Ouch? McKenna and Inslee’s pre-debate handshake

Democrat Jay Inslee (right) and Republican Rob McKenna (left) shared this uncomfortable looking handshake before the Vancouver gubernatorial debate began on Aug. 29. Columbian photographer Steven Lane snapped this series of photos of the handshake:


What, exactly, is going on here? Is Inslee, as one reporter in our newsroom suggested, crushing McKenna’s hand as McKenna tries to pull away? Or are the two just clumsily trying to make their handshake work as they reach across the guy setting up a debate microphone?

Speaking of awkwardness, I’ve heard several people comment about how close the candidates were to each other during the debate. Even McKenna pointed out the claustrophobic feeling of having to stand so near his rival at the event.

“I thought the organizers did a nice job,” McKenna said on Wednesday during an editorial board meeting with The Columbian. “It was a little crowded up there on the stage. … It was a little odd, but it worked out. The stage was so small and they only had one camera.”

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