Pakistan's prez salivates over Palin

Asif Ali Zardari seems to misinterpret a meeting as a first date.

Published September 26, 2008 6:45PM (EDT)

Now, this is supremely uncomfortable. It's kind of like going to the family reunion and running into your dirty uncle, the one who reeks of booze, insists on planting a wet kiss on your cheek and can't stop talking -- to anyone who will listen -- about how you've "bloomed." Only, in this case, it's exponentially worse: You're a vice-presidential hopeful meeting with world leaders before a gaggle of journos, and the dirty uncle is the president of Pakistan. If you think you can take it, watch the video of Palin's Wednesday meeting with Asif Ali Zardari or jump to the blow-by-blow below.

As they exaggeratedly shake hands, Palin says, "I am honored to meet you." Zardari offers, "You are even more gorgeous in life than you are on the television." Palin laughs graciously: "You are so nice. Thank you." They release their hands, but Zardari is clearly on a roll at this point and he turns to the photogs: "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you!" Palin's smile tightens and she waves off the comment, but -- sigh of relief -- at least this 13 seconds of supremely awkward hand-holding with a leering world leader is over. Except, an aide asks for them to shake hands, again! Then Zardari half-kids, "If he's insisting, I might hug."

For once, I'm feeling Palin pains for her and not because of her.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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