October 17, 2006

Bush shook his hand and then “turned to an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president’s hand.”

Writes Barack Obama (in his new book "The Audacity of Hope," which Michiko Kakutani loves).

99 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...

The Left sure does love Obama.

In the end he is just a well spoken liberal who despises Bush's idea of an "ownership society."

How gross is that.

Icepick said...

Bush then offered Obama some of the sanitizer.

(“Good stuff,” he quotes the president as saying, as he offered his guest some. “Keeps you from getting colds.”)

And here's a quote about the idiocy of 'handlers' for candidates.

And [Obama] recounts a trip he took through Illinois with an aide, who scolded him for asking for Dijon mustard at a T.G.I. Friday’s, worried the senator would come across as an elitist; the confused waitress, he adds, simply said: “We got Dijon if you want it.”

Who the hell thinks Dijon mustard is elitist in this day and age? That aide should be fired for being a dope.

How much of the currently lame political landscape can be blamed on aides giving that kind of crappy advice, I wonder?

Icepick said...

Even more stupidly, the aide made that comment in front of the waitress! To paraphrase The Bard, "First, we must kill all the handlers...."

Henry said...

I just can't get over the fact that on a book titled "The Audacity of Hope" with a big picture of the author on the cover, the picture is not Oprah Winfrey.

A book cover and title like this shots "lite reading". So Obama isn't being well served by his publishers either. They've made his book look like every other politician's ghostwritten dreck. They're thinking like handlers.

doc-t said...

Sloan???

Go back and read Althouses comment. Then read your comment.

Does your comment address the issue at all?

No....

You pointing your finger at the "left" and talking about what "they love" and then you give your opinion of Obama.

Not ONCE do speak about Bush's need to sanitize his hands after shaking a man's hands...

While it is common in politics to distract or digress from the real issue when you've not a leg to stand on, this is not politics... it's a blog room. Why not just call a cigar a cigar.

If Obama was known to be carrying anything for which Bush needed to be sanitized of if he came into contact with it, then one of them should have been wearing latex or nitrile gloves...

No, whether or not the man is a bleeding heart, tree hugging liberal or a neo-nazi corporate blowing conservative.... to sterilize one's hands after shaking his is...at best..rude...

Can you not just come out and say that? At the VERY LEAST acknowledge what happened... if you believe it was appropriate behavior, then say so, and say why...

anything else, especially if it involves comments like "the left loves this" is just tired rhetoric...

Understand, I honestly mean no disrespect... I'd just like to see people have honest converstation or debate and make a REAL effort at coming to some understanding of what the reality of a situation is...

How bout it?

Was Bush right to sanitize his hand after shaking Obama's?

Goesh said...

(icepick) - and the flu bug and all kinds of nasty things crazy people would do. I suppose spitting on one's hand then shaking hands with a despised President would be better than trying to shoot him or stab him. The thing about Liberals is their lack of common sense.

George said...

There’s more froth in the new Time magazine cover story on Sen. Obama than there is in a Coke float.

According to its author, the effervescent, yet cloying, Joe Klein, here is why America should elect Obama as its next President:

“He transcends the racial divide so effortlessly that it seems reasonable to expect that he can bridge all the other divisions--and answer all the impossible questions--plaguing American public life.” Oh, puh-leeze….

Here is how Klein describes Obama: He speaks with “sly hipster syncopation…low in rhetoric-saturated fat.” He’s “the political equivalent of a rainbow.” His presence is “a sudden preternatural event inspiring awe and ecstasy.” “He flays himself for enjoying private jets.” The reaction of the crowd? “The white people…are out of control.”

Sounds like Jesus descending on his twin-engine Gulfstream G550.

Buried deep in the story is the key sentence: “[JFK, Reagan, and FDR] had big ideas or were willing to take big risks, and so far, Barack Obama hasn't done much of either.” Later Klein says that party activists sense his “timidity.” He has an “elaborate intellectual balancing mechanism that he applies to every statement and gesture.”

He was probably a super professor of Constitutional Law and a nice guy. But the kid’s got a glass jaw. He's going to break a lot of hearts when an opponent lands a knock-out left, er, right.

Sloanasaurus said...

Go back and read Althouses comment. Then read your comment.

Does your comment address the issue at all?

No....


Relax. I actually read the article that Althouse linked. You obviously did not. If you did, you might find out that the article was about more than hand soap.

Besides, we all know that Obama's anecdote was designed to imply that Bush is washing his hands because Obama is a black man. We all know that is total Bull and Obama should be called out on the carpet for playing race politics by writing the story to reflect that implication.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have trouble believing that this actually happened as described.

