Someone got close enough to crush the President.

From a New York Times article:

When Mr. [Gabriel] Whitney, one of 202 midshipmen to graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., on Monday, stepped forward to receive his diploma, it just sort of happened. Call it irrational exuberance. But after six years of undergraduate school and 4,872 demerits, Mr. Whitney, 25, of Nashua, N.H., could hardly restrain himself.

With more reason than most to be overjoyed, the 6-foot-7 midshipman stepped onto the stage to accept his degree and hugged Vice Adm. Joseph D. Stewart, the academy’s superintendent. Then he raised both arms in a victorious salute as his classmates roared their approval.

Elated and with his arms still upraised, he turned toward President Bush, who had just delivered the commencement address.

Mr. Bush, wearing a quizzical expression, responded by raising his arms as well and moved in for a hug. The midshipman—almost unwittingly —found himself squeezing the president in his powerful arms. When the president caught his breath, he shook Mr. Whitney’s hand.

“I said, ‘You’re the man! Thank you very much,’ ” Mr. Whitney said in a telephone interview yesterday.

“The president thought the big bear hug was funny,” said Dana M. Perino, a White House spokeswoman. “He appreciates the terrific enthusiasm of our nation’s graduates, and he was honored to be the first president to address the Merchant Marine Academy. It was quite a thrill for everyone.” [more…]

Yes, this is a heart-warming story of passion and grace. But I do wonder how many secret police voluntarily turned in their resignations within the first 30 minutes after the event.

Hello?!