Taking a page from former President Bill Clinton's State of the Union playbook, President Obama not only bit his lip; he showed a more personal side during his annual speech.
"There certainly was a Bill Clinton quality about him last night," says Karen Studd, a movement analyst.
Studd points to Obama's engaging and relaxed entrance into the chamber, where he kissed many women on the cheek and reached for officials' hands—signature moves of President Clinton.
"There was a resolute, firm leadership quality to Obama that was more powerful than I have seen from him," Studd says. "He was less academic and less the preacher behind the pulpit and more the strong, embodied leader."
Obama admonished Congress to rise above the bitter partisanship not only with his words, but also with his body language.
"Obama is left-handed, and it is not uncommon for someone to repeatedly motion with their dominant hand, but last night, he used both the left and the right hands equally. There was a right and left gesturing power, showing openness to both sides." [Read: SOTU shows few legislative opportunities.]
Studd says this movement was repeatedly followed up by his hands joining in the center and then his arms stretching out, signaling his desire to move forward with both parties.
Even Obama's phrasing was distinctive from his usual speech pattern, Studd adds.
"In the past, Obama used a lot of swing phrasing, where he emphasized what was in the middle of the phrase. Last night, he focused on the beginning and the end. This created a feeling of upbeat optimism and firm resolve."
Unfortunately for Obama, with Joe Biden behind you, there is always a chance the vice president could steal the show.
"Biden just can't stop tweaking out back there," says body language expert Peter Meyers. "About every 10 seconds he's fidgeting. It's very distracting."