Ring things. New footage of President Barack Obama removing his wedding band before shaking hands with a crowd of people has spectators wondering—Why?
The leader of the free world was documented disembarking Air Force One at the Greensboro, North Carolina airport on Tuesday, October 11, when the footage was captured. As POTUS walks towards a crowd of spectators at the rope line, he deftly removes the ring from his left hand and slips it into his left pocket.
He pays no mind to his movements as he’s focused on the people greeting him on the tarmac. “How y’all doing?” he asks before extending his hand to a young boy.
The clip, originally posted by The Washington Post, has garnered a large amount of interest from the public. The paper first took the angle of the president taking “additional precautions” with his own valuables, despite the presence of Secret Service agents.
Even from the Today show co-hosts commented on the interesting gesture on Wednesday, October 12. “Now, I want to know what you think about this,” Matt Lauer told viewers Wednesday morning. “President Obama been in the office for eight years, now still finding ways to surprise us. I want you to see a video, the president walks over to a group of people. Watch what he does! You can see, he removes his wedding ring in one swift motion.”
Oftentimes, the president will oscillate between hands when he extends handshakes to a large crowd. This made Hoda Kotb think about another reason why he removed his ring. “You know what it might be?” she inquired, before gesturing to Savannah Guthrie. “Let me shake your hand. When someone squeezes… maybe it’s a pain problem.”
“Oh, that hurts,” Guthrie replied. “Oh, that could be! Maybe he’s afraid it’ll slip off or something.”
Then Carson Daly offered up a comical theory of his own.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, recently celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary this month. The Obamas captivated the public’s interest this past July when the first lady delivered a memorable speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Her proud husband took to Twitter immediately after to praise the rousing delivery.
“Incredible speech by an incredible woman,” he tweeted at the time. “Couldn’t be more proud & our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle.”
Watch the moment above.