Back in the days when the memories of the 2008 primaries were fading and Hillary was Secretary of State, some readers used to get lonely for her when she was out of the public eye for a few days. I used to post thematic slide shows here in those days so they wouldn’t miss her so much.
When I came upon this “cultural study,” I simply had to respond.
When Hillary Clinton told her audience at a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday “Here’s what I believe,” she punctuated those words with not just a vocal flourish but a physical one. Up went her hand, placed over her heart.
It’s a gesture unfamiliar from her past campaigns, but it’s a favorite this time around. In Columbus, Ohio, and Omaha, Mrs. Clinton spoke of her late father, and up went her hand, placed over her heart.
At the Democratic National Convention, when she took the stage to wild applause, she cued the audience on how grateful, moved and humbled she felt by putting her hand to her heart, once, twice, then a third and fourth time.
It’s a subliminal message of sincerity that some language experts consider contrived.
I am a language expert. I taught applied linguistics for more than 25 years. That includes paralinguistic devices such as kinesics (gestures and facial expressions) and proxemics (use of space). I contend that in Hillary’s case it is neither contrived nor even conscious. In fact it is not new. Here is something I posted back in 2010. 2008 supporters will recognize a familiar photo from that campaign.
Hillary Rodham Clinton often mentions her heart. There are cultures, countries, causes, people that are close to her heart. She works her heart out. Her heart breaks – or threatens to. She says what is in her heart, and she loves her country with all her heart. Often, she touches her heart in a gesture that touches mine.
WASHINGTON – JANUARY 21: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a speech on internet freedom at the Newseum on January 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. Five United States senators are publicly urging Clinton to move faster to support organizations that are helping people in countries with restrictive internet policies circumvent those policies. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington February 24, 2010. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the session of Middle East mediators from Europe, the United States, Russia and the U.N. in Moscow, March 19, 2010. The quartet met in Moscow seeking to defuse the latest crisis in peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin (RUSSIA – Tags: POLITICS)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) attends the Middle East Quartet meeting in Moscow on March 19, 2010. The international Quartet for the Middle East met in a bid to revive the peace process despite tensions after Israel’s announcement of new settler homes and a deadly rocket attack. AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R) lay a wreath at the Korean War Memorial on the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War in Washington April 12, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES – Tags: ANNIVERSARY POLITICS)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures while meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at the prime minister’s residence in Islamabad October 28, 2009. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood (PAKISTAN CONFLICT POLITICS)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 22, 2009, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington April 22, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
WASHINGTON – APRIL 30: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Capitol Hill on April 30, 2009 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony from Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates on proposed 2009 war supplemental appropriations. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton answers questions during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Friday, June 5, 2009, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters after her meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the State Department in Washington June 5, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) arrives on March 31, 2009 with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen (L) for the start of the international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague. Afghanistan’s international backers, including Iran, are gathering to try to bring new impetus to efforts to combat the Taliban-led insurgency, help spread democracy and rebuild. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT VOS – netherlands out – belgium out – (Photo credit should read ROBERT VOS/AFP/Getty Images)
Will they ever stop over-analyzing Hillary and just accept her for who she is? Alessandra Stanley needs to read this post. The cynicism of the media when it comes to Hillary is just awful – seems to be in their DNA..
Let’s not forget, Hillary carries hot sauce in her purse-hot sauce!!
Okay, I never understood that one.
But, let’s prepare ourselves for eight years of this nonsense (if the Gods smile on us and fate is kind.)
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