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Shirtless Obama and others: The naked truth about political leaders

December 24, 2008 | 12:44 am

Shirtless seems to be the new dress-up. At least outside of winter climes.Shirtless president-elect Barack Obama shows he can't really walk on water

All the online excitement generated yesterday by a shirtless photo of President-elect Barack Obama got us thinking and looking.

And, you know, these male displays of pectorals are not all that new for politicians or political activists.

As a public service heading into the holidays, The Ticket has assembled a motley collection of shirtless shots here, everyone from French President Nikolas Sarkozy to the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and even our very own California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If you don't recognize them with their clothes off, pass your cursor over the photo for caption material. Maybe do that anyway.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Shirtless then-president Bill Clinton dances with wife now-Senator Hillary Clinton

Shirtless French president Nikolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla on right

Shirtless Vladimir Putin of Russia--note the large knife for missile defense

See more half-naked political people on the jump!

Shirtless President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy on the Pacific Coast

A very modest former vice president Al Gore did not want to embarrass president-elect Obama with his own pecs

Shirtless Alec Baldwin known liberal activist and gun control advocate who promised to leave the U.S. if George W. Bush was elected but never