Without a doubt, that is the best picture you will get out of this campaign, period. I mean, that’s it. That’s the kind of photo a caption contest is made from. But in case you somehow haven’t heard about it yet, here’s a little background (courtesy of the Huffington Post):
In Florida for his bus tour on Sunday, President Barack Obama made an unannounced stop at Big Apple Pizza and Pasta in Ft. Pierce. There, the shop’s owner, Scott Van Duzer, lifted the president off the ground […]
Obama entered the shop saying, “Scott, let me tell you, you are like the biggest pizza shop owner I’ve ever seen,” according to a White House pool report. Van Duzer, 46, is a big guy: He is 6′ 3″ tall and weighs 260 pounds.
After Obama was lifted up, he said “Look at that!” Man are you a powerlifter or what?” He continued, according to the pool, talking about Van Duzer’s big muscles. “Everybody look at these guns,” he said. “If I eat your pizza will I look like that?”
No, Mr. President, everyone knows this is what gets you big muscles. It’s a shame that it isn’t pizza, I know. I’d probably be an Olympic weightlifter if it was.
Apparently, this fellow has gotten exactly zero trouble from the Secret Service for this, but since Obama appears to have gotten as big a kick out of it as I have, in this case it isn’t a big deal. I do think, however, that it underscores a big difference between Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney: Likability, an area in which Obama has done considerably better than Romney in the polls. And be honest – could you see Romney allowing himself to be picked up like that? I’m not saying that would be unjustified in this case, but it is something to think about. (Overall, Obama has gotten a boost in the wake of the Democratic convention, something Romney was not able to claim after the Republican convention.)
That might explain why Van Duzer, despite being a registered Republican, is once again planning to vote for Obama. As he told reporters, “I don’t vote party line, I vote who I feel comfortable with, and I do feel extremely comfortable with him.” So is this our new test? It’s not who you’d have a beer with, it’s who would let you powerlift them? I personally have no problem with that test, but I have a feeling some future candidates might…