This Photo Of Mike Pence Staring At Donald Trump's Handshake Says It All
Ah, the perils of political hand-grasping. What's the best way to go about it? The firm handshake-style, the interlaced-finger pump, or hey, maybe just go with the fist-bump? Well, President-elect Donald Trump really ought to start practicing so he can make it look, well, a little more natural — this photo of Mike Pence staring at Donald Trump's handshake looks a bit like a disappointed father who's suddenly realized he has to teach his son a few things about a confident, decisive grip.
The photo came from Trump's much-ballyhooed meeting with a host of prominent figures in tech, including one of his few high-profile supporters and advisers from Silicon Valley, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Thiel was seated immediately to Trump's left — perhaps one of the perks of being on the Trump Train prior to the Republican nominee's shocking electoral map victory? — with incoming vice president Mike Pence seated to his right.
And, like any impending president looking to brush up on his gregarious shows of public support might, Trump decided to clasp Thiel's hand. Obviously, it's not entirely clear what moment preceded or followed this snapshot in time. But let's just say that the photographer was right on time, capturing an awkward handshake for the ages, as well as Pence's... skeptical look, let's say.
Now, look, who's to say what was going through each man's head at this instant? You see an awkward photo, of a moment that may have been fleeting and over with in an instant, and your mind sets about drawing conclusions. For a good example, you might recall that simultaneously awkward and frightening photo of Mitt Romney's dinner with Trump — a forlorn, hapless looking Mitt glancing over his shoulder, a "can you believe this?" look plastered on his face, with Trump's downright devilish grin burned in the background.
But perhaps what it most evokes from recent political memory is Ted Cruz's truly awful botched hand-raising with his vice presidential pick, Carly Fiorina. What's that, you say? Vice presidential pick? How easy it is to forget now, all these months away, but, yep — there were actually three major-party vice presidential selections made this year, and Fiorina was one of them.
And with chemistry like that, you can see why! Obviously, none of us can ever truly know what was going through Pence's head in that moment. But if you had to take a guess, it probably wasn't "well done, sir, well done."