Last week, while he was in Toronto, federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer tweeted some photos of himself shaking hands with Toronto voters. The subject matter was totally benign, but the way Scheer went about shaking those hands was decidedly weird: his arm was fully extended, putting his body a few feet away from the person he was greeting. In some cases there was even a row of hedges between Scheer and his handshake partner. Is this a big deal? Not exactly. But shaking hands is to politics what boiling water is to cooking: most practitioners master it pretty early on. Twitter was perplexed. Here’s what people had to say.
Here’s the original tweet. Andrew Scheer is making some friends! That’s nice:
Stopped to film a video in Toronto this morning and ended up meeting so many of you who have been let down by Justin Trudeau. Our movement has momentum and I’m not going to stop working hard to help you get ahead. pic.twitter.com/yWjDPGhwPQ
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) August 2, 2019
And then people began to identify something odd:
All of these pics. Why are you standing so far away from everyone? Like you’re afraid to get close?
— ~Cheryl~© (@long_daze) August 3, 2019
This person puts his finger on it:
You met 4 people and all the pictures are weird
— David (@Davibrass) August 3, 2019
It is a little peculiar to be standing a full arm’s length away from someone whose hand you’re shaking—as this guy demonstrated when he tried recreating the pose:
— Silas Brown (@silasjvbrown) August 3, 2019
A number of Twitter users zeroed in on a woman in the background of one of Scheer’s photos. Her arched eyebrow seems to speak volumes (but who knows):
This woman is all of us. pic.twitter.com/nwhXliIzxD
— Ryan ◢ ◤ (@NoPants_Ryan) August 3, 2019
There were calls for the heads of Scheer’s communications people:
Here’s the thing, if you want to be perceived as approachable/ordinary guy-type, fire your comms people stat. These photos are not what you need.
— Pam Shaw (@pamshaw2) August 2, 2019
There was wordplay:
That’s quite a reach (both literally and figuratively).
— Scott Piatkowski (@ScottPiatkowski) August 3, 2019
And there was quite a bit of hedge humour:
— Sophia Banks (@sophiaphotos) August 3, 2019
Everyone loves a good excuse to use this Homer GIF:
— The Real Joseph Lane (@JosephLane) August 3, 2019
And another one:
Waiting for his next victim. pic.twitter.com/fqEGF9ePTy
— Thoughtful Chrysalis (@MentalChrysalis) August 2, 2019
But some people took the skepticism a bit too far:
There’s not one damn thing in these pics to prove you’re even in Toronto.
— Vicki Campbell 🇨🇦 (@merry123459) August 3, 2019