McCain, Palin Embrace Hugging Etiquette

What's the etiquette for a mixed-gender ticket?
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2008 8:00 AM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale and his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, wave as they leave an afternoon rally in Portland, Ore., in this Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1984 file photo.   (AP Photo/Jack Smith)
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(Newser) – In 1984, Walter Mondale had a strict "hands-off" policy with running mate Geraldine Ferraro, never even putting his palm on her back when they waved to crowds. Two decades later, times have changed: John McCain and Sarah Palin have been embracing on the campaign trail, forgoing handshakes for a series of somewhat stiff hugs. But etiquette for female politicians remains delicate, reports the New York Times.

"People were afraid that it would look like, ‘Oh, my God, they’re dating,'" Ferraro said of Mondale's reluctance to embrace her. But by the '90s things had changed; as New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman regularly hugged and even kissed male counterparts. But McCain and Palin seem far closer than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—who, at joint rallies, have opted for a strange hand-on-shoulder non-hug.