McCains hug with Palin leaves room for the Holy Ghost, say etiquette experts

September 9th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Sarah Palin

New York, Sept.9 (ANI): Republican presidential nominee John McCains frequent hugs with his running mate Sarah Palin leaves room for the Holy Ghost, says a etiquette and body language expert.
According to Christopher Buckley, a novelist and longtime satirist of the ways of Washington, Palin seems to be cognizant that she is wandering into the danger zone, with the result that as she hugs him, she leans away from him so as to insert some chaste space between them.
As the nuns used to say before school dances, Leave room for the Holy Ghost, he adds.
According to the New York Times, this years presidential poll has a message that it is okay to hug your running mate and kiss your wife.
Such was not the case in the presidential races of the 1980s and early 1990s, says the paper.
Etiquette and body language experts say that they have noticed the frequency with which McCain and Palin hug each other on campaign stops, and believe that it is a businesslike embrace. McCain has followed this with a short side step and planted a peck on his wife, Cindys cheek.
The paper says that a nearly a quarter century ago, Walter F. Mondale almost never touched his running mate Geraldine A. Ferraro in public when they shared the Democratic presidential ticket.
Back then, Mondale had a strict hands off policy and did not even put his palm on Ferraros back when the two stood side-by-side and waved with uplifted arms.
Anything more, and people were afraid that it would look like, Oh, my God, theyre dating, Ferraro recalled in a brief telephone interview on Monday, of what now seems like a political Victorian age.
There has, however, been a noticeable shift in protocol: McCain now introduces his wife first, and then Palin, when both are on stage.
Hes hugging her to show the world that hes all for her, and protecting her, but she doesnt need that, said Letitia Baldrige, former White House social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy.
As a general rule, Baldrige recommends a warm, firm handshake between male and female corporate executives and finds embarrassing all this fake hugging that goes on when people greet each other on television.
But for McCain and Palin, Baldrige said: Its O.K., because we accept anything now.
Ann Marie Sabath, the founder of At Ease Inc., a business etiquette training firm, deemed the hugging perfectly fine.
Its a form of professional endearment. Getting closer than two arms length when you know the other person says, I respect you, we have a comfort level, we have a professional bond. , she says.
Christine Todd Whitman, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bush who 15 years ago was the first woman elected as New Jerseys governor, said that she, for one, had embraced many of her male counterparts, as long as she knew them well.
Comfort level is a major factor in hugging protocol.
When Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton made their first joint appearance after their bitter fight for the Democratic nomination, in Unity, N.H., in June, Obama placed his hand on Clintons shoulder but held back from a full hug. (ANI)

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