If Obama was the last person Bush shook hands with and then the two of them were standing around and Bush's aide offered the hand sanitizer, I think that that would be fine. Hand sanitizer is a good idea if you're the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, and you just shook that hands of a few dozen people.

MadisonMan said...

Freeman, that was my reaction too. It's ludicrous to think that Bush shook, sanitized, shook, sanitized, . . . Doesn't
he have better ways to spend his day?

I wonder why Obama was last in line -- and who was in front of him? Maybe it was someone sneezing the whole time they were there!

TWM said...

Oh no, it's "Hand Sanitizer-gate."

Zeb Quinn said...

Was Bush right to sanitize his hand after shaking Obama's?

If you are someone, like the president of the US, who by necessity must shake hands innumerable times each day with all manner of people, and if you are someone who wishes to avoid coming down with every cold and flu virus in existence, then the answer to that question is yes. Sanitizing one's hands continually in that context is a very good idea.

Is it even necessary to point out and discuss how people's hands are amongst the most germ-riddled things around because they touch all parts of our own bodies, and because they also touch everything that other hands touch? Do we actually need to stop and persuede others about all that?

The thing that bother's me about this little story --assuming it even ever really happened quite in the way Osama describes it-- is Osama's effort to make it appear that the act was directed at him and only him, personally, thereby attaching a personal insult and an implied racial subtext to it. A really cheap shot. But, as we have seen over the last few years, the Dems are the party of really cheap shots anymore, and dang proud of it too.

dklittl said...

Of course you have trouble believing this story, because dear Leader doing something like this would burst the wonderfully constructed image that you've been building over the last 6 years. We can't allow that to happen.

And on the Joe Klein piece overall, if anyone saw This Week, George Will was almost equally as glowing. He said something like, after eating lunch with Obama he came away thinking that this is what scouts must have felt like when they saw Alex Rodriguez in high school. I mean, he obviously can only go down from this pedestal, but the people who have met him are almost universally positive about Obama as a person and a politician.

Icepick said...

Freeman, the story in the article just says it was a meet and greet, not how many people were there or whether Bush did that after shaking everyone's hand.

Goesh, I have no idea what you're talking about.

doc-t said...

btw Ann,

this past monday night (morning really) was the first time I had ever watched Top Chef. I happened to catch the last two episodes of the season, the Finale.

I'm not familiar with the characters, but as I listened to the judges proclaim Dave as the "Top Chef" I was reminded of those words made famous by Socrates:

"WTF?!?!?!?"

He did seem like a nice guy... sensible, easy going, and down to earth... and he seemed to be on darn fine chef with a head for the business.

But was this a contest based on personalities or on the ability to cook.

I did like Dave. He made me laugh but I just wanted to grab him and slap the nervousness out of him... What I noticed was that the people seemed to LIKE if not LOVE the taste of the food he cooked... I found it odd that Tiffani went on... but be that as it may...

The last challenge... Here's how i saw it.

Dave

- one salad would have been sent back had it been served in a restaurant

- the third course, the quail, was overcooked... NOT just for one person but for everyone???

- His steak ruled the universe.

- His dessert was...not bad.

over all his meal was safe, not very challenging, and the only wow of the meal was the steak.

Tiffani

-TWO menus, and two very challenging menus at that. Not only twice the work but twice the difficulti.

-I don't recall the judges not enjoying any of her dishes... although the soprano psych said one of her didnt leave her wanted to lick her plate clean??? is that a fair expectation after haven eaten a five course meal including quail and steak?

- Appearantly matching a wine with Asparagus is almost as difficult as walking on water (per what the judges said) but she pulled it off with TWO dishes...

- and the dessert flat out WOWED them... I thought it rather low class of the judges to go out of their way to point out that it was really made by Dave (who, as I said before, appearantly makes great tasting food.)

She's a Chef and had a great chef working with her.. it was a smart move to let/ask/have him make the dessert... What kind of 'geinus' doesnt work to their strengths? I really can't imagine normal patrons would be thinking "hmmm. I wonder who REALLY cooked that."

it seems clear they wanted to demonize her...

at the end of the day, at least on this particular meal, I really think Tiffani did a much better job.

no her co-workers arent going to want to take long walks on the beach with her, but anyone who has ever been responsible for supervising others and putting out a quality product under pressure understands the need for "aggresive management" on occasions...

it seems to me Tiffani got hosed. And not in the good way...

Well, I know it's an old subject but after seeing that I felt the need to vent... I hope you don't mind me bringing up a non-relevant topic.

Icepick said...

