Obama gives the finger

Slide show: He may be the world's finest speechmaker, but the finger wagger in chief has one small weakness

By Ethan Sherwood Strauss
March 14, 2010 12:01AM (UTC)
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President Barack Obama speaks at Macomb Community College Tuesday, July 14, 2009, in Warren, Mich. President Obama is proposing a multibillion-dollar investment in the nation's community colleges, a $12 billion effort to help the two-year institutions reach, teach and train more people for "the jobs of the future." (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya)

As any 4-year-old knows, it's not polite to point. And as anyone who has ever taken a remedial public speaking class has been taught, pointing at your audience can seem aggressive or abrasive. The public speaking pros at Toastmasters don't recommend the wag, and they warn it is "considered impolite in most Middle Eastern and some Asian cultures." President Obama probably deserves credit for not adopting the odd, slightly castrated "Clinton thumb" as every other politician seemed to do in recent decades. Still, as you'll see in this very modest selection of photos, maybe it's time to put that gun in its holster for a while.

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