Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a smiling problem, according to a prominent body language expert.
While some political commentators have argued Clinton has an authenticity problem because many voters believe she is not honest or trustworthy, Tonya Reiman, author of The Power of Body Language, says Clinton’s smile indicates she is covering up what she is really thinking.
“Hillary Clinton has a problem with smiling,” Reiman told CBS’ Inside Edition. “She smiles just to mask her emotions she doesn’t want you to see. This is a social smile.”
Reiman explained how she can tell Clinton’s smile is not genuine by looking at a smiling picture of the former secretary of state.
“There’s not much movement around the eyes, and the lips aren’t really elevated–they’re across but not high up.”
Reiman contrasted Clinton’s smile with that of her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt), whose smile the body language expert believes is real.
“Bernie Sanders is authentic, he’s always genuine,” Reiman said.
Pointing to a picture of a smiling Sanders, Reiman described how one can tell the smile is genuine because “he’s got the creases, the cheeks are raised but it’s not as big as it typically is when he’s thoroughly happy.”
Sanders has much to smile about these days after trouncing Clinton by over twenty points in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night. The Vermont Senator also virtually tied the former secretary of state in the Iowa caucuses, which was a victory of sorts for him.
Clinton, who is still the Democratic frontrunner, was the presumptive party nominee for months and was dominating every national and state poll. Sanders, a self-declared socialist, has surged in the polls recently, however, and has carried his momentum to strong performances in the first two voting states.
Clinton has been battling low poll numbers when it comes to her honesty and trustworthiness, in large part because of the ongoing FBI investigation into her private email server and the controversy surrounding her role in the aftermath of the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Sanders has also targeted Clinton’s close ties to Wall Street, mainly citing the millions of dollars in speaking fees she has accumulated from financial firms, including $675,000 from Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs for three speeches.
The Democratic primary has largely focused on which candidate will target Wall Street more strongly to address income inequality, and Sanders argues Clinton’s tough rhetoric on the subject is hollow because she shares corporate interests.
This has all contributed to a belief among some voters that Clinton is not genuine and will take whatever stance is politically convenient for her, a point that Sanders supporters assert. Reiman’s analysis of both candidates’ smiles adds to this growing perception.
While Clinton’s smile has yet to undergo scrutiny on the campaign trail, her laugh has garnered some attention.