Yes, McCain has a crazy blink rate. From Lauren Kirchner and Air America Radio:
A lot has already been written about McCain's facial expressions, and how his scowling and grinning and blinking made him look alternately nervous, desperate, disrespectful, and psychotic. (Sen. Obama isn't off the hook either; I thought his beaming smile during McCain's answers sometimes made him come off as cocky.) Sam Stein at the Huffington Post reports that a Democratic researcher was moved to actually count McCain's blinks: an astounding 3,000 blinks in 90 minutes. (If Wikipedia is to believed, a normal blink rate is about 10 per minute, or 900 total.) This might be overkill, and I pity the intern that had to watch the video in slow motion for that tally. But it brings up a good question: for those of you that watched the debate on TV or online, how different would your impression have been if you had only heard the audio?And from Sam Stein of the Huffington Post:
Not to harp on facial expressions but Democrats are absolutely giddy (and sometimes irate) over the way McCain presented himself during tonight's debate - everything from his eye rolls to his cadence.
A Democratic researcher spent the evening counting the Arizona Republican's blinks, and tallied more than 3,000 during the night's affair -- three thousand blinks in a 90-minute time span. They even compressed a 30-second clip of those blinks into a nine second video. . . .
But mainly, the facial expressions convey a lack of calm that everyone from average voters to seasoned political observers say is a damaging trait for a presidential candidate in the midst of an economic crisis.
"I thought McCain swerved off track," said David Gergen on CNN. "He got over-emotional about it. He looked angry, and it was almost like an exercise in anger management up there for him to contain himself."