Zeb Quinn, we don't know how Obama describes the incident in his book. It is mentioned without context in the NYT's piece with a single quote. You shouldn't give the story more meaning until you know how Obama actually described it, instead of the NYT's abreviated contextless recounting of the story.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, the story in the article just says it was a meet and greet, not how many people were there or whether Bush did that after shaking everyone's hand.

I'm well aware of that. I was providing an example of a possible scenario in which using the sanitizer would be well within the bounds of etiquette and could also be described by Obama as it was.

George said...

dkl--

Beware the buzz. People who've met him feel "universally positive" about him?

That's proof positive that he's hollow--a kid with a glass jaw.

People feel universally positive about Brian Williams, Vidal Sassoon, and storm tracker Jim Cantore.

Great leaders take strong positions on controversial issues. They're not "timid," as party activists seem to think Sen. Obama may be.

Ernst Blofeld said...

Hand sanitizer for candidates is a routine part of major campaigns these days. It's completely unremarkable, and Obama should know it.

andthenblammo! said...

I've gotten to the point of, when using a public washroom, having the paper towel ready before I wash my hands, and then using my paper-towel wrapped hand to turn off the water and open the door out of the washroom. I've seen too many people doing things that should result in immediate hand-washing who don't bother, blithely touching all the surfaces the rest of us handle, that I've become rather fussy about this.

If I was shaking hands with the public all day, I'd be tempted to lightly run a propane torch over my mitt afterwards.

And I don't get a lot of colds, flu, hepatitis, or dysentery, so it must work.

Mark said...

My take on the Obama adulation is that the left is terribly excited to have found a technically black politician who speaks well. He's all educated and articulate and composed (like countless white politicians) but he's BLACK! WOW!

Leland said...

I note that doc-t criticized Sloan for not sticking to the topic. Once Sloan explained himself, doc-t changed the subject to "Top Chef".

As for Obama's comment, is this what I'm suppose to think:
Ok, I've had enough. The Democrats should take over the Congress and impeach Bush for santizing his hands after a meet and greet.

I suggest Obama grow up a little and not take such things as a personal affront. Besides, would he prefer Bush not sanitize his hands and then go around and shake the hands of others?

Pogo said...

Boy. Hand sanitizer?

Could Bush be any more evil?
I think not.

Doyle said...

Ann -

This post and thread is another example of you managing to extract the worst from an already pretty embarassing group of commenters.

Give them another thread about Air America. You know you want to!

Derve said...

I think it's funny, part of the man's appeal that he shared this.

You meet the President; he immediately uses hand sanitizer. No matter your race, that's just a funny image Americans currently don't have about meeting the prez.

Plus, those are fun words: "aide" "squirted" "dollup" "hand" Tomorrow's majority maybe isn't all that grim. You see what you want about race and reaction, and humor.

Pogo said...

I'm glad Doyle is around to act as the conscience for a generation. Otherwise, we'd all be lost, thinking ourselves wise and wonderful, not the pathetic beasts he knows us to be.

Shanna said...

Wasn't "The Great Influenza" on Bush's reading list a few years ago?

He's probably just gotten paranoid about germs. Happens to alot of people.

Henry said...

It's a colorful aside about the absurdity of political life. C'mon people. Sometimes an anecdote is just an anecdote.

As for Doyle, sometimes projection is just projection.

PatCA said...

Sooo, Obama took drugs because he was a race victim and then ends up in the Senate where white people are still victimizing him! That damn America!

He is a skinny, soft spoken guy, nice enough in an inoffensive way--but certainly not a rock star or, for heaven's sakes, a rainbow.

And he's sort of against welfare and sort of for a vigorous WOT and sort of....snzzzzz.

Shanna said...

I do love the story about the mustard. Hee.

I think Obama needs some executive experience (he may have had some, but state senate and congressional senate is all I know about his background). He'd be a more reasonable candidate if he had been governor. The dem's need to back away from senators.

Henry said...

BTW, Sloan's first comment is right, though I disagree with his second. When Obama criticises the idea of an “Ownership Society” that “magnifies the uneven risks and rewards of today’s winner-take-all economy” he completely gives up the game. This is reactionary folly. Oh, for the good old days of Nixonian wage and price controls and the stagflation of high marginal tax rates and unproductivetax shelters.

However, Obama does offer very sophisticated politics. That is refreshing and meaningful, given the loud mediocrities ahead of him in line. Talking a good game really does make a difference especially for problems -- like bigotry and resentment -- not solvable by federal programs. Bully pulpit and all that.

altoids1306 said...

I have nothing against the guy, I just don't know much about him. Obama looks decent enough, like someone who can't quite figure out what all the fuss is about. He seems keen to stay the hell away from the rabid Left, which is fine by me.

