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Body Language in the Vice Presidential Debate

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Vice Presidential Debate Scorecard continued...

 

"Palin did a better job than in any venue we've seen her yet," Roberts tells WebMD. "Especially on the very first answer, holy mackerel, she came out strong and confident and so sure of herself." But Roberts gives Biden the edge, because he effectively used repetition to strengthen his message of the "fundamental differences" between the two tickets.

Goman says both candidates did an exceptional job of getting their messages across. Palin wanted to talk about her record and be identified with Main Street America. "Everything she did, from her body language to her stories to the way she answered questions, drove into that message." Biden wanted to equate John McCain with "another 4 years of the last 8 years ... and he did that very well."

Koegel agrees that Biden and Palin were equally effective, but he says "hammering" McCain too often may have diluted Biden's message of where he himself stood on the issues.

2. Speech Pattern: Did the candidates sound conversational without awkward pauses?

 

Roberts:

Palin - 4

Biden - 5

 

Koegel:

Palin - 4

Biden - 4

 

Goman:

Palin - 5

Biden - 5

 

Average:

Palin - 4.3

Biden- 4.6

 

"They both sound conversational in totally different styles," Goman tells WebMD. "Palin's style says, 'I'm just like you.' Her colloquialisms, such as 'doggone-it,' were effective for that message." Biden's style, Goman says, sent a different message: "I'm knowledgeable and passionate. I'm not intimidating, but I'm vice presidential."

Koegel says Biden's style probably played very well with supporters of the Obama/Biden ticket. "I think Palin's style would have a better impact overall," he says, "because your average Joe six-pack" could relate.

Roberts gave Palin a point off for sounding too hesitant at times. "When she didn't feel secure about her answer, her voice got very hesitant and a little shaky. You did not hear that with Biden; [his speech] was calm, cool, and collected throughout the presentation."

3. Tone of Voice: Did the candidates sound confident but not arrogant or angry?

 

Roberts:

Palin - 5

Biden - 4

 

Koegel:

Palin - 3.5

Biden - 4

 

Goman:

Palin - 3.5

Biden - 4

 

Average:

Palin - 4

Biden- 4

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