People noticed that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did not shake hands as the second presidential debate started on October 9.
Typically, candidates shake hands when they come on the stage. Their spouses – Bill Clinton and Melania Trump – did shake hands. The New York Times said that there were conversations in the Clinton campaign about whether she should shake Trump’s hand when she walked in. She didn’t.
Clearly, tensions had already been growing between the two campaigns, with the fallout continuing over the lewd comments Trump made to a former Access Hollywood host on video. Before the debate, Trump sat with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault at a press conference. They were at the debate, along with a woman whose alleged rapist Hillary represented as a lawyer when the woman was a child.
Neither Trump nor Clinton made a move to shake hands. Instead, CNN said the two candidates stood awkwardly on stage with their hands dangling at their sides.
In fact, there was more than a foot between them.
However, they did shake hands at the end of the debate.
The debate quickly descended into fireworks and strong criticism from both sides, with Trump bringing up women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, and Hillary Clinton accusing Trump of not having the temperament to be president.
People on Twitter noted the tense atmosphere that started with the handshake, especially since the format did not have podiums. Some felt the candidates were right to not shake hands, though.
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