Cool Hand Barack

If one image can illustrate why Barack Obama is on the verge of winning the Dem presidential nomination, this one from last night's debate could be it.

View video here.

Not only does it represent the epitome of good-natured cool, it comes in stark contrast to the patented glare that Hillary aims at those who draw her ire. We've often illustrated the death-ray genre here at NB; you'll find a representative image after the jump from last night's debate.

Obama's gesture speaks largely for itself, but let's don our amateur body-language expert hat:

  • Hillary is saying something with which Obama strongly disagrees and to which he feels the need to respond. But Barack doesn't bother even glancing at her.
  • Far from glaring, he breaks out in a smile that is pleasant, not exaggerated for ironic effect.
  • Like a good student, he politely raises his hand and asks for his turn to speak.
  • But so self-assured is Obama, he doesn't even raise his head to make sure his gesture's being noticed -- Barack's confident people are paying attention.
  • And as for being ready from day one, Obama even manages to demonstrate his multi-tasking ability, jotting notes all the while.

A winner's gesture. Call him Cool Hand Barack.

Note: trying to fall asleep last night, I played the debate over in my mind and had chosen this moment to illustrate how and why Obama had won. I figured the media would overlook it, and had already drafted a headline along the lines "MSM Ignores Obama's Winning Gesture." But up it popped on Today. Score one for NBC.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.