Pressing the Germy Flesh

Searching for an alternative to the classic grip-and-grin

At the White House on New Year's Day, 1907, Theodore Roosevelt set a world record for shaking hands--8,150 of them, according to his biographer Edmund Morris, including those of "every aide, usher and policeman in sight." Having done his exuberant political duty, says Morris, Teddy went upstairs and privately, disgustedly, scrubbed himself clean.

We may presume that on Inauguration Day in January 2001, President Trump will not try to break Roosevelt's record. Trump's views are known: "I think the handshake is barbaric... Shaking hands, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things."

The Donald may be...

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