Is there anyone in the nation's capital busier than President Obama? Hardly. Which makes it amazing that amid all of the demands of the nation's highest office, President Obama has actually, and rather surprisingly, emerged as quite the ladies man. So, for Valentine's Day, we're making a close examination of perhaps the most under-analyzed aspect of his presidency to date: His flair for giving a kiss.
President Obama is roundly celebrated for his deft speaking abilities, but we've noticed he has mastered a whole other art of lip service, too. And the proof of his mastery has been captured countless times with photos of the president getting cozy with a host of political figures and world leaders.
As you look through these photographs, take note of the president's signature kissing technique, as it reveals a whole new dimension of his persona. President Obama, typically the picture of calm and poise, throws caution to the wind and lets his lips fall where they may, much to the delight of those on the receiving end.
For starters, take the president's embrace with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, an encounter in which he pressed his lips dangerously close to her grinning mouth -- a captivating sight to be sure.
Then there's the lingering, closed-eyed nuzzle with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, where he seemed to savor the sweet scent of her perfume. Perhaps the most intriguing moment snapped by a photographer was the love-struck expression on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's face when the president held her close for a hug and began to close in for a kiss, her eyes closed as if lost in a timeless rapture. If this series of photos tell a story, it's that Barack Obama is so much more than the nation's Commander-in-Chief. He's our Lover-in-Chief.
The Lover-in-Chief does not merely show affection to the many, many women he encounters. He's an equal opportunity and noticeably bi-partisan lover, embracing men from both sides of the aisle (in addition to all those women). Indeed, you'll see a photo of him gently comforting Arizona Senator John McCain, after having outpaced him in the 2008 presidential election. And you'll be exposed to a scene you may think you'd never behold: a photo of him and George W. Bush hugging it out. Among all of those images of the president caught in the act, you'll certainly see shots of him planting some smooches on the lips of his main squeeze, Michelle. Although, from the looks of it, we're not sure she's his only Valentine this year ...