On Handshakes Past and Present
Posted on Apr 20, 2009
Certain right-wingers are really upset (!) at President Obama for shaking Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s hand at the Summit of the Americas last weekend, because shaking hands with enemies indicates weakness and is just not done, you see ... with a few notable exceptions.
And Chavez himself reportedly told Obama that he pressed the flesh with Bush Jr. “with this same hand” eight years before, according to various accounts of the Chavez-Obama encounter in Trinidad.
As the Cold War waned, President Reagan (whose foreign policy Gingrich repeatedly praises) met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at four summits, leading to nuclear arms reductions. President George H. W. Bush negotiated the Start II treaty alongside Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and President Clinton discussed foreign investment with Yeltsin. President Bush, of course, said he saw into Vladimir Putin’s soul after a private engagement.
Whose hands are these? If you can’t tell by the fashions displayed by the background crowd, go to Think Progress’ handshake photos to find out.