People in the west place a lot of significance on the handshake and what it says about power relationships. Political observers of body language have been discussing for some time Donald Trump’s alpha-male dominance tactic of, when shaking hands, pulling the other person sharply towards him so that s/he is off balance and then shaking the hand vigorously and hard. It appears that word has got around about the Trump maneuver and we saw
French president Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and now French president Emmanuel Macron doing counter moves.
Appearing in a photo-op with the investment-banker-turned-French-President Emmanuel Macron, Trump found himself in a stone faced, white-knuckled stand-off. He attempted to release his hand not once, not twice, but three times. Macron, barely containing a triumphant smile, finally let go.
“They shook hands for an extended period of time,” the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker wrote in a pool report. “Each president gripped the other’s hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening.”
Macron even went further when he was headed towards a group of heads of state at the G7 meeting. Macron seemed to be going towards Trump but at the last minute veered off to greet Germany’s Angela Merkel first and then two other heads of state and only then turned to greet Trump, and then we see the power handshake struggle again.
Man, how petty can you get? What next, arm wrestling?