Experts: Obama's body language favors Cuomo over Paterson
President Barack Obama didn't explicitly endorse Andrew Cuomo Monday, or disparage Gov. David A. Paterson.
But what the president didn't say spoke volumes, body language experts said.
While Obama said nice things about the governor, during a speech in Troy about technological innovation and the economy, his nonverbal language was unmistakably pro-Cuomo, they said.
"His body language is endorsing him to take over," said Janine Driver, president of the Body Language Institute in Washington, D.C.
After studying a 21-second video of the introductions, another expert, Patti Wood, of Atlanta, called the differences in Obama's remarks about the two men "startling."
Even Obama's description of Paterson as a "wonderful man" seemed halfhearted, she said. He sped through the sentence and uncharacteristically slurred the words, she said.
"It's an indication that you don't fully feel the statement," said Wood, author of "Success Signals."
Speaking about Cuomo, however, "His whole countenance changed," she said. "A big old smile went across his face."
Driver said Obama, while speaking about Paterson, maintained his position facing the podium. Then, turning toward Cuomo, Obama smiled and gave a thumbs-up, she said.
"Possibly what happens here - and it certainly happened for me - is that you forget all about Paterson and you want to know more about Cuomo," Driver said.
She said Obama's opening remarks about the governor seemed decidedly unfriendly.
"He doesn't compliment him, he compliments 'the great state of New York,' " Driver said.