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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama's hug kiss of death for Charlie?



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 When yet another story like this from Politico generates this kind of traffic (front and center on Yahoo), we can't help but wonder how many donations flow to Marco Rubio -- and how many to Charlie Crist, from sympathetic moderates or independents or even Democrats:

“These kinds of images can be deadly,” said Republican strategist Mark McKinnon. “Circumstances and context don’t matter. People impose their own meaning and interpretations. And it’s impossible to undo.”

It is one of the oldest and simplest forms of affection. It’s spanned cultures and religions and gone without stigma for generations. In politics, though, it’s never that simple. And as people, and politicians, have become more comfortable with the hug — particularly the “man hug” (always with a handshake in between to keep the chests from touching) — a downside of this friendly gesture has emerged.

Crist, who until recently maintained untouchable approval ratings, is now getting a taste of what a string of politicians over the past decade have learned the hard way: You’ve got to watch whom you hug.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:06pm]


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