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Larry Kudlow: Obama-Emanuel Embrace a Sign of U.S. Weakness

President Barack Obama hugs outgoing White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, during an announcement that Emanuel will be stepping down to run for Mayor of Chicago . Obama announced that Pete Rouse will be interim Chief of Staff. Susan Walsh/AP

Larry Kudlow, economist, columnist and CNBC TV commentator, has some advice for President Obama: No hugging on national TV. It lacks dignity and shows weakness to U.S. friends and enemies, he claimed.

In a column that appeared in The National Review, Kudlow wrote:

"Am I the only one who saw weakness when President Obama and his departing chief of staff Rahm Emanuel gave each other big, fat, full-bore hug following their speeches at the resignation event in the White House's East Room on Friday?"

"Remember, this is on global television. And it has to do with the very top of the United States government. Our friends and enemies were all watching."

"I think the hug lacked dignity. It did not send a message of American power and forcefulness. So I fret about the reaction around the world to this kind of fraternity-like emotionalism in full public view."

President George W. Bush, right, hugs Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin , center, as U.S. first lady Laura Bush, left, gestures before a banquet for heads of state in honor of the 2008 Summer Olympics games at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. AP

"Why not just a dignified, stand-up, serious handshake? That's what Reagan would have done. A strong handshake shows friendship, respect, and even affection. But a big fat hug seems to go over the line."

Following his hug analysis Kudlow concluded that the "Obama-Emanuel embrace seemed demeaning -- to the presidency, to our officialdom, and to our strength of purpose," and then went on to list several weak points of Obama administration.

I would guess that Rahm Emanuel holding back tears is viewed by Kudlow as a sign that the former Obama Chief of Staff is too weak to become mayor of a tough town like Chicago. 

Mr. Obama is often been criticized for a lack in overt emotion that connects with people. A few hugs won't hurt his image or the standing of the United States on the world stage. 

George W. Bush was a big hugger, and few accused him of being a wimp during his presidency.

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