US presidents' most embarrassing moments


Americans say they want a President who looks "presidential".

Which means they don't want their leader looking foolish - like the time George W Bush couldn't open a door.

But with a camera on you every waking moment it's bound to capture a lot.

Dancing seems to trouble American presidents, including Mr Bush and Bill Clinton.

And how about the time Cuba's leader felt President Barack Obama was getting a bit too close, and denied him a hug?

President George HW Bush got even closer to Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in 1992, passing out at a dinner and vomiting on his counterpart.

Election campaigning can be awkward, too.

In 2000, Al Gore celebrated his nomination with wife Tipper - passionately.

And who knew candidate Mr Obama wanted to nick a couple provinces from Canada? He once declared he'd been "to all 57 states" of the US - there are just 50.

Political mud-slinging used to be even more un-presidential than it is today.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson accused John Adams of shipping in foreign prostitutes and said he was a hermaphrodite.

For his part, Mr Adams told voters that Mr Jefferson was dead.

Presidential jokes can fall flat too.

How about Ronald Regan's knee-slapper about blowing up an enemy: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." 

President Richard Nixon, when read a litany of corruption charges, joked he wasn't all bad: "Well, I've also quit beating my wife," he awkwardly quipped.

Post-presidency's no better either.

In 2008, during a commemoration of the United States' greatest civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Clinton fell asleep.

But after leading a country for four to eight years, you'd probably be tired, too.