Yep, it’s alive and well this campaign season. Skip up onto the stage (see
how young and agile I am!), shake hands with the chairman, mouth a couple of
words at him through the applause (“Nice tie! Can we get the a-c turned up a
bit?”), turn, wave to the audience, then start pointing.
Kerry and Edwards are introducing an interesting variation on the Politicain
Point, though: they are pointing with their *thumbs*. In fact, thumbs are
big this campaign. It’s not a regular thumbs-up gesture — back of the hand
towards the viewer, thumb straight up. This is more of a perp thumb — the
one you do when about to have your thumb-print taken at Central Booking.
Knuckles toward the viewer, only the second phalanx showing above the curled
fingers, ball of the thumb towards the viewer. Kerry and Edwards are both
doing it. The idea seems to be that it’s a kinder’n’gentler way of using
hands to emphasize what you’re saying. The 2004 electorate won’t stand for
a wagging or jabbing finger, so give ‘em a thumb. Has the slight additional
advantage of some optimistic carry-over from the old thumbs-up sign. But
it’s getting mixed up with the Politician Point. I am sure I have seen
Kerry doing the P-P with his thumb.