Politicians are not ordinary people by any stretch of the imagination, so it’s inherently odd when we see them doing ordinary-people things or in ordinary-people situations. I’m thinking of the occasional snaps you see of them holidaying with their families, or having a drink. The Onion exploited this to good effect with Long-Awaited Beer with Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports, and now here’s a lovely photo gallery from Slate of various world leaders having a beer.
I’d say Clinton looks the most like he’s actually into it (and being in Prague he’s bound to be knocking back something decent), while the Cameron/Obama one (above) offers the best example of the smug photo-op beer (although grudging points are awarded to Cameron for giving Obama some real ale; Blair drinking Stella in the Downing Street garden with the winning Ashes squad of 2005 was kind of nasty. Speaking of which, did you see a photo taken on that occasion of Steve Harmison sitting on a swing in the Downing Street garden with a bottle of Stella in hand? It causes the strangest jolt of pride and pathos: he’s just won the Ashes but he looks like a forlorn kid playing on his own. I have searched and searched for it but to no avail).
Back on the politicians, the prize for forced jollity goes to Merkel/Medvedev:
Meanwhile, this all reminds me of the following video of Nicolas Sarkozy arriving late to a press briefing following lunch with Vladimr Putin. Far as I’m aware, Putin is teetotal, but I guess that doesn’t stop him serving vodka to his companions: