was a request for more security.

Vote third party.

Oct. 12 2012 11:40 AM
Cynthia from Long Island

I am undecided. I wasn't turned off by Biden. He wasn't any ruder than Romney was last week. Everyone knows the Debates are a show, not substance. Biden put on a good one, better than Obama, Romney and Ryan put together.

Oct. 12 2012 11:39 AM

Ryan kept smirking. My wife noticed thta. I spoke to another woman this a.m. who noticed the same thing about him.


Oct. 12 2012 11:39 AM
The Truth from Becky

Stategy? Technique? He was just being Joe. Funny how for Joe it is "too much" but for Romney, he was just being more assertive! You people funny flip floppers

Flawless execution by Joe Biden!!

Oct. 12 2012 11:38 AM
Dubya from SoHo

Ryan seemed like he was trying to sell me something, like his speech should have concluded with, "If you need a lawyer to win the millions you deserve, call 1-800-555-STUFF"

Oct. 12 2012 11:38 AM
john from nyc

I thought Biden did a great job with Shifty Lying Ryan.

Oct. 12 2012 11:36 AM

I turned the sound off. Ryan looked nervous and fidgety, continually sipping water. Biden looked confident. I imagined his laughter to be commentary on what he felt to be Ryan's half truths.

Oct. 12 2012 11:35 AM
Dubya from Soho

Had Ryan behaved this way, people here wouldn't be so forgiving.

Oct. 12 2012 11:35 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

Is it not clear exactly what happened here? The handlers advised Obama to act one way. It didn't work. The handlers then advised Biden to act the opposite way. This is the depth to which political discourse has sunk. No wonder I never watch debates.

Oct. 12 2012 11:34 AM

Biden - Lots of teeth...

Ryan - Widow's peak....Forehead creases. Grimaces.

Oct. 12 2012 11:32 AM

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