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5. George W. Bush and John McCain
It's one of the defining images of the 2004 campaign: George W. Bush, that look of steely concentration and/or general befuddlement across his face, with Senator John McCain clinging to him like a small primate. "He has earned our admiration, and our love," said McCain, probably choking over the fact that Bush's campaign had viciously smeared him only four years prior in the 2000 GOP primary. Bush was probably wondering whether he could get chicken-fried steak at the hotel. The hug became a symbol of the awkwardly-staged events and strange bedfellows that characterize politics.
6. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez
Actually, it's hard to find a picture of these two when they're not hugging. The pair have a chummy camaraderie that's just adorable, except for when they're making jokes like this one: "Ahmadinejad and I are going into the […] basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles," said Chavez in January, which is probably not the most sensitive thing to say while hugging a man whose country is probably actively hiding nuclear weaponry. Their brotherly chemistry is the most effective way to humanize a pair of leaders denounced as wackos: look how happy they are to be in each other's arms!
7. Chris Bosh and LeBron James
"It was just a relief, really," Chris Bosh said of his post-finals game hug with both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. "This was a very big game. We had everything riding on this game, to be honest with you. Everybody wanted to win very badly. Just to come out on top, it's the best thing to do sometimes, get a little man hug and keep going." Charles Barkley, for one, was put off, commenting "This is getting sick. Stop it." The hugging incident didn't help Bosh's perceived "softness" coming as it did on the heels of his crying after a Finals defeat, which just proves that there are still a lot of people who haven't come around to realizing that men (even professional sports-playing men) have feelings, too.
8. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton
Although Obama and Hillary Clinton have learned to work effectively, he and Bill didn't always have so much open affection for each other. After Hillary became Obama's Secretary of State, Obama made sure to note that he wouldn't be having any backseat driving from Bill — the two weren't even really seen that much together until last year. But this year, at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton brough Obama on stage and pulled him in for a full-on, eyes-closed, rapturous man-hug. Considering the subtext of Clinton's speech was that "wavering voters need not love Obama to understand that he’s a better choice than Romney," the pair's embrace spoke volumes.