Inauguration

Handshake Man Sitting This One Out

Via the WP, Handshake Man will not be putting in an appearance at the 2009 Inauguration festivities.

The Rev. Richard C. "Rich" Weaver — dubbed Handshake Man by followers of his exploits — has been Washington's most famous uninvited guest. Now in his early 60s, he has reached out and touched six presidents and countless senators. He was the ultimate man-without-a-ticket, the scourge of the Secret Service and Capitol Police, a hero to wedding crashers and gate jumpers everywhere, all the little people eternally locked outside the velvet ropes of life.

When asked how he penetrated the tightest of security bubbles, Weaver would say simply: "It's just God, buddy."

Weaver has jumped out of the crowd to present every President since Carter with a handshake, a medallion, and a message from God. He was arrested at the 2005 Inauguration before he managed to greet President Bush, and his sentence requires that he stay of of DC for another year.

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