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WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?

If nothing else, last night’s US presidential debate gave us this amazing Vine

Campaign 2016 Debate hillary clinton donald trump lester holt
AP Photo/Rick T. Wilking/Pool
That awkward moment when…
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The best moment from Monday night’s first US presidential debate happened right after it ended.

When moderator Lester Holt brought the proceedings to a close, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump approached Holt’s desk at the bottom of the stage to shake his hand. Clinton went first, walking directly over to Holt and shaking his hand without incident.

As that happened, Trump began drifting away from Holt for reasons unknown. Holt leaned over his desk to meet eyes with Trump, but the candidate continued to drift. And then, The Moment, shared widely on the popular video platform Vine:

Holt sloped back into his chair, addressing an itch that had materialized on his nape—the classic “I don’t know what to do with my hands because I was just snubbed of a handshake.” You know, like this:

Or this:

While the Vine cuts off at the moment of maximum comedic value, Trump did return to shake Holt’s hand a few seconds later:

The awkward exchange capped off a rough night for Trump. According to most polls, focus groups, and a consensus of media pundits, Clinton won the debate. Holt, meanwhile, did an admirable job as moderator, making several critical fact-checks in realtime. If only he could have planned for the handshake snafu.

Those lamenting the state of American politics can at least appreciate the universal humor of a handshake gone awry. It will now join “Says who?” in the 2016 US presidential election meme hall of fame, where we can cherish it for eternity.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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