The fact that he is embraced as the savior of the Democratic Party doesn't say much about him, and a lot about the Democratic Party.

Goesh said...

Henry is right about anecdotes and projection - it was Condi who whispered in Bush's ear to beware of sticky melon juice and the smell of chittlins on certain hands, in cahoots with an Aide who quickly stepped in, squirted the sanitizer and diverted Liberals away from issues of national significance. Keep your eye on the prize, don't give up the polemics of perception... la la la

dklittl said...

I can't believe that you aren't aware that Bush only shakes the hands of fully-veted negroes. Obviously, Condi and Colin have had their full background check, but Obama's file was a bit incomplete. To bad it wasn't the olden days when Bush could just spit on him and tell him to use the other water fountain.

DaveG said...

If Obama's goal in sharing his little anecdote was to make me think less of Bush through his implied accusation of racsim and thereby throw my support behind Obama, it has backfired. If true, this ploy lowers my estimation of the Senator, not the President.

The last thing I think we want or need is a 'victimologist' in the White House. We already went through the VRWC, do we really want more paranoia in the Oval Office?

This all assumes the veracity of the alleged comment. I have not read the book or the article - just going by the gist of the rest of the comments.

Ross said...

Barack Obama had a book? Why? Did he do something special?

Leland said...

DaveG... it is a bit difficult to understand the tone, as the NYT article clips out this little anecdote. However, if you consider the previous paragraph, it suggests that Obama wrote the comment as an illustration of the absurdity of politics.

For an aide to carry hand sanitizer for his boss, that is kinda of absurd. Most people could probably excuse themselves, duck into a restroom, and wash their hands. However, the highest ranking politician in the room usually gets escorted to the stage right after the meet and greet, and never has a chance.

So the comment can simply be an observation, similiar to abstaining from Dijon mustard, as Obama's aide recommended.

However, people on both sides seemed to jump on the notion that the comment had a specific subtext. Maybe Ann was testing us. I think Doyle failed.

Richard Dolan said...

bUnlike Ann, I don't think Ms. Kakutani loved Obama's new book. Instead, she praises his earlier memoir, Dreams From My Father (1995), but (stripped of the soft-pedaling) has some unkind things to say about his current book.

In terms of his strengths, she says that he's the "rare politician who can actually write — and write movingly and genuinely about himself." According to Kakutani, The Audacity of Hope, his current book, “is much more of a political document. Portions of the volume read like outtakes from a stump speech, and the bulk of it is devoted to laying out Mr. Obama’s policy positions on a host of issues, from education to health care to the war in Iraq." Outtakes from a stump speech, packaged with standard-issue politician-talk about "policy" sounds pretty dreary to me. The only parts of it she likes are the bits where the "narrative voice in this volume is recognizably similar to the one in 'Dreams From My Father.'” So, if that's what you want, just go read the first book and skip this one.

Kakutani, like many at the NYT, is obviously impressed by Sen. Obama, and she is clearly trying to say something nice about his new book. But all she can come up with is the comment that, while his new book lacks the "searching candor of the author’s first book," nevertheless "Mr. Obama strives in these pages to ground his policy thinking in simple common sense." If that's the best she can come up with, I'd say that her review ends up more as an exercise in damning with faint praise than the love-fest that Ann suggests.

Common sense is, of course, a frame of mind that comes in handy in politics as elsewhere. But it's not saying much if that's all that his policy prescriptions have going for them. Nor is it necessarily all that helpful that Obama's strength is an ability to "write movingly and genuinely about himself." By all accounts, Obama is a smart guy. But he's going to have to get beyond himself as a theme if he is ever going to have appeal beyond the usual suspects among the Dems. For all the hype about getting beyond partisanship, etc., I haven't seen anything that suggests that he's done anything since he arrived in the Senate to do that. Instead, apart from the occasional anodyne speech, as far as I am aware, he seems to vote pretty much along partisan lines.

Richard Dolan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sloanasaurus said...

So the comment can simply be an observation, similiar to abstaining from Dijon mustard, as Obama's aide recommended.

However, people on both sides seemed to jump on the notion that the comment had a specific subtext


This is one of the most naive conclusions I have seen on this board. TO conclude that the anecdote was included in the article as a mere observation and nothing more is either idiocy or a bad attempt at spin.

As others have stated, it seems wise and normal for someone shaking hundreds of hands to wash their hand at some point. So without the racial implication, how is this observation at all interesting or worth noting.

TC said...

