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Empirical Evidence

An astute observer of human motivation and desires, Sigmund Freud noted

He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore. And thus the task of making conscious the most hidden recesses of the mind is one which it is quite possible to accomplish. (69)

Unreal as McCain's facial expressions were during the course of and, especially, after the third and final presidential debate, they are all too legible as evidence of a psychological disposition incapable of managing self-presentation.1 Not that we don't all make odd facial expressions, but for a Presidential candidate to do so in a national venue with an international audience does not inspire confidence. Most importantly, McCain's facial expressions speak volumes about his feelings regarding his role in US politics. I leave it to the reader to decide what these facial expressions mean given that Senator McCain made them in the full knowledge that voters were watching him in order to determine his fitness to be Commander in Chief and the head of the US Executive.2

end of article
potentially Presidential
mocking tear drop
false grin
study in contrasts
photographic misfortune

Images from Presidential Debate hosted at Hofstra University, 15 October 2008.3

1While Senator McCain is a melanoma survivor whose treatment has impaired the left side of his face such that he occasionally juts his tongue to clear saliva from his mouth, the expressions documented in the photos above are not instances of this tongue-jutting behavior, as evidenced by this video.
2 While unbelievable, the last image is genuine and, apparently, explicable if unfortunate.
3 These pictures are part of a slideshow featured on Huffingtonpost.
Works Cited

Freud, Sigmund. Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. Ed. Philip Rieff. New York, NY: Collier, 1963.



From the Monday, October 27th episode of The Colbert Report, John McCain as Igor (click on "Igor" for screenshot).