Good Touch, Bad Touch, Presidential Style

creepy Bush massage

Unless president George Bush has been taking correspondence courses in massage therapy, he probably shouldn’t have tried to give German chancellor Angela Merkel a very awkward neck massage. She didn’t look pleased about it either as Boing Boing writes:

Today, blogger Taylor Marsh posts photos of another “candid moment” in which President Bush gives an unsolicited, surprise neck-massage to German prime minister Angela Merkel. The Los Angeles Times reported:

“Entering the meeting room, as relayed by a Russian television camera, Bush headed directly behind the chancellor, reached out and, placing both hands on the collar of her gold jacket, gave her a short massage just below the neck. She smiled.”

IANAFRE (I am not a facial recognition expert), but that doesn’t look like much of a smile to me, or a happy hand-gesture following. What odd manners the leader of the Western world has. Link

Eww, just eww. Of course, he’s married to this woman, so who the hell knows what he was thinking.

Update: James Wolcott takes on the role of masseur pundit:

Put simply, what Bush did is a very odd way for a married man to behave under most circumstances, even odder under these. I’m sure Lance Mannion, TBogg, and medal-honored veterans of matrimony will back me up on this: a husband’s reaching down to massage a woman’s shoulders is not standard operating procedure. Quite the opposite. It’s an invitation to trouble and lengthy interrogation–from questions that begin, “What were you doing?” and proceed, Pembleton-style, from there.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. “Put simply, what Bush did is a very odd way for a married man to behave under most circumstances, even odder under these.”

    I disagree.. this doesnt seem like any big deal to me.

  2. It should also be noted that Europeans are much more open to casual contact with others (even complete strangers) then americans are.

  3. Europeans kiss each other on the cheek- 2 or 3 times depending on the country. Massages are usually left for the spa. And no matter what, it is much too intimate an action for heads of country. Unless the pig went really well the other night.

  4. It is very patronizing to come up behind someone and touch them without giving them a chance to consent. She reacted in just the way any normal person would have.

  5. Who the fuck cares. This is a matter of such tiny important it never should have even been on HOT, other than it is funny :)

  6. If it were e, Bush would have been liplocked and nothing stupid would be able to come out of his mouth. Somebody should seriously suggest it. What’s a little E when you have a history with C?

  7. Europeans in general may be more open to casual contact but Germans are well known for their reserve. Read some German newspapers to get *their* perspective on this.

  8. I would have paid money to watch the Chancellor’s security team tackle Bush to the ground and rough him up a bit.

  9. Is this any way for the “leader”(and I use the term losely) of the most powerful nation in the world to act? This man is a total embarassment to this country. Can this country survive till 2008 under the Cheney administration?Yes I said Cheney since, he is after all the man who is actually running this country!

  10. Dudes. Rise above the banality of commenting on shoulder massages. And rise *way* above insulting a politican’s *wife* because of how you think she looks.

  11. Bush brought down the towers
    He led us into a war based on lies
    A boeing 757 did not hit the pentagon
    US troops killed Berg
    Republicans and Democrats are to blame
    Corporations destroy democracy
    Apathy keeps retards in power
    Bin Ladin either doesn’t really exist or he is still working for the CIA.

  12. I would like to see the President act Presidential. He should have left this frat boy crap in college. If I give a neck massage to any of my co-workers I would be out of a job.

  13. Presidential would be OK, but I’d rather see the President act like Sheriff Taylor: “Now, Dick, I’ll just hold onto your bullet here in my shirt pocket…”

  14. In Germany, that kind of physical contact is reserved only for intimates (spouses, lovers, immediate family). Hence, the headlines reading “Love-Attack on Merkel”. It was a major no-no, and an embarrassing cross-cultural gaffe that could have been prevented with a little knowledge about German personal-space rules.

    Never mind that even in the USA, such actions are considered bad form at best and sexual harassment at worst.

  15. The thing that I find weird about this is the timing. You don’t just walk into a room and start giving massages out, this isn’t an international flight terminal (trust me they need it), he should of at the very least consented first.

    But as everyone has said about this, who cares! This is not news, it just another one of those Bush things that he does.