Successful politicians have to do many strange things in order to maintain public appearances. Sometimes, that means kissing babies. And sometimes, that means kissing each other!
These kisses are meant to humanize these politicians in the eyes of voters. However, it doesn’t always work. And that’s because all it takes is a stray shot from a photographer to capture just how weird and awkward these kisses really are.
Don’t believe us? Here is our roundup of the most awkward political kisses ever!
Donald Trump and Angela Merkel
At the G7 Summit in 2019, Donald Trump kissed Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. But the image of Trump puckering up is something none of us needed to see.
Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner
We generally expect Democrats and Republicans to be political rivals. This is what makes this 2015 photo of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner smooching House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi right after he was re-elected seem so weird and creepy!
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
Speaking of political rivalries, it’s easy to forget that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were once bitter opponents. This photo is from their first public appearance together after Clinton dropped out of the 2008 presidential race, following a yearlong battle against Obama for the nomination. The look on Clinton’s face tell us exactly how she feels in this moment!
Michelle Obama and Melania Trump
There was a lot of weirdness between the Obamas and the Trumps during Trump’s Inauguration Day in January 2017, including hilarious confusion over what to do with the Tiffany box Melania brought as a gift for Michelle. But this attempt at an affectionate kiss on the cheek between the two first ladies created an awkward pose.
Al Gore and his wife Tipper
Al Gore raised eyebrows when he gave his wife Tipper Gore this passionate kiss, following his nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in 2000.
Melania Trump and Justin Trudeau
Many different things can make a kiss awkward. At the G7 Summit in 2019, what made this kiss between Melania Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so awkward is that she looks really into it and Donald Trump looks like he is embarrassed!
Barack Obama and Angela Merkel
Donald Trump isn’t the only U.S. president to share an awkward kiss with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Barack Obama got caught in this awkward pose with Merkel at the G8 Summit in 2012.
Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi
There was absolutely no love lost between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi during his presidency. But after a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the U.S. Capitol in 2019, Trump actually gave Pelosi a kiss on the cheek — twice. This, of course, was before their rivalry reached a head at the 2020 State of the Union, when Trump refused to shake Pelosi’s hand and Pelosi ripped up his speech.
Joe and Jill Biden
Joe and Jill Biden shared this passionate kiss after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021.
Donald and Melania Trump
Donald and Melania Trump didn’t pull off quite as passionate a kiss as the Bidens when they landed in Osan, South Korea in November 2017. Judging from Donald’s face, it looks like he thinks he is kissing an absolute stranger.
Barack and Michelle Obama
We all know that Barack and Michelle Obama dearly love each other. But sometimes bad angles are not their friend. This photo of Barack and Michelle Obama kissing is almost as awkward as Donald and Melania Trump!
Bill and Hillary Clinton
This photo captures a less-than-passionate kiss between Bill and Hillary Clinton during the inauguration ceremony of his presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas in November 2004.
George W. Bush and Oprah Winfrey
In 2004, presidential candidate George W. Bush appeared on Oprah’s show and then gave her a heartfelt kiss on the cheek. Meanwhile, Oprah looked right at the camera with her best “Are you seeing this?!” face.
Mitt Romney and his wife Ann
On the night of Florida’s primary in January 2012, Mitt Romney, the future Republican nominee for president, leaned in to kiss his wife Ann. But it looks like she wasn’t ready for such affection.
Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich leaned in to kiss his third wife Callista after a presidential debate. But judging from her expression, it looks like she was busy thinking of how things ended up for Newt’s other wives.
John Kerry and his wife Teresa
In 2004, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry kissed his wife Teresa during a Wisconsin rally. But it looks like she’d prefer if he was kissing babies instead.
Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka
Over the years, Donald Trump has been arguably way too affectionate toward his daughter Ivanka. But at this at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire in 2016, the awkward pose makes it look as if they are about to kiss on the lips!
Joe Biden and his granddaughter Finnegan
Donald Trump’s weird affection toward his daughter Ivanka is largely a matter of public record. What you might not know about, though, is that current president Joe Biden got caught awkwardly kissing his then-19-year-old granddaughter Finnegan on the mouth during a 2020 campaign event in Iowa. Some families have no qualms about kissing children and grandchildren on the lips, but it sure does make for awkward photos!
Joe Biden and Brieana Carter
In June 2017, Joe Biden was only meant to quickly pose with Morgan State University graduate Brieana Carter for an Instagram video, but he leaned in and kissed her cheek instead. Carter seemed shocked but smiled, though some critics felt this was another example of Joe Biden inappropriately kissing someone.