Is This How Merkel Became The Only Leader Mr. Putin Genuinely Respects?

(Handelsblatt Global) The Body Language of Power

During a group photo of world leaders, he shoves aside the prime minister of a much smaller country to get into the first row, then buttons his jacket with an unironic scowl. Meeting the French president, he grabs his counterpart’s hand and yanks it toward himself, only to have the much smaller Frenchman (who had clearly been briefed) squeeze for his life in what at once became dubbed the “death grip”. Hosting the German chancellor in the Oval Office, he ignores her whispered query (“Do you want to shake hands?”) and just glowers.

To the many consequences of the improbable accession of Donald Trump to the world’s highest office, add this: More people now appreciate the role of body language in politics. But Trump is not the best subject for contemplation. “You tiny, tiny, tiny little man,” is how J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, reacted on Twitter to Mr. Trump’s shove of the Montenegrin prime minister, and that is about all that needs to be said. Anybody interested in gaining or keeping power – or simply understanding it – would do better to study the body language of Angela Merkel.

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