The French president’s penchant for failed handshakes in photos

Put ‘er there, partner.
Put ‘er there, partner.
Image: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
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Dutch newspaper Volkskrant (link in Dutch) took a clever comedic swing at French president Francois Hollande this week. In a collage published on Dec. 31, Hollande is seen standing awkwardly, hand outstretched, on nine separate occasions.

The compilation, which looks back on the French president’s year in botched handshakes with other world leaders, was meant to suggest that Hollande’s popularity problems extend well outside of his home country, where the French leader’s approval rating has dipped to near-historic lows. A poll this fall found that only 15% of respondents in the country backed Hollande.

Pooled together, the photos paint a pretty ungraceful picture of France’s head honcho:

French President Francois Hollande handshakes

The collage has been firing through Twitter since it was published, but French media haven’t all taken kindly to the clip. According to Le Huffington Post, (link in French) for instance, many of the photos included in the “cheap” compilation were simply taken just before Hollande successfully shook hands. A fair point, but one that doesn’t exactly detract from the humor. After all, just because the handshakes eventually happened doesn’t necessarily make the getting there appear any less awkward.