Monday, July 30, 2007

Mutual Contempt

This week the appearance of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is facially coded while he is giving a testimony in front of the Senate Juciciary Committee, on July 24, 2007.

Briefly, the clip is in regard to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his questionable actions regarding his visit to the hospital to get an authorization signed by General Ashcroft for the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program. Ashcroft was under sedation and in pain after his surgery at the time of Gonzales' visit. The clip shows various types of testimony including Gonzales responding to inquiries from Senator Specter of Pennsylvania and Senator Feinstein of California.

Here is the video clip:

This first frame is showing consternation and avoidance when Gonzales is mentioning that the reason for the visit to the hospital was supposedly not regarding the terrorist surveillance program that the President announced to the American people. His eyes are closed, and his eyebrows are both raised and pinched together in a sign of fear and melancholy.

Here, in the second piture, we can see the vivid reaction of Senator Arlen Specter. Gonzales has just finished giving his reason for why he went to the hospital to visit Ashcroft. Senator Specter is showing anger and mild disgust, a combination that amounts of scorn.

The third picture is of Gonzales explaining that there are not any rules to whether or not General Ashcroft can decide if he's well enough to make a decision. When interupted by Senator Specter, Gonzales not only shuts his eyes but also reveals contempt around his mouth - reciprocating the emotional response Specter has to his testimony.

The next part is where Gonzales states that the reason for the visit was not regarding the terrorist surveillance program. Note how his outer eyebrows rise, a sign in this case of fear and sadness:
These next frames are of Gonzales explaining his purpose in visiting Ashcroft at the hospital. While subtle and more visible if seen in video format on a split-second basis, the movement of note here is that the right side of his face pulls wider in an expression of fear:

Gonzales reacts here with feigned surprise when Senator Dianne Feinstein asks, "You don't know?" in an almost sarcastically surprised tone to Gonzaeles's statement that he will have to get back to her regarding how many U.S. Attorneys he approved to be fired.

Lastly, we can clearly see by looking at Senator Feinstein's face, that her mouth is showing disgust along with disappointment in response to Gonzales' claims. In other words, she's disillusioned.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Will he or won't he run?

These video snippets were taken from the announcement made by Michael Bloomberg, current Mayor of New York City, concerning his departure from the Republican party. He is now an independent, which brought rise to questions concerning whether or not he would be entering the presidential race.

The photo on the top denotes a basic, middle level anger expression. This reaction reveals Bloomberg's response to being asked repeatedly by the press whether he will run for president.

The second photo shows a tight lipped smile. While Bloomberg's hardly has an easy-going personality, here he seems to be enjoying the "media circus" at least a little.

On the third image, Mark Bloomberg is showing some contempt for the "media circus." On one hand he likes it, while on the other he dismisses it.

The bottom photo shows him with a true smile on his face. This is an example of how much he absolutely likes the limelight, fueling speculation that he might in fact run for president despite the annoyance portrayed initially during his news conference.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Face of the Week - Clinton, Obama, and Giuliani

Clinton & Obama

This excerpt from the Democratic presidential candidates' debate held on June 3rd, 2007. The excerpt shows Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's responses after John Edwards has sharply criticized them for not being more outspoken against the war in Iraq on the floor of the Senate.

As you can see here, Hillary Clinton started with a full, social smile, seeking to negate Edwards' attack. Very soon after the smile starts fading. The way the smile turns into a grimace as it fades betrays the extent to which it was not a true smile to begin with.

At the same time, Barack Obama showed some anger and dismissal. Obama turns his head away from Edwards and his lips appear to tighten together in a slight sign of frustration with Edwards' attack.


This excerpt from the Republican presidential candidates debate held on June 5th, 2007. the excerpt shows Rudolph Giuliani's reaction after being read a quote in which a Rhode Island priest has compared Giuliani's position on abortion to Pontius Pilate's personal opposition to the crucifixion Jesus Christ but allowing him to die anyway.

First, note that the normal resting position of Giuliani's mouth is in the form of a disgust reaction with the corners of the mouth turned down (top photo). In the middle of this question, he shows a look of frustration (2nd photo). The 3rd photo shows very intense anger with the lips pressed firmly together while looking down shows signs of sadness. Giuliani finally settles on a smile toward the end of the question (bottom photo).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

It's a new blog!!!

Welcome to the Face of Politics blog. Every week we will analyze some of the facial expressions displayed by some of the presidential candidates. It should be fun, interesting, and unique. So please be sure to check back each week to see what's new in the Face of Politics.