The Corner

Touching

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“I haven’t watched the tapes enough to know for sure, but looking at the still on the Drudge Report, there may be some dominance games going on there. In particular, Kerry’s touching of Edward’s face is a very dominating move. Face caresses among primates are familial — mates or parent/child interactions. An adult male touching another male’s face asserts parental level seniority and dominance. Most of the pics on the Drudge site convey this sort of dominance message (to me, at least).

I saw in the Washington Times an article that claims this is a focus group generated maneuver to make Kerry seem warmer. If my read is correct, it won’t work…. and it could have a negative subconscious impact on many male witnesses.

It also says something to me about Kerry’s need to make it clear who the boss is. (I noticed, by the way, that Theresa reached across in one photo to full the youngest Edwards child’s thumb out of his mouth, so this dynamic may already spread across the families.) My guess would be that all the family warmth they’re trotting out right now will wear pretty thin for some of these folks before the campaign is over.”

ME: This makes some sense to me. At times Kerry has seemed all but ready to pinch Edwards’ cheeks–affectionate, but kind of demeaning.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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