US polls get 'physical' with bear hugs

  • AP, Washington
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2012 15:14 IST

A local patron reacts to seeing US President Barack Obama during his unannounced visit at Bob Roe's Point After Pizza in Sioux City, Iowa. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Barack Obama goes airborne in a doozy of a bear hug with a pizza guy in Florida. Joe Biden cozies up with a biker chick in Ohio. Paul Ryan encircles a campaign supporter in North Carolina in a double-armed embrace.

"America's become more touchy-feely," says Lillian Glass, a body language expert based in Los Angeles.

"That's what they want in their candidates, and that's what they're getting."

Plenty of people were taken aback by images of Obama being hoisted well off the floor when 46-year-old Scott Van Duzer enfolded him in a chest-to-chest bear hug on Sunday.

Obama had stopped in at Van Duzer's pizza place during a weekend bus trip across Florida, and spoke admiringly of the owner's big "guns".

It was a reference to the impressive arm muscles on the 6-foot-3 restaurateur, who decided to demonstrate what he could do by powerlifting the President.

And that's what this touching is about - making voters comfortable with candidates.


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