George W. Bush and Ricky Martin
Who better to headline the 2001 Inauguration Ball that kicked off George W. Bush’s presidency than closeted gay Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin? It’s not like Bush had a complicated relationship with Latino and homosexual voters at all, right? Oh well, at least now we have this photograph of Bush’s awkward middle-aged-white-man dance to cherish forever.
There’s also video, but be warned: you will probably groan with secondhand embarrassment.
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Newt Gingrich and the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
In 1995, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich invited the Power Rangers to entertain children during a celebration in honor of the Republican’s House Majority. Because nothing says “conservative family values” like a multi-ethnic cast of high school students that fight monsters with karate and pilot interlocking robot animals to defeat giant space creatures.
Even worse? This might actually help his presidential campaign. Never underestimate the power that ’90s nostalgia has on the newly legal-to-vote youth of America.
There’s video of this, too (You’re welcome).
Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley
In 1970, Elvis wrote to Tricky Dick asking for a position in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs so that he could help to combat illicit drug use, and after enough goading Nixon eventually complied. Even weirder, no one found out about the meeting between these two until years later. We guess Nixon liked to play everything close to the chest, even the stuff that made him seem cool.
Condoleezza Rice and Spike Lee
The former Secretary of State and the famous film director met at the XLIV Superbowl Game in 2010. This was four years after Lee publicly said that he dislikes Condi even more than he dislikes George W. Bush, who he really doesn’t like. In light of this, we imagine the small talk leading up to the taking of this picture must have been pretty awkward.
Chuck Norris and Mike Huckabee
For those of you who don’t remember the last presidential campaign (at this point it seems like the race for 2012 has been going on since the beginning of time), one of Mike Huckabee’s more ingenious efforts to expand his audience was a viral campaign video stating his new plan to secure the US border. This plan consisted roughly of “Chuck Norris.” Surprisingly, he is not our president today.
Check out the ad below:
Barack Obama and Justin Bieber
Sasha and Malia are huge fans of the Bieb, so it makes sense that the First Family wanted him around at their last White House Christmas celebration. Still, it’s pretty weird to see these two getting chummy with one another. The last thing Obama’s reelection campaign needs is Justin inserting himself into it, just like he did with Mariah Carey in that awful All I Want For Christmas “duet.”
Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan actually had more in common than you might think. For one thing, they were both very close friends with chimpanzees, and both of their acting careers were actually pretty ridiculous. However, this photo of the two standing together makes us wish that they’d also shared a wardrobe. Can you imagine Reagan in that sequined getup Jackson is wearing?
Sarah Palin and Donald Trump
In May of last year, when both Palin and Trump were running for president until they suddenly weren’t (or whatever it is they said to string the press along), they met for pizza at New York chain Famous Famiglia’s. Odd, because there are so many much better pizza places outside of Times Square, but we’re guessing Palin was afraid of venturing too far into the parts of the city that aren’t “Real America.”
Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the “cast” of Star Wars
A city mayor is pretty small potatoes in the grand scheme of American politics, but this image of Annise Parker smiling happily with members of the 501st Legion to promote Space Center Houston‘s Star Wars: The Clone Wars exhibit in City Hall is decidedly surreal. Here’s to hoping she called off the festivities after actually seeing Episode II and the rest of the prequels.
John F. Kennedy and Superman
Technically this meeting didn’t actually happen, seeing as Superman is a fictional character and Kennedy had already been assassinated at the time of publication, but a July 1964 comic book depicted Superman and the President working together to promote physical health in America. Kennedy is even shown learning Superman’s real identity, which is pretty ballsy of Superman to just blurt out in front of him when you think about it.