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What defines a world leader? Their policies? Their diplomacy? No, it’s definitely their handshake. How your country stacks up in the world can clearly be seen when all those leaders get together to discuss foreign policy, the environment and their summer vacation houses. Any of those meetings will always end with a handshake photo-op to show just how diplomatic and cooperative everyone is.

Donald Trump, being the business man that he is, is all about the power shake. He shakes hands like he’s just closed a deal. A deal that makes him millions and puts the other guy on welfare. His handshakes are all about dominating the other person. That’s fine when you’re exiting a business meeting, but it’s a little unnerving on the world stage.

At first, world leaders didn’t really know how to navigate a Trump handshake. Because he doesn’t seem to be capable of having a normal one. Like this one with Shizo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, where Trump latches on, pulls the hand-tapping power move and then doesn’t let go for a whopping 19 seconds. Yikes!

That was uncomfortable. And terrifying. No wonder Melania doesn’t want to hold his hand.


Well, since the Shizo incident, it looks like world leaders have been brushing up on their power shakes–stretching out those tendons, limbering up those wrists–so they’re ready when the challenge arises. First to beat Trump at his own game was our very own Justin Trudeau. Look at him grasp the arm, refuse to be jerked around and smile the tensest of smiles. Vive le Canada!


The President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, wasn’t having any of it either. Donald Trump may have made some authoritarian moves in the past few weeks (*cough* Comey) but he just doesn’t have what it takes next to a real authoritarian. Seriously, Tajikistan just voted last year to give Rahmon power indefinitely. It’s pretty obvious in the handshake.


The new French president, Emmanuel Macron looks like he’s also been preparing for his first encounter with Trump. During their meeting at NATO, Macron not only artfully avoids having his arm jerked, but won’t let Trump’s hand go as he pulls away. The ultimate power move.

He may be France’s youngest president at age 39, but he will not be moved. Let’s look at that a little closer.


We think this description just about sums it up:


Not only did Trump get completely owned there. But it happened AGAIN.


Aw, look at Trump try to overcompensate but Macron recovers beautifully and proceeds to give a little patronizing arm tap. Who said world politics wasn’t fun?

BONUS: Trudeau and Macron seem to be getting along really well at the G7 summit. Establishing a Power Handshake club perhaps?