All public figures – particularly politicians, need to understand that the purpose of a handshake in front of an audience or a camera, is to allow the public to take a reading – to gage the nature of the relationship between the politician and the person he or she is shaking hands with. This rule holds whether a politician is shaking the hand of a world leader or an ordinary citizen at a lunch counter.
Clearly George W. Bush did not understand this concept. As President, he apparently thought shaking hands in front of a camera, was an opportunity to showcase his smile for posterity. These are not anecdotal photographs. On the Getty Images website, there are literally hundreds of photos of President Bush in this same awkward position.