From holding hands to a kiss on the lips, Joe and Jill Biden put on an affectionate display at yesterday’s inauguration.
The couple, who have been married for 40 years, looked ‘confident and comfortable’ both together and as individuals as they led the proceedings in Washington. D.C., according to body language expert Judi James.
Speaking to Femail, Judi analyzed the Bidens’ behavior and explained how it marks a return to genuine warmth and affection in the White House after four years of the ‘rigid frostiness’ often seen between Donald and Melania Trump.
‘Like everything that Donald Trump did in terms of presidential body language rituals, he flipped that look on its head by appearing allergic to any public displays of affection with his wife Melania,’ she explained.
REASSURING AND PLAYFUL: ‘Biden’s elegance and confidence as he sat alone in his chair on the balcony was obvious,’ body language expert Judi James noted. ‘But there was still one spontaneous-looking moment when Jill leant forward and placed both hands on his shoulders in a very relaxed, familiar gesture that looked part-fun and part-reassurance based’
EMBRACING THE MOMENT: Joe and Jill Biden looked emotional as they hugged in front of the entrance to the White House
BY HIS SIDE: President Biden put an arm around his wife as they watched the fireworks from the White House balcony
RIGID FROSTINESS: ‘Like everything that Donald Trump did in terms of presidential body language rituals, he flipped that look on its head by appearing allergic to any public displays of affection with his wife Melania,’ Judi explained. Pictured, the Trumps leaving the White House
‘It was only recently that there was any tactile behavior between the Trumps and it only extended to some hand-holding and small steering pats.
‘Sustained eye-contact was rare and their lack of the use of tie-signs, like subtle touch and eye-gaze rituals to communicate and choreograph silently in public, led to those stand-out moments of poor choreography when Melania was seen to be flicking her husband’s hand away as he reached out to grab it.
‘In their four years in the White House the Trumps’ one-dimensional relationship signals gave little if any clues about their relationship or their life together once the cameras were turned off.
‘You could never imagine them kicking their shoes off and sharing a pot of tea together at home but with the Biden’s you absolutely can.’
Here, a closer look at the unspoken signals the Bidens gave yesterday…
A KISS THAT REVEALS A TACTILE RELATIONSHIP
EASY AND AFFECTIONATE: Judi said of this affectionate moment: ‘They kissed comfortable on the lips after Biden took his oath of office and, unlike our own political leaders, they seemed to perform that kiss relatively easily rather than awkwardly in front of the world’s eyes’
EMOTIONAL: Dr Biden looked tearful as she folded herself into her husband’s arms. Right, the pair share a kiss
PLANTING A KISS: Jill Biden took control and planted a kiss on her husband after he was sworn in as president
PRIVATE MOMENT: Despite being on the world stage, the Bidens found it easy to show their affection for each other
After Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on a family bible held by Jill, the couple shared a quick kiss in front of their family, the crowds and the eyes of the world.
‘The pair seem to be naturally tactile,’ Judi noted.
‘They kissed comfortable on the lips after Biden took his oath of office and, unlike our own political leaders, they seemed to perform that kiss relatively easily rather than awkwardly in front of the world’s eyes.’
MIRRORED BEHAVIOUR SHOWS LIKE-MINDED THINKING
TEAMWORK: Judi noted Jill and Joe Bidens body language signals a return to a ‘team-minded approach’ to the offices of the President and First Lady, as seen in their mirroring above
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STEPPING IN TIME: One signal of Jill and Joe Biden’s synchronicity is the way they mirror each other without even thinking
Judi said: ‘The Trumps’ mirroring would usually only involve a very formal pose of standing to attention side by side but the Bidens seem to mirror one another in their more natural moments, whether they are embracing or waving together to the crowds.
‘This ability to mirror and to perform spontaneous touch like Jill’s shoulder-touch at profoundly important moments like the inauguration suggest very high levels of like-minded thinking and a well-established relationship.’
This could be seen when the couple waved to the crowds on their arrival at the White House.
GENTLY DOMINANT RITUALS
QUIETLY CONFIDENT: ‘There was a sense of comfortable confidence about her yesterday and she seems unafraid to perform gently dominant touch rituals on her husband,’ Judi said
RIGHT BEHIND YOU: Judi said Jill’s impromptu decision to reach out and touch her husband was done to reassure him
BIGGEST SUPPORTER: Dr Biden had a look of ‘grown up affection’ as she watched her husband in action yesterday
‘Jill’s body language defines her as very independent entity who will support her husband, but without any of the cloying, over-congruent signals of adoration,’ Judi noted.
‘There was a sense of comfortable confidence about her yesterday and she seems unafraid to perform gently dominant touch rituals on her husband.’
AN INDEPENDENT FIRST LADY
LEADING LADY: ‘Jill Biden’s body language suggests she has a core of steel of her own,’ Judi said. Pictured, Joe and Jill Biden arrive for the inauguration at the Capitol
‘Jill Biden’s body language suggests she has a core of steel of her own,’ Judi said.
‘Being referred to as ‘Doctor’ suggests a conscious desire to promote her own intellect and career rather than just marketing her as her husband’s First Lady.
‘Melania’s trophy wife image appeared to place beauty and fashion over individual personality and career but Jill shows signs of being very much a successful woman in her own right.
‘The title of FLOTUS might just be one more to add to her titles rather than becoming the only one.’