Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Put 'Er There

This old article from The Washington Post, combined with my germophobia, sparked some thoughts of how attitudes have changed regarding hand-shaking, especially during flu season. An excerpt:

In his 1997 book, "Trump: The Art of the Comeback," Trump wrote, "To me the only good thing about the act of shaking hands prior to eating is that I tend to eat less." During his short-lived run for president in 1999, Trump kept antiseptic wipes in his limousine, and passed out little bottles of Purell hand sanitizer stamped with his campaign Web address. He told an NBC interviewer that year that he wouldn't be doing much gladhanding on the campaign trail. "You catch colds," he said, "you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things."

In recent months, I’ve read about President Bush, former Vice President Gore, and Barack Obama’s routines of using hand sanitizers after pressing the flesh with constituents. I also recall that one of Mussolini’s arguments for the fascist salute was that it replaced hand-shaking.

Some people seem oblivious to the risks. I’ve given speeches and, while shaking hands with audience members, found myself shaking a hand containing a wet handkerchief.

Donald Trump would have loved that!

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