Friday, July 07, 2017

Trump, Putin, and the Double-Fisted Handshake

By Douglas V. Gibbs

It was a meeting of two strong personalities.  There was a powerful man in the room, and it wasn't Vladimir Putin.  It began with a backstage meeting at the G20 Summit.  Mounted cameras caught the whole thing.

Trump knows how to walk into a room.  He's charismatic and shaken by no one.  With the confidence he exhibited approaching the Russian President, I almost expected the American President to say, "Trump, Donald J. Trump."  (cue secret agent music)  It was a strong handshake with Trump's powerful personality slathered all over it.  It seemed to launch a private joke.  They both looked as if they were on the edge of a chuckle.  But, as they shook hands, Trump reached with his left hand to pat the underside of Putin's arm

The point goes to Trump.

Trump didn't look into Putin's eyes and see his soul.  Trump looked into Putin's eyes and rattled the Russian's entire interior.

Body language expert Judi James claims the US President “nailed” the historic handshake with the Russian leader and proved his superior status at the event in Germany.

Someone asked me last night, with all of the accusations of Russian hacking and probing regarding our election, how could Trump even be willing to meet with Putin?

He's President of the United States.  That's what he must do.  It is a part of the job.  Unlike Obama, Trump didn't go in there as a frightened child, but as the man commanding the room, and putting everyone on notice.

In Poland he defended western values the day before.  He encouraged the defense of liberty, and pointed a finger at the Middle East, and Russia.  Our values are superior, he said, and it became a defining speech only one day before the historic handshake.  Trump was larger than life, returned leadership in the world to America with the speech and the handshake, and the Trump administration has captured the resolve that is America, and reaffirmed that the United States is the leader of liberty in the world . . . and the media has reported otherwise because it frightens them, focusing on the reactions of Europe's elites and anti-capitalists, not the people who cheered the American President.

Trump spoke in Poland as the Polish people embraced him, and chanted their love for him; and then Trump dominated Putin with his double handed first pump.

After Poland proclaimed their love for Trump, Putin revealed his respect for President Trump.  Putin did not look like he normally did with Obama, bored, and like he was trying to work with a child in the room.  Putin raised an almost wary-looking hand for the handshake with Trump, but rather than be intimidated, Trump leaned forward with an outstretched arm and offered his hand palm-up.

Body language expert Judi James explained, “This is an infamous power-trap and Putin had no option but to put his hand into the clamp.  Once there he suffered an underarm-patting from Trump that made him look like the dominant leader, so much so that Putin responded with a pointed finger, which is the body language equivalent of drawing a weapon.  Trump looked far more at ease here and the pose ended with Putin standing with his hands folded on the table while Trump continued to lean across the gap and pat him on the back.  If Trump wanted to show friendliness but superior status I have to say he nailed it this time.”

According to Judi James, the Kremlin boss is usually adept at dominating his opponent when it comes to handshakes – making the Trump defeat even tougher to take.

She said, “Putin is an adept power-patter, adding a paternal pat to his shakes with world leaders in a bid to register dominance. He also uses disarming humour as he did with Merkel, getting her to laugh with him as they shook to suggest strong rapport.  With Trump...the huge spatial gap between the two men played to the U.S. president’s advantage.”

It reminded me of a childhood dog I had.  The dog barked at strangers so much so that the hair on her back reared up and the fangs were exposed.  She frightened everyone, and nobody ever dared to even try to pet her.  It was enough to make us half-believe the rumor that she was half-coyote.  Then my future and current wife of 33 years met the dog, and Virginia showed no fear.  She walked up, extended her hand, and before the dog could try to nip at her fingers, she slammed her palm atop the dog's head and rubbed vigorously.  You could see the confusion on the dog's face.  She didn't know what to do with the firm treatment.  So, she sat, wagged her tail, and never barked at Virginia again.

That is what Trump did to Putin in their first in the flesh meeting.  Putin's days of barking, at least for the time being, may have been quelled.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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