Obama's fake tears?

Were President Obama's tears over gunshot victims genuine?  Nearly all political commentators, and even Donald Trump, credited him with genuine emotion.  Doug Ross and Biff Spackle, however, noted how unusual it was for Obama to mourn with tears, given the many opportunities:


There were so many AT comments on my blog yesterday about Obama’s crocodile tears, I was inspired to write a short follow-up piece to highlight them and to further expand on his intentional manipulation of the public with choreographed emotions.

Additional insights from AT readers

Several readers noted that if a person applies a dab of menthol or camphor to his fingertip, it can induce tears.  Likely many of us are familiar with this when we inadvertently touch or rub our eye after we’ve used a substance that is irritating.  (Bengay comes to mind.)  It stings and causes one’s eye to get red and to tear – our body’s automatic response to remove the substance from our eye.

willmay posted that there are products called “tear stick” and “tear blower” readily available for actors who need to cry on cue.  (Great product for con artists as well, no?)  She had additional insights worthy of note, including her observation that Obama first wiped his left eye, and then “tears appear from that eye only.”  (saksin also observed that Obama’s first wipe of one eye preceded any tears at all.)

Great points.  Tears do not flow asymmetrically, with one eye tearing up while the other remains dry.

And if I might add, Obama wiped the left eye starting at the outer edge, wiping inward.  Try doing that. You’ll realize that you have no muscle memory or any sense of familiarity with that gesture from times in life when you’ve cried.  That’s because it’s abnormal, since tears emanate from the tiny hole in our tear ducts located at the inner rim of each eye.  As Sons of Charlemagne noted, “tears don't flow from the outside corner of the eye.”

Update: Robert Petersen writes:

[Tears] come from the lacrimal gland above and the outer part of the eye from the gland in the lacrimal fossa.  The tears go across the eye to the nasolacrimal sac which carries them into the nose.   The tiny holes Ms. Brown mentioned are exits not the source of the tears.

I thought it worthwhile to explore precedent for this kind of calculating behavior.

In the not too distant past, Bill Clinton, another liar-in-chief, put on an act that was truly shameful.  (Par for the Clinton course.)  A comment by vinny prompted me to search for an emotional flip-flop Clinton pulled off, going from laughter to (fake) tears in a nanosecond.  It happened in 2008, when Clinton was leaving the memorial service for Ron Brown.  Clinton can be seen chatting and laughing with the person he was walking with.  That is, until he caught sight of the media’s cameras – at which point he bowed his head, put on a sorrowful expression, and pretended to wipe a tear from his eye (freeze frames here):