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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

George Allen's Bad Body Language

I once read a book about how to – well – how to read people like a book. Actually, that was the title of the book. It was about how to read peoples’ body language. Another tome in that genre is David Lieberman’s Never Be Lied to Again. The advice of books like this is to not trust peoples’ words but to trust their body language. Especially to observe whether there ‘s a disconnect between what they say with their words what their body language says.

Here’s a couple of obvious examples. Somebody saying a too hearty “yes, yes, yes,” to something while their heads are shaking “no, no, no.” Or telling you how good a friend you are while their hands are clenched into balled fists and their smiles are frozen on their faces. In fact, when they smile, their smiles don’t reach their eyes because it’s not sincere.

Well George Allen’s campaign has a metaphorical disconnect between its words and what it actually does that reminds me of all that talk about trusting body language. As a rule of thumb, always trust what people do not what they say. Here’s a perfect example.

George Allen just spent a lot of money to go on TV to implore journalists, the Webb campaign, and the voters to be concerned about issues rather than character attacks. His campaign has been saying for days that it wants to get off “character assassination” and discuss the issues that Virginia voters care about.

But for the past two days, his campaign has continued to run that ad with the female Naval Academy graduates who attacked Jim Webb for an article he wrote 27 years ago. That’s over a quarter of a century ago.

In fact, even Michael Shear noticed this disconnect today in this article in today's Washington Post. Here's a quote:
“A day after paying for a two-minute TV commercial calling for the campaign to focus on political issues instead of character issues, Allen said at the Fredericksburg luncheon that his Webb commercials are about ‘respect for women.’ His campaign vowed to continue attacking what they say is the Democrat's biggest vulnerability.
Dick Wadhams vowed that they will continue to run the ad because it’s important to Virginians to know that Jim Webb was against women fighting in the military or attending the military academies (a position, by the way, that is similar to Allen’s position on the subject).

Let me see, Jim Webb was negative about women in the military over a quarter of a century ago and has since changed his mind and grown as a human being. George Allen, on the other hand, made a racial slur about a month ago. And it’s part of a continuing pattern that appears to have gone on unabated since he was in high school but Jim Webb should stop the character assassination but George Allen is right to continue playing that ad because it’s different.

There’s a definition for what this is. It’s called hypocrisy. You could look it up in a dictionary.

Or you could trust your eyes about the bad faith and bad body language here.

1 comment:

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