Senator Obama must use sanitizer himself. In a June 2, 2006 press release to Stephen Colbert:

"Second, use hand sanitizer after the Pumphandle. Lots of germs there. I cannot stress this enough."

http://obama.senate.gov/press/060602-obama_to_stephen_colbert_howd_your_convention_speech_go/print.php

jinnmabe said...

He said something like, after eating lunch with Obama he came away thinking that this is what scouts must have felt like when they saw Alex Rodriguez in high school.

Ouch. Nowadays, can you get more "jinx!" than that? So now, Obama will put up good numbers during the summer, but when it really counts, he'll go 0-fer-whatever. Great.

Ricardo said...

Ann:

I know this is a little off-topic, but aren't there too many "divine's" on the masthead? It doesn't look right, from an artistic standpoint. Don't we have some other glowing comments we can put up there?

Something like:

"Ah nevah sanitize my hands after shmoozing with the fabulous Ann Althouse." - G.W. Bush

Ann Althouse said...

I've got "The Divine Ms." and "The Divine Mme." What I really need is "The Divine Miss." So, no, not too much. Not enough.

doc-t said...

Sloan....

NOW you've addressed the issue... and not simply said the same old tired rhetoric we are so used to hearing...

the left this and the right that...

You actually spoke to the issue...

Doesn't it feel better???

your assumption that i've not read the artical is an unwarranted extrapolation.

Henry said...

Sloan, I think the anecdote is likely included because it makes Obama look "real" and Bush look artificial, just as the mustard anecdote makes Obama look "real" and the the handler look artificial.

But I don't buy your racialist reading of the subtext.

DookOfURL said...

As a resident of IL, I can tell you that IL Democrats are already fretting that Obama has become overexposed.

The rest of us are mostly PO'd that he is going everywhere and taking care of everyone except his home state.

Ricardo said...

Vous avez toujours raison, Madame le Professeur.

Leland said...

Sloan
This is one of the most naive conclusions I have seen on this board. TO conclude that the anecdote was included in the article as a mere observation and nothing more is either idiocy or a bad attempt at spin.

Dude, read the article. If you do, you'll see the author makes that point. As for what I make of the anecdote, I suggest reading my previous comments.

kchiker said...

Wow....many of the comments here are vicious...absolutely vapid. I'm an occasional reader and I'm loathe to proclaim a blogger responsible for comments, but this is just too painful.

How dare Obama tell such an anecdote (yes, commenters, it's O-b-a-m-a)? How dare he write a second book? How dare he vote mostly partisan? Why is he playing race politics? How dare liberals be excited about a black politician (and doesn't it blatantly prove how shallow they are?)

Are you commenters really this hate filled and immediately dismissive of anything even center-left? Do you always immediately dismiss someone's veracity upon knowing so little?

I've also seen many reasoned comments on here and Ann seems quite reasonable. I'm a bit perplexed as to why those commenters come here. I don't see Ann dishing out hate and therefore I don't quite get it. But I get to see enough blind viciousness in my day without seeking it out.

Adieu, Ann. I wish you well.

Sloanasaurus said...

Sloan, I think the anecdote is likely included because it makes Obama look "real" and Bush look artificial, just as the mustard anecdote makes Obama look "real" and the the handler look artificial.

But I don't buy your racialist reading of the subtext.


I agree that is another possible implication from the anecdote. However, it proves the point that the anecdote had more meaning than just a simple observation.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Wow. Some people on here are mentally ill.

Obama's story, if anything, relates how Bush is so comfortable with himself that he wouldn't even consider how one could view his sanitizer move as offensive. He's also more intelligent and respectful of science than portrayed in the press (dumb cowboys don't use hand sanitizer because they fear germs). I do not see any racial overtones in the anecdote.

Mortimer Brezny said...

One could say that both stories suggest that handlers and aides prevent politicians from acting naturally.

Mr. Snitch said...

"And [Obama] recounts a trip he took through Illinois with an aide, who scolded him for asking for Dijon mustard at a T.G.I. Friday’s, worried the senator would come across as an elitist"

Now, Grey Poupon, that's another story.

Sloanasaurus said...

Are you commenters really this hate filled and immediately dismissive of anything even center-left? Do you always immediately dismiss someone's veracity upon knowing so little?...I don't see Ann dishing out hate and therefore I don't quite get it.

This is a ridiculous accusation. I see nothing "hate filled" about the debate over the article or Obama. It is a fair debate on whether Obama is "overrated" and the use of race in such observations.

Besides, you reveal your charlatanism by attempting to pander to the blog administrator.

Doyle said...

It is a fair debate on whether Obama is "overrated"

Right. Like Donovan McNabb was "overrated."

