Thursday, May 22, 2014

Obama's Secret Handshake

CBS informs:
 Recent photos have caught President Barack Obama exchanging challenge coins with military personnel during a “secret handshake” that is a revered moment for photojournalists to capture.
The “secret handshake” exchange of the “challenge coins” is a longstanding military tradition in which the U.S. president tucks one of the small medallions into the palm of his hand to give to a stone-faced Marine or military member.
Two weeks ago, photojournalists managed to capture the secret exchange between Obama and two military servicemen in consecutive days, reports. Just moments after the president landed at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, longtime Associated Press photographer Susan Walsh snapped a photo of Obama handing a challenge coin to Col. Patrick Rhatigan, a commander of the 19th Airlift Wing.
“This was the first time I successfully made a photo of the president exchanging a coin,’ Walsh, a photojournalist with the AP for 23 years, told
Walsh admitted that she knew the coin shake “was going to happen,” but catching the actual exchange via photograph is always a challenge.
“You never know if you’re going to get it. It is kind of like photographing somebody winking,” Walsh told AOL. “For me, making a picture of the coin exchange is just like photographing a magician when you can see how they do their trick. It is just very rare and cool to know that you made that photo.”


  1. I shook Lyndon Johnson's hand once. All I got was the heebie jeebies.

    1. If you shake Bill Clinton's hand, you might get herpes.

  2. Whatever happened to the hand buzzer?

  3. Zinc alloy castings offer the advantage of low cost. While a die struck bronze or brass coin is more expensive, the result renders a far superior product (numismatic quality).

    As of 2010, coins manufactured in Asia typically cost between US$2.50 to US$7.00 per coin depending on production process and complexity of design, laser engraving, enamels, voids, etc. The dies must be sculpted by an artist and can range in cost from US$50 to US$300 depending on complexity. The cost of domestic manufacture can be many times this amount.

    In order to be competitive, most North American companies offering challenge coins rely on having the product manufactured 'off-shore'. Many challenge coins are fabricated in South Korea, as the connection to the US military bases there is strong, and costs are cheaper than US made coins. Chinese coins are perhaps even more numerous.
    Cheap Federalie Bastards.

  4. Wow. This stuff is really kindergarten-level. Zekret handshakes among the highly-trained killers.

    One got to question the maturity (and sanity) of adult people engaged in this.

  5. If those challenge coins are made of gold or silver, I'll shake his hand. Otherwise, the POTUS can bugger off.