It goes without saying that the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the ex-president of the United States of America, Barack Obama were not the best of friends. That is a euphemism – they were diametrically opposed to each other all through Obama’s tenure as the President. There are enough videos, analysis, disagreements and “tensions” to buttress the fact. It would be rather politically incorrect to say they were enemies, but as much as diplomacy would allow- they were.
Take a look at this video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9fq3BljjKo and the contrast jumps out at any one. The video shows the recent meeting between Vladimir Putin and the current President of the United States – Donald Trump, contrasting it to the meeting with Obama. It is clear that Trump and Putin are more than diplomats meeting to chit chat on weighty issues. they are buddies.
Let’s consider a few obvious and not so obvious clues in the video.
First, body language tells a great deal about the way we really feel on the inside. A cold shoulder is an indicator that we are cold towards the individual. And the reverse is also true. Trump and Putin look like two buddies trading stories about individual shenanigans of a party they both attended. Their body language says open, agreeable, relaxed, engaged, fun, understanding and comfortable. This sort of conversation just “flows”. It looks so informal. Contrast with the formal and obviously stilted conversation with Obama.
Second is the facial expression. Though facial expressions can be easily faked compared to body language, its authenticity can be easily discerned. One telling hint is the spontaneity. We don’t paste calculated smiles on our faces when we are enjoying ourselves with our friends. It comes unbidden and unstructured to our face. Putin’s smiles are anything but fake. And for a man who rarely smiles, that’s a lot of smiling. Contrast that with the dour, “will the time speed up, let’s end this” look on his face when meeting with Obama.
Third, the insider joke. Anyone who has buddies can relate to those jokes – conspiratory ones others must not hear- whose humor would be lost on others. Putin shares one with Trump who gets the joke ad gives a reply that got Putin fairly bouncing on his seat. Those are the kind of jokes- appropriate or not, necessary or not, that mark good friends. With Obama, Putin merely sits through it like one enduring the presence of an intensely disliked relative.
Fourth, that intangible element called “atmosphere”. It cannot be explicitly defined, but it cannot be denied. The meeting between Obama and Putin ended with tensions. The atmosphere would have felt thick and charged – just the way I would imagine it feels before lightning struck. Watch the video carefully and pay attention to Putin’s Adams Apple. You would see him swallowing – the mark of an uncomfortable man. Or better still, Putin’s shiny shoes rising and falling slowly. A dead giveaway of a bored man trying to cope with the situation. And the subsequent relations between Russia and the United States were indicative of what transpired in that meeting. The atmosphere between Putin and Trump feels light and feather weight. It would remind one of the lifelong buddies meeting at backyard barbecue get-together.
Even a blind man can tell that Putin and Trump are friends. And would expect the relationship between the United States and Russia to thaw under the heat of that friendship. Everyone can look forward to more cooperation between these two nations.