The Art of the Handshake, Which Trump Has Yet to Master
Another day, another attempt at international diplomacy.
BY Luke O' Neil | Feb 14, 2017 | Culture
If I had to stake my life on two things, it would be: 1) at some point someone told Donald Trump that to make a dominating first impression when meeting a fellow world leader, he would need to utilize judo tactics to dislocate their elbow; and 2) that, having seen this bizarre ritual in the offing the past few weeks, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team spent the lead up to his meeting with the president studying game tape like Mike Babcock strategizing against an opponent's attack.
Consider the shake:
Before digging in, let's take a look at some recent Trump handshakes, like his downright mystifying game of tug of war with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch was completely taken aback by the maneuver, with Trump acting more like a lobsterman hauling in traps than a man offering a greeting.
Then came the shake with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in which Trump appeared to be attempting a combination of sneering condescension and a show of power, alternating between a clean-and-jerk pull and a doting hand pat. It was the grandad-on-creatine of greetings.
But Trudeau, having no doubt seen these two, was ready when he met Trump Monday morning.
Trump is expectant, his hand already offered as Trudeau approaches, as if luring him into his trap. But Trudeau, a much younger, quicker man, effortlessly moves in, overcoming the taller Trump's range for some intimate body work. Almost instantly he grasps Trump's right shoulder, giving himself a base of power off of which to stabilize himself for the expected grapple. Once his feet are set, he grips Trump's hand forcefully and does not let himself get pulled any closer. You can see the tension in the grip as he tries to resist, even as Trump pivots his own hand toward the upper position, trying (in vain) to regain his lost dominance.
BREAKING: Trudeau's handshake coach reveals secret handshake strategy https://t.co/lSzmUCU6SI— Chris Turner (@theturner) February 13, 2017
Inside, the two sit in silence as the cameras click. "I think they might want a handshake," Trump offers. Unlike with Abe, the shake is brief. Trump knows he has been defeated.
This may be a sign that relations between Canada and the United States are off to a rockier start than how they ended under President Obama.
A tale of two photos pic.twitter.com/T23jYxVrRL— Olivia Messer (@OliviaMesser) February 13, 2017
Then again, handshakes can be tricky things to pull off, even among friends.
From: Esquire US.