Photos of the Day: Politicians Pretending to Work on the Trail

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Running for office isn't just kissing babies and shaking hands. There's also the time-honored ritual of play-acting that you're blue collar.

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Campaigning for president means surrendering to a certain set of indignities. The press and opposition researchers will rototill your past to find unflattering information, you'll spend hours supplicating donors for money while bouncing around rural states on a bus, and you'll probably have to eat some fried butter. One of the most entertaining rituals, however, is seeing the candidates -- who are by and large well-educated Americans making six figures per year -- attempt to ingratiate themselves with the working-class by taking turns pretending to do blue-collar work.

Some candidates are able to do this more convincingly than others. And some can actually lay claim to a real working-class background. In the 2012 field, for example, Tim Pawlenty's father was a delivery-truck driver, and Herman Cain helped to put himself through college operating a jackhammer on construction sites. Interestingly, pictures of those two doing manual labor on the trail are tough to find.

Here are some of the best pictures of working while stumping.

Image: Timothy Clary / Getty Images

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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