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Bill Clinton and Politicians in Short Shorts (Photos)

Politicians who wear short shorts.

An old photo of Bill Clinton and Al Gore jogging in short shorts recently became an Internet sensation. From Sarah Palin to Nicolas Sarkozy, see other politicians wearing short shorts in this gallery.


Bill Clinton and Al Gore

Bill Clinton asked Al Gore to be his running mate in 1992. Out on the campaign trail, Gore said, “I did not seek this nomination or expect it. But I am here to join this team because I love my country.” And apparently to join in on the jogging in short shorts, because here he is running with Bill Clinton in July of that year.

J. Scott Applewhite

President Bill Clinton

Apparently Clinton had something of an affinity for running in short shorts. In 1994, he wore them for a jog with the Houston Police Department.

Marcy Nighswander

Bill Clinton

President Clinton broke out the short shorts again in July 1994, while in Europe for the G-7 summit.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is an avid runner (of marathons). But her pose on a 2009 Newsweek cover in a pair of short shorts caused a great deal of controversy. Palin herself wrote, “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention—even if out of context.”


Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter took running very seriously. He once said, “I start looking forward to it almost from the minute I get up. If I don’t run, I don’t feel exactly right. I carry a watch, and I can click off a mile in six minutes when I really turn it on.” He even declared Oct. 14, 1978, to be National Jogging Day. And like many runners in his era, Carter chose to go running in a tiny pair of short shorts.

Dirck Halstead

George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush stays active any way he can, including parachuting from an airplane and jogging in short shorts. He once said, “Just because you’re an old guy, you don’t have to sit around drooling in the corner. Get out and do something. Get out and enjoy life.”

Michelle Obama

First lady Michelle Obama is often thought of as a fashion icon, but the shorts she wore on a visit to the Grand Canyon in 2009 earned her a rare spate of bad reviews for her style choices. While a poll found that 83 percent of people supported her choice of shorts, one critic noted, “While nobody would make Mrs. O wear couture in Arizona in August, the truth is, she just didn’t look particularly good in shorts. Her arms are much admired. Her legs are just, you know, legs.”

Greg Mathieson / Rex USA

George W. Bush

President Bush wore a pair of short shorts at the President’s Fitness Challenge run in June 2002. Bush is a big fan of running. In one 2002 interview, he said, “It's interesting that my times have become faster right after the war began. They were pretty fast all along, but since the war began, I have been running with a little more intensity. And I guess that's part of the stress relief I get from it. For me, the psychological benefit is enormous. You tend to forget everything that's going on in your mind, and just concentrate on the time, distance, or the sweat. It helps me to clear my mind.”

AP Photo

Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s frequent runs helped earn him the nickname Super-Sarko. Here he is wearing short shorts to run with Wolfgang Clement, Germany’s then-finance minister, in 2004.


David Cameron

While David Cameron once came under fire for riding a bike to the House of Commons without wearing a helmet, nobody faulted him for wearing these short Bermuda shorts while on a bike ride in 2006.