Hey said...

Politicians should be sanitising their hands frequently when dealing with the public, thanks to the number of hands shaken and the desire to shake that hand means that people that would normally be home in bed or avoid the shake will do it to be near the "star".

A politician shaking hands with another pol, especially one as charismatic and hungry as Obama, needs to be especially sure to sanitise, as you have two disease vectors interacting.

The people complaining about the "artificiality" of the Pres having an aide holding sanitiser... wow. I'm shocked at your provincialism and ignorance. Y'all are aware that POTUS has a rather significant security detail, right? That POTUS also has a rather serious number of aides with him at all times (the NSA and the guy with the football being but two well known examples). That POTUS has rather extreme ceremonial duties and just cannot "duck out" of a room. Nearly everywhere he goes a band announces him!

People who are running for Congress, just Congress, typically travel with several political aides (one policy, one image, driver, maybe security). Senators, major Mayors, state wide candidates in large states, etc have much bigger retinues. Here we're talking about a position where candidates have multiple buses just for the press following them and where the sitting President has his own 747 to carry staff and reporters. But that he has an aide to pass him some sanitiser is weird or out of touch?

jinnmabe said...

Right. Like Donovan McNabb was "overrated."

YES, another sports metaphor. Who is Obama more like, A-Rod or Donovan McNabb? Discuss.

Pogo said...

Who's Donovan McNabb?
Did he invent hand sanitizer?
Does he carry it for Bush?
Or does he give Obama his mustard?

Doyle said...

Donovan McNabb is the QB for the Philadelphia Eagles, who Rush Limbaugh said was overrated* because he was black and (thus) the media wanted him to do well.

* This turned out to be wrong.

Henry said...

* This turned out to be wrong.

Glad that's settled.

Now what about A-Rod?

Pogo said...

I know. Just havin' fun.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought the anecdote really made Bush look bad. You shouldn't use hand sanitizer right in front of someone you just shook hands with. If you're really afraid of germs, just be careful not to touch your face with your hands until you've had a chance to wash/sanitize them.

As for telling the anecdote, I think the decision to do that was to make Bush look bad, and possibly to (deniably) make him look racist.

MadisonMan said...

Good Evening Ladies and Germs -- say, did you hear that A-Rod is the new Overseer of the House Page Program. Denny Hastert is convinced he won't hit on the pages as he hasn't hit all year. Thank you very much, I'll be here all night!

jeff said...

Interesting. My wife and I are going down to Mexico to work at an orphanage next week.

She mentioned that we needed to get hand sanitizer.

Now I know why. Good stuff.

Doyle said...

A-Rod has become tragically underrated.

His numbers fell off from those he put up in SEA and TEX, but not much more than you'd expect given the difference in parks.

This year was a disappointment (esp. defensively), but he's overly hated b/c he makes $25M per.

The NYC sports media is dumber than a bag of hammers, but much nastier.

RJ Schwarz said...

The obvious answer is the President should bump fists rather than shake hands. It's hip, modern, and a bit more sanitary (thus saving money on sanitizer).

Shanna said...

The obvious answer is the President should bump fists rather than shake hands. It's hip, modern, and a bit more sanitary (thus saving money on sanitizer).
I love this image.

I do think it's tacky to use it in front of someone, but we don't have all the information. Maybe Obama saw him sanitize his hands from a distance? I don't know. I'm not giving the president a pass, but I'd like to hear the full story. Until then I'm still sticking with germophobe story.

And I'm thinking of season 3 of 24, which I haven't watched yet. It was all about shaking hands and spreading a disease, I think.

MadisonMan said...

If you shake someone's hand and then immediately make a show of sanitizing, yes that's pretty insulting. But it reads like Obama was at the end of the line, he and Bush shook hands, and then Bush got the goop and offered some to Barack. That seems almost friendly!

There's no information on the other people -- maybe they were all sick, or it was cold and flu season.

I'm wondering if it's a comment on the absurdity of all politicians -- putting their health at risk just to meet and greet. It's interesting to see the various reactions by posters.

reader_iam said...

President should bump fists

Even better, maybe the prez should just do the bump with everybody!

Love that visual.

reader_iam said...

And no, I can't resist this:

"...Research has shown that hand sanitizers can be as effective as hand washing only in certain situations. The type of soil which may be present on hands can significantly alter the effectiveness of hand sanitizers. Because dirt, food, or anything else on your hands can make the alcohol in sanitizers less effective, it is important to first wash your hands with soap and water.

