Photo Illustration by Elena Scotti/Fusion

For politicians, hugging is part of the job. Sometimes it can win you votes. Other times, it can sour you to your base for life — hi, Chris Christie.

For U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who is announcing his run for president on Monday, one hug also played a significant role in the formative moments of his political career.


In 2009, as Rubio considered mounting a challenge to incumbent, then-Republican Sen. Charlie Crist in the following year's election, he trailed in polls by 30 points. But as President Barack Obama stopped in Florida to pitch his $787 billion stimulus plan, Crist appeared as a guest and greeted the president with a hug. Rubio seized upon the moment, and the rest is history.

But Rubio has also weaponized the hug for good purposes. Here are 10 techniques he's used when embracing constituents and others on the campaign trail.

The Two-Armed Reacharound

The Closed-Eyes Embrace

The Long Build-Up 

The Two-Armed-Reacharound-That's-So-Good-The-Other-Guy-Doesn't-Even-Know-Where-To-Put-His-Hand 

The It's-Hard-To-Hug-While-You're-Pulling-My-Neck 

The Lean Over

The Cautious Embrace With Some Outside Encouragement 

The Double

The Presidential 

Brett LoGiurato is the senior national political correspondent at Fusion, where he covers all things 2016. He'll give you everything you need to know about politics, with a healthy side of puns.


Elena Scotti is a New York-based visual artist and Fusion’s senior photo editor and illustrator. She eats more pizza than your entire family combined.