Dancing With the Stars and Stripes

A campaign blog.
May 27 2008 6:48 PM

Dancing With the Stars and Stripes

Perhaps the biggest advantage of campaigning in Puerto Rico is that it forces both candidates to dance.

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Obama broke into a timid little groove—it looks kind of like he’s running in place—while campaigning on Saturday in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan (video here ; it’s around 1:50). Yesterday, Fox News embed Aaron Bruns managed to persuade Hillary Clinton to make vaguely dancelike movements to Enrique Iglesias’ "Be With You" at a bar.

Both moments are, somehow, incredibly charming. If I were an advance staffer for a campaign, I’d get palpitations every time danceable music started playing. Everyone knows dancing makes perfect stock footage for attack ads . But the high risk comes with high payoff. When Obama shook it on Ellen , he probably won over grandmothers across the nation. In Clinton’s case, showing vulnerability has worked out rather nicely, too. 

Best of all, it provides some clear contrast with John McCain ( Exhibit A ). Every time McCain proposes an unmoderated debate, Obama should propose a pop and lock contest .

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.