Winners and Losers

Long before Mitt Romney trotted onto the campaign trail, presidential candidates have been defined by their signature sports.

By Spencer Bailey

FROM LEFT: CYNTHIA JOHNSON/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES; CHARLES OMMANNEY/GETTY IMAGES; GERALD HERBERT/AP PHOTO; CHIP SOMODEVILLA/BLOOMBERG

BILL CLINTON

Sport: Running for burgers

Iconic Moment: During the 1992 race, Clinton frequently stopped at McDonald’s after his morning runs.

Consequences: Saturday Night Live parodied him, and McDonald’s received media exposure estimated at more than $7 million.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Sport: Weed whacking

Iconic Moment: In August 2006, with tensions rising in the Middle East, Bush took time off to clear brush at his Texas ranch.

Consequences: Opponents ridiculed him for being disconnected, but Bush did get to show off his chainsaw.

JOHN KERRY

Sport: Windsurfing

Iconic Moment: A photographer snaps Kerry during the 2004 campaign battling a 5-inch wave off the coast of Nantucket, Mass.

Consequences: The Bush team used the image to brand Kerry an elitist. Since it wasn’t the 1980s, windsurfing remained uncool.

BARACK OBAMA

Sport: Basketball

Iconic Moment: After a Hollywood fundraiser in March, President Obama joined George Clooney and Tobey Maguire for a pickup game.

Consequences: After Obama’s visit with the celebrities, Rush Limbaugh referred to him as “Barack Kardashian.”

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