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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Non-verbal communication in politics

Clothes make the man. During the initial Obama/Biden political rally in Springfield, Illinois, Barack Obama and Joe Biden communicated a lot through their sartorial decisions. It has been stated by many fashion experts of the world that colors express emotion. You will see in the photo below the significance of their tie color choices.

Notice the red tie on Obama, the light blue tie on Biden and the crisp white, rolled sleeves shirts and both without jackets.

Red ties communicate strength, aggression and force. Blue ties communicate confidence and trust. Rolled sleeves are common amongst politicians when they want to portray themselves as fighters---ready to get their hands dirty to help the American people.

Obama has been dogged by detractors as being soft and idealistic. Biden is labeled as loquacious and aggressive. The mere fact that both wore tie colors in contrast with their standard demeanors, is an effective strategic communication strategy. Obama would typically be linked to the blue tie, whereas Biden would normally be associated with the red tie.

Watch the speeches and you will see a more aggressive Obama, repeatedly rapping against the podium, forceful hand gestures, something he often does not do. Also, notice how Biden runs across the stage and seems at great ease in his role. His task---- to bring working class Americans to the voting booths for Obama/Biden 2008.

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