If you watched the White House's good-bye to Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on Friday, you probably noticed the president give his now former number two a hug. Larry Kudlow did and he did not like it. In fact, the embrace, which Kudzilla describes as a "big, fat, full-bore hug" pretty much disgusted him.
But Obama and Rahm are boys, you're surely saying. They've worked together for a while and what's wrong with a good squeeze. In fact, you were planning on giving a departing colleague a BFF-BH later this afternoon. And that's wrong? No. Let Uncle Larry explain. You see, kids, it's one thing when you want to give a special friend/co-worker in a hug in the privacy of your office and/or men's room. But this was on TV. Where people could see it. And that violates Kudlow's strict moral code.
Remember, this is on global television. And it has to do with the very top of the United States government. Our friends and enemies were all watching. I think the hug lacked dignity. It did not send a message of American power and forcefulness. So I fret about the reaction around the world to this kind of fraternity-like emotionalism in full public view. Perhaps I’m overreacting to this. But when it comes to the presidency and the behavior of our top leaders, I think the image we want to send at home and abroad is one of serious strength of purpose. Not some kind of collegiate squeeze. Somehow the Obama-Emanuel embrace seemed demeaning — to the presidency, to our officialdom, and to our strength of purpose.
What what Kudlow have preferred?
Why not just a dignified, stand-up, serious handshake? That’s what Reagan would have done. A strong handshake shows friendship, respect, and even affection. But a big fat hug seems to go over the line.
When in doubt, two quick pumps and you're good to go.