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What Are These Presidential Candidates Pointing At?

An investigation.

The presidential candidates who don’t make it to the White House can take comfort in the fact that they won’t leave the campaign trail empty-handed. They will return to their existence as normal American citizens with a goody bag of images proving that running for president entails traveling the country while you make every single facial expression on the emoji keyboard.

Some expressions are rarer than others; spying a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is nothing special, while finding a ? is a bit more exotic.

The most important skill any presidential candidate must learn — judging from the deep reserves of photos on file alone — is dramatically looking at something while you point your finger at it. No president in modern history has won without learning how to point at random things while stuffing their face with enough emotion that it could beat Leonardo DiCaprio at the Oscars this year.

This year’s batch of candidates is trying valiantly to live up to the promise of past leaders who passionately pointed at things, but some are still learning. Judge for yourselves which candidate is most gifted at this skill, a trait that won’t win them any primaries but is kinda funny.

Jeb Bush spots a rare creature in the distance: one of his supporters.

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Donald Trump points at his name, his place in the polls, or his home planet.

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Marco Rubio signals where he wishes his kid would go after he’s finished showing how boring his dad’s speech is.

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Hillary Clinton is the most experienced at dramatic finger pointing.

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She has learned advanced moves like the diplomatic finger point...

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...and humblebrag finger point.


Vermin Supreme has broken the fourth wall with his finger pointing.

Dominick Reuter/Getty

Rick Perry was the stock photographer’s dream candidate. Here, watch him brilliantly execute “Man Who Wears Hipster Glasses To Stall The Cruel Hand Of Time Laughs Alone While Pointing At The Unknown.”

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And here, watch as his confident point entrances the man standing behind him to the left. Such artistry could never survive in a modern presidential race.

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Trump pretends he is crossing the Delaware.

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Scott Walker, inspired by pork, starts a finger-pointing wave.

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The coy Christie finger point.


Trump tries to use magic to acquire a visor with his name on it.

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Kasich shows us that important swing state Ohio is that way.

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Carly Fiorina practices her foreboding finger point.

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Jim Gilmore’s half-assed finger pointing is not surprising given the effort he put into his campaign.

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Donald Trump points at a loser — or is about to sneeze.

The Washington Post/Getty