Outgoing President Donald Trump broke with tradition, turning his back on the rituals of Inauguration Day and dictating the way in which he would relinquish power. But he did it in a way that energized him in the end.
After he arrived at Joint Base Andrews, Trump opted to do away with a speech that has been prepared for him by his aides, and, instead, delivered his trademark unscripted remarks (via CNN). He thanked aides, family members, and supporters for a term Trump called a success, and as body language expert Lauren Cohen, an executive and career coach, notes, he appeared to be in his element.
“President Trump thrives when there are ceremonies and some pomp and circumstance. Getting off a jet, hearing cheers, and having fans in the audience energizes him,” she tells The List.
As a result, Cohen says, “his farewell speech had Trump charisma and he used a lot of wide hand gestures and more movement than we have seen in the past two weeks. There was a lot of wind, but even as he held the podium from both ends it was a different message than when his hands are sometimes folded and in front of him.”
Trump senses a new beginning for himself
Given Trump’s inability to accept defeat or concede, we could be forgiven for thinking that the end of his term would be a time of sadness for him, but according to Cohen, Trump’s body language spent out an altogether different message. “His body communicated that this is a new beginning for him, not an end. He put on a great face and his body language communicated that he was in control and in a good place. Even Melania took off her sunglasses, spoke for a moment, and showed different body language and some inflection in her voice,” Cohen tells The List. Melania Trump’s mood could, in part, also be attributed to her excitement at finally leaving Washington, D.C.
“Trump did his signature fist moves, waves to the crowd, and may have been fueled by the major adrenaline rush of this historic closing of his presidential chapter,” the body language expert tells The List.
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