Barack Obama: No Sweat

So, in addition to his many other otherworldly qualities—the leg-thrilling oratory, the generation-uniting charisma, the Halo of Hope that bathes him in a glow of light—it looks like we’ve got one more to add to the list: Barack Obama, apparently, doesn’t sweat.

No, seriously. Dry as a bone. The Dems’ nominee presumptive does aspiration, yeah. Inspiration, sure. But perspiration? Nope.

We get this odd bit of TMI in the wake of yesterday’s rabid speculation about the candidate’s trifecta of gym visits on Wednesday: Was he demonstrating his athleticism? treating a sore hip? secretly meeting with potential running mates? sneaking off to an enchanted forest to frolick with unicorns and various woodland creatures? No one seemed to know for sure. But then, out of the blue, unasked for and odd, the AP gave us the following:

A distinct lack of visible sweat on the Illinois senator triggered questions about whether he was actually exercising or using the gym visits as cover for conducting vice presidential vetting or interviews.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton e-mailed a succinct, two-word answer: “Working out.”

That view held credence among some of the photographers who regularly accompany Obama. They said that even when he shot hoops earlier this year with members of the University of North Carolina varsity men’s basketball team, they didn’t see Obama sweat.

Got it? Obama wasn’t sweating, but that doesn’t mean he was vetting. He’s just not a sweaty guy. Deem that “effete” or “Messianic” as you will; as far as I’m concerned, anyway, Obama’s humanity has been a question ever since we found out that he doesn’t like ice cream.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.