Some confusion occurred when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2002 guidelines "recommending alcohol-based gel as a suitable alternative to hand washing for health-care personnel in health-care settings." Many healthcare workers must routinely clean their hands multiple times per hour while moving between patients. The use of alcohol gels by staff has been shown to favorably impact hand-cleansing adherence due to time saved over traditional hand washing methods. However, the guidelines apply only to hospitals and clinics. These are not appropriate for and do NOT apply to those people working in foodservice settings or with the general public. The primary reason is that the types and levels of soil on the hands are quite different between these different settings. ..."


Ooh-ick vh: femdhqbm

JimK said...

Am I reading this post/article/comment discussion correctly? That Obama, and Democrat supporters, are trying to make a scandal out of Bush using hand sanitizer after shaking a whole line of people's hands?

You have GOT to be effing kidding me.

Shanna said...

We use a foam sanitizer in my hospital. I don't know if this is more effective than the gel.

Pogo said...

Re: "maybe the prez should just do the bump with everybody"

1. Nah. Do the Hustle!
2. Learn to bow.

OddD said...

Re: The Bump

I think on a recent "Bullshit", Penn & Teller suggested that would be a lot more sanitary than hand-shaking, even if we were all naked.

vw: ndskjlwv

If Bush were more skilled, he could wave?

Pogo said...

Dagnabit blogger bazfaz @g&*ff+#!.

Do The Hustle:

http://franklarosa.com/vinyl/Exhibit.jsp?AlbumID=55

Palladian said...

Shaking hands is a disgusting practice and needs to be done away with. A respectful bow is much more sanitary.

And everyone should carry around hand sanitizer, especially city dwellers!

As for Obama? I always picture a scene from Monty Python's "The Life of Brian" where Brian (Graham Chapman) is being followed against his will by hundreds of people who are convinced that he's the Messiah.

Something about the glowing, bootlicking praise sort of turns my stomach. Not just the praise of Obama but of ANY politician. They're politicians, not kings or idols or rock stars. Americans shouldn't be worshipful of its public servants.

"You are all individuals!"

"Yes! We are all individuals!

reader_iam said...

Lord help me, now I'm having '70s flashbacks of doing the bump AND the hustle--which might be all right, except that it involves an odd mixture of the Jackson 5 ("Dancing Machine"_ and Van McCoy ("The Hustle") running through my mind.

This can't possibly be a good thing.

Far better to dwell upon Issues Of Hygiene.

Eugene said...

Some people apparently haven't learned the sad lesson of what happened to the Golgafrinchans when they got rid of their telephone sanitizers. Fear not, our president has not! This is exactly what I demand from the leader of the free world: every day doing his part to save the population of the Earth from extinction!

Axolotl said...

So, any mention in his book of his sudden conversion from Islam to Christianity in the most important black church of his future district? Seems like a convenient epiphany for a man who supposed to be "real" and above politics.

chickenlittle said...

DaveG said
"If Obama's goal in sharing his little anecdote was to make me think less of Bush through his implied accusation of racsim and thereby throw my support behind Obama, it has backfired. If true, this ploy lowers my estimation of the Senator, not the President."

I second that

Revenant said...

I thought the anecdote really made Bush look bad. You shouldn't use hand sanitizer right in front of someone you just shook hands with.

I think the fact that he recommended that Obama use hand sanitizer as well suggests he wasn't meant, and shouldn't be taken, as a personal affront. It is just a good health tip for anyone who shakes a lot of hands.

Anyway, if Obama wanted to make Bush look bad he should have left out the bit where Bush explained himself. It would have looked more like racism that way.

Seneca the Younger said...

Of course you have trouble believing this story, because dear Leader doing something like this would burst the wonderfully constructed image that you've been building over the last 6 years. We can't allow that to happen.

Oh, good God.

Derve said...

"It's because I'm black (biracial), isn't it?"

Richard Dolan's got a nice recap of the review, but maybe the black white take on sanitizer humor would have benefitted from a more risky approach by Sen. Obama. Seriously, he's probably had other occasion to wonder why when things in politics seem odd, and probably benefits from not making racial minefields out of molehills like this.

dklittl said...

Can we all just agree that Bush hates black people and move on?

downtownlad said...

I'm confused. Does Bush really believe that you can catch a cold from shaking hands with someone?

Doesn't he realize that's just a theory being propagated by the secularists?

Coco said...

Just for the record:

Dookofur, who is from Illinois said:

"The rest of us [from Illinois] are mostly PO'd that he is going everywhere and taking care of everyone except his home state."

WHle I don't doubt that he may speak for may Illinoisians (is that how you would say it?) yesterday's Chicago Tribune published its poll showing that:

"Nine months into his term, Obama won approval from 72 percent of Illinois voters in the survey. Ten percent said they disapprove of his performance and 18 percent said they had no opinion. Republicans give him a 57 percent approval rating.

In May, 59 percent of Illinois voters said they approved, 9 percent disapproved and 32 percent had no opinion. Forty-two percent of Republicans then said they approved of Obama's performance in office."

Coco said...

Eek - my apologies. I just saw that the Chicago Trib. story was from October 16, 2005 - not 2006. I apologize.

I could only find two more recent polls for him on a quick search - one shows him with a 70% approval rating (September 2006 - ST. Louis Dispatch story) and one shows him with a 69% rating (Survey USA).

AJ Lynch said...

Kchiker asked:
"Are you commenters really this hate filled and immediately dismissive of anything even center-left? Do you always immediately dismiss someone's veracity upon knowing so little?"

No Kchiker, I'll excuse your ignorance as you said you are only a new visitor.

In fact, IMHO the regulars here are more informed, more highly educated and more knowledgeable than almost anyplace else on earth. That said, they don't tend to grant "superstar" status to anyone. That includes Senator Obama when his real, tangible achievements to date are little more than being a minority, being obviously intelligent and being elected to the Senate.

So, why not stick around, and see for yourself than I am right?

Elizabeth said...

I'm in sympathy with Bush here, and I bet most politicians in a meet-and-greet situation use hand sanitizer. I'm home with strep throat and a 102 degree fever right now, and it's most likely I caught it from a student. I use hand sanitizer after classes, I clean our classroom computer keyboards and mice with antibacterial wipes during flu season, and I ask students who are sick not to come up face to face to tell me how bad they feel. I don't have a germ fetish, I just don't have a great immune system.

Tim said...

And some wonder why our politics are so poisonous, when the most innocuous of details is imbued with so much meaning. It's difficult to assess Obama as as serious man when such a de minimus detail is intended to illustrate so much.

It's a good thing we don't have serious issues to think about so we can preseverate over whether the president is a germophobic racist...which nearly half us of are sure he is guilty, among other numerous and overly-spoken of crimes.

Kev said...

"Some people apparently haven't learned the sad lesson of what happened to the Golgafrinchans when they got rid of their telephone sanitizers"

Heh, nice HHGG reference.

But now that most of us have cell phones (and thus have no need for a telephone sanitizer), wouldn't it be great to build a "B" ark like the Golgafrinchans did, but this time, send all the government bureaucrats (and the ones in education, for that matter) out into space?

OhioAnne said...

Although I'm not in the classroom this quarter, I still meet with a dozen students a day at least. I'm on day 10 of this particular bout of illness and have undoubtedly done my part to pass it on to others despite taking some precautions.

I'm with Bush on this one as well.

Coco said...

"It's difficult to assess Obama as as serious man when such a de minimus detail is intended to illustrate so much."

But that is what is frustrating about this entire thread, we don't know that any of your assumptions here are true. Unless you've read the book you have no idea what he intended to illustrate by that reference. The only reference point you have otherwise is the book reviewers summary of it as an amusing antecdote of the absurdities of political life, like the Dijon mustard example.

The comments here, to me, say much more about how the commenters view the world than about Obama's view.

Kchiker's assessment of the comments was pretty spot on to me.

rightwingprof said...

We keep anti-bacterial hand sanitizer in the computer clusters for us and the students. It's basic hygiene, and computer clusters with thousands of students sharing keyboards are disease factories. I fail to see anything offensive about it.

rightwingprof said...

"My take on the Obama adulation is that the left is terribly excited to have found a technically black politician who speaks well. He's all educated and articulate and composed (like countless white politicians) but he's BLACK! WOW!"

Yes, I agree, since there's nothing remarkable about the man. He's just another socialist groupthink Democrat.

DookOfURL said...

To coco: I did not talk to the 1537 people (or whatever) who were polled, but I do read many local and state blogs. The fear, even among hard-core Democrats and left-wingers, is that if Obama continues on this path of celebrity and ignores the role to which he was elected (IL Senator), their golden boy will turn to dust before '08.

In the interest of disclosure, I voted for Obama in both the primary and general election (we have an open primary here) but I also think he is jumping ahead of the game. I mean, holy cats, Obama is jumping ahead of GWB here in the "POTUS wannabe with a minimum of real experience" category. Jeez!

Elizabeth said...

OhioAnne,

Let's enjoy our rare moment of symmetry. I hope you feel better soon.

Coco said...

Dookofurl - I understand you now but I read your earlier comment as suggesting that Obama is losing popularity generally, which certainly doesn't seem to be the case.