Body Language Expert Reveals The Truth About Kamala Harris And Joe Biden's Relationship

If there's one thing we all know about politicians, it's that they will tell us exactly what it is they think we want to hear. While you can't please all of the people all of the time, they're darn well going to try — or at least try to please the majority of their constituents to the best of their ability (aided by the results of the latest opinion polls). 

While we can't always trust what comes out of any politician's mouth, it is a lot harder for them to try to script their body language. In fact, when watching a campaign speech, we can often gain insight by watching what the politicians do rather than listening to what they say.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden's relationship in the past

Mark Bowden, a human behavior and body language expert, thought it would be interesting to analyze how Joe Biden and Kamala Harris seem to be getting along now that they're playing on the same team. He says that in the past, when they were competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden's body language (looking down and away) during a June 2019 debate (via YouTube) shows that he is either dismissive of Harris or ashamed of her accusations of racism. 

Harris, on the other hand, is showing "defiant aggression" by whipping back her head and jutting her chin. Now, however, we see only accord, and Bowden breaks down a video of Biden's vice presidential announcement to demonstrate.

How Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are getting along now

In the video Harris shared on her Instagram account, Bowden says Biden is showing "hallmark and baseline gestures of comfort" while interacting with Harris. He cautions not to mistake Biden's crossed-arm stance for standoffishness, since evidently crossed arms, for Biden, indicate comfort, as does adopting a posture where he clasps his hands together and rubs one of his thumbs along his hand.

Despite his attempts at providing comfort and reassurance to his newly-nominated running mate (who was also a friend of his late son, Beau), and the fact that the two are smiling in such a way as to demonstrate genuine pleasure in each other's company, Bowden says that Biden is still engaged in some subtle power play. The way in which they are positioned in front of the camera in one still shot makes it almost appear as if they are arm wrestling and Biden is winning, and the camera also captures Harris leaning away in a posture that makes her appear "off balance and more vulnerable." The fact that the official video footage shows such an image, Bowden says, "speaks to how they wish the relationship to be unconsciously perceived in terms of the good connection, but also the power dynamic." So, it would seem Biden still wants to be boss. Well, he is the presidential candidate, after all. Still, overall, things are looking pretty positive as these running mates prepare for that final sprint down the campaign trail.