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Obama takes off shirt for mag cover

entertainment Updated: Apr 22, 2009 17:00 IST

Barack Obama has lost his shirt. The bare-chested US President appears only in his swimming shorts on the cover of the May issue of Washingtonian magazine, which hit newsstands yesterday.

This issue focusses on the ‘26 Reasons to Love Living Here’, meaning Washington, and reason number two is: “Our new neighbour is hot”, a reference to Obama’s trim and tanned body on the cover.

Can young Indian politicians pull off an Obama? There are some whom the youth of Delhi do want to see shirtless on a magazine cover, as HT City has found out.

Divya Chakraborty, a 25-year-old educationist, would love to see Omar Abdullah take his shirt off as “he’s handsome and fair.” Vandana Krishnan, 24, a Masters student, chooses “Sachin Pilot for pure eye candy”. Nimi Sen, 25, would go for Milind Deora, as “he’s not the chocolate-boy type — he has a rugged, manly appeal”. And for IIT student Ambuj Kashyap, “Jyotiraditya Scindia is the poster boy of politics.”

Rahul Gandhi gets the vote of boys and girls alike. Vedant Garg, 21, thinks he’d looks “hot”, while Urvashi Sarkar, 22, feels the young Gandhi is “rather dishy”.

Pilot, in particular, gets a lot of thumbs up signs not just for his face but body, too, which many imagine to be worthy of a shirtless shoot. Swati Tandon, 21, thinks he’s the “cutest politician with the best body around”. Ankita Khare, a media student at Jamia Milia Islamia, believes “he is smart and the topless look would suit him”. (Incidentally, the Obama photograph was not specially shot for the magazine. It was a picture of him taken on a holiday in Hawaii.)

Amazingly, even RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav has got a couple of votes in this shirtless straw poll! Ankurita Pathak, 28, thinks the railway minister is so confident and comfortable with himself that he can carry off the ‘topless’ look despite the lack of any muscle tone.

Confidence is a quality Obama has in spades. There are several photos from his Hawaii beach holiday circulating on the Net, and he has been seen jogging in vests after assuming presidency. Washingtonian magazine’s editor-at-large Garrett Gaffe said that the choice to use the picture was because, “He is a buff President that the paparazzi enjoy taking photos of.”

Contacted by CNN, the White House declined to comment on the magazine’s cover.

Inputs from IANS