When Lauer asked if Bush, after a slow response to Katrina, was "trying to get a second chance to make a good first impression," Bush blinked 24 times in his answer. When asked why Gulf Coast residents would have to pay back funds but Iraqis would not, Bush blinked 23 times and hitched his trousers up by the belt.What's it all mean? Probably that the guy's stressed out. With tanking popularity, a widening corruption investigation in the White House, mounting casualties in an ever-more-unpopular war, and attacks from all sides on his ludicrous Supreme Court nomination, you've got to forgive the guy a stress-induced crackup once in awhile.
When the questioning turned to Miers, Bush blinked 37 times in a single answer -- along with a lick of the lips, three weight shifts and some serious foot jiggling. Laura Bush, by contrast, delivered only three blinks and stood still through her entire answer about encouraging volunteerism.
To me, sussing meaning from someone's body language is a bit like reading tea leaves, so take this with a grain of salt. More and more people are wondering if Bush's frequent tics, blinks, and jaw grindings are indicative of some problem (stress, deceit, drug abuse, mental instability). This video is pretty strange, showing an odd, seemingly uncontrollable jaw movement when Bush finishes certain sentences. And today's Washington Post analyzes the president's downright fidgety interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show the other morning:
at 9:48 AM