PORTSMOUTH, N.H. Donald Trump is well known for having a distaste for one of the most basic human rituals: shaking hands.
"One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands, and the more successful and famous one becomes the worse this terrible custom seems to get, he wrote in his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback. I happen to be a clean hands freak. I feel much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as much as possible."
So as he launched on a whirlwind trip to New Hampshire today to meet with activists, donors, and average voters it was unclear whether he would change his habits and agree to shake hands with the uncleaned masses.
The answer became clear when he entered the Roundabout Diner and Lounge here, and began grabbing hands like it was his job.
How are you? he said, extending his arm to one person. Nice to see you, he said to another.
It was very warm and very strong, Brian Murphy, a 49-year-old independent from Rye, said of the handshake he received. I was surprised.
Trump has been known to stretch the truth a bit, and it was no different on his past position on pressing the flesh.
When a reporter commented that he was getting good at shaking hands, he said, I have no problem with it. Thats a rumor that the enemies say.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.