They lead our Nations, States, Provinces, and Cities. They create plans and policies that impact our lives. Yet, politicians remind us every so often that they too are just human. Followed by cameras wherever they go, the world’s politicians know they must be on their best behavior, but sometimes it can all go horribly wrong. From strange gestures to ill-thought-out remarks to straight-up unfortunate timing, these politicians caught the public’s eye for all the wrong reasons.
Let’s be honest. We could make a nearly endless video of awkward moments involving just George W Bush. Today we’ll just pick one. At the 2006 G8 summit, cameras were rolling when US President Bush entered the room and came up behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Rather than say hello or shake her hand, Bush opted to go for the inappropriate shoulder rub. Merkel’s reaction and obvious discomfort pretty much sums up the situation. In any other workplace, this would be a ticket to the HR office but here, it’s just a very awkward moment.
Even when it’s not the working hours, politicians should always make sure they do nothing to harm their image. Nobody told Karl Rove this. At 2007 Correspondents Dinner, the former senior adviser to George W Bush, decided to bust a move to some terrible rapping. As the train wreck unfolded, Rove bounce around in front of the guests pulling off all those awkward dance moves you’d expect to see from an old Washington politicians. As the crowd burst into uncontrollable laughter you get the feeling they are really laughing with Rove, as much as they are at him and his moves.
Boris the Destroyer
And you thought US politicians had a monopoly on awkward moment. The current Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Britain, Boris Johnson, has provided countless uncomfortable moments. One occurred in 2015 while visiting Japan. During a camera-op to promote the 2019 world cup of rugby, everyone watched in horror as the former London Yayor took things a bit too seriously and steam-rolled a ten-year-old on the field. Even better, he just got up and walked away after without really checking to see if his victim was ok.
Slip and FAll
During election time, politicians love showing how they can hang out with the common people and act just like regular folk. It often comes off as scripted and robotic but sometimes, something really special happens. In 2000, while running for the GOP Presidential nomination, Gary Bauer pretty much threw any shot of the White House away. During the bisquick pancake presidential flip off, Bauer tried to show voters he was human by flipping and catching a pancake. It all went wrong when he backed up to catch the flapjack and fell right off the stage.
That is Why it’s Called Live TV
A primary rule any politician should know, is if they are on live television. You see, live television has no takes and no do-overs. Scottish politician Angela Constance should have known this. During an interview on BBC One, Constance started to slip and stumble over her words. At one point she referred to the year as 20,012 instead of 2012. Flustered, she asked to restart only to be told it was all live. The look of surprise on her face says it all in the video very quickly went viral.
If Howard Dean could change one thing in his past we think we know what it is. In 2004 during the Iowa Democratic caucuses, Dean gave a concession speech which pretty much ended any hope of his nomination for the presidency. Against growing crowd noise, he was forced to raise his voice and yell. For viewers at home, the crowd noise was largely filtered out making it seem like Dean was yelling and acting weird for no reason. Then as a cherry on top, he unleashed his infamous scream at the end which was mocked and parodied four years later.
Ford’s Close Up
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was a divisive and controversial figure during his time in office. Drug scandals and inappropriate behavior at City Hall made headlines. But one hilariously awkward moment caught by the cameras stood out above the rest. While leaving a meeting and being dogged by reporters, Ford tried to hurry along but didn’t take stock of his surroundings. As a result, the Mayor walked face-first into a camera. Like something out of a Chris Farley Movie, Forw unleashed a torrent of expletives, before being rushed away.
If there’s one thing you can count on Joe Biden for, it’s that he doesn’t hold anything back, even if it means speaking without thinking things through. While still a vice presidential candidate, Biden produce one of those moments that left audiences cringing. During a campaign stop in Missouri, while introducing various VIPs, Biden mentioned senator Chuck Graham and invited him to stand up. There was just one massive problem Graham is a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair. The future VP quickly saw his mistake and tried to shift direction but the awkward moment had been caught forever by cameras.
If there’s one certainty when it comes to Washington politics, it’s that Bill Clinton loves to nap anywhere, anytime. At funerals, baseball games, and even his wife’s own presidential convention. The former president has shown that anywhere is a good place. Sometimes, this can get especially awkward. Take for instance in 2008 during a service to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Clinton was having his own dream right in front of the entire gathering on TV.
The 2008 G8 summit was your usual affair. Well, except for the fact that France’s leader was drunk. During a session with the press, President Nicolas Sarkozy was shown to be acting rather strangely. Taking strange pauses, smiling weirdly, slurring his words and acting somewhat confused at moments. The whole thing was awkward. Sarkozy isn’t known to be a drinker and the president later said he was just out of breath because he was late. Well that would explain his huffing and puffing, it makes one wonder why he wouldn’t take at least a minute to get himself composed before greeting the press.