go out of their way to try and bring back the Big O's swaggering image.
And they do so by bringing in sycophantic readers of -- wait for it -- body language.
President Barack Obama was intent on getting the upper hand as he greeted Russia's Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit on Thursday, according to body language experts who watched the frosty exchange.
From a jacket-buttoning pause to a hard-pumping handshake, Obama displayed tell-tale signs of dominance after he alit from a limo in front of St. Petersburg's Konstantin Palace, where Putin waited to meet him, communication experts said…
Tonya Reiman, who has written three books on body language, said Obama extended his hand at least two seconds before Putin did.
"This is a show of power," she said. "In addition, he leans in toward Putin with his upper body, placing himself slightly into Putin's personal zone. Notice Putin pulls back ever so slightly, which indicates that Obama has the upper hand."
During the handshake, they pumped up and down 18 times, said Joseph Tecce, a psychology professor and body-language scholar at Boston College.
"The handshake is very tense. The 18 may have been an attempt for either one to show dominance, to say, 'Don't fuss with me," he said. "Or they are saying, 'Look, we are shaking hands, we're good — an attempt to establish what is not real."
Wood said Obama grasped Putin's hand from underneath so he could bring it up to him.
"That says, 'I’m in charge here. I’m going to run the show," she said…
He said that Putin nodded 10 times during the encounter, tilting his head down even though it would have made more sense to look up at the taller Obama.
"Putin is intimidated by Obama, Obama is not intimidated by Putin," Tecce said…
When the encounter was over, Putin remained standing outside the palace as Obama walked inside.
Reiman noticed that before Obama strode off, he raised up his arm, which she labeled a sign of dominance. "Putin looks down — another sign of submissive behavior," she said…
Pretty laughable stuff, especially when NBC tries so very hard to make this malarkey sound credible. I mean, does anybody really think that Vladimir Putin, the hard-bodied thug who cut his teeth (and, more relevant, the teeth of others) as a KGB officer is intimidated by a community organizer with a weak golf swing and a constant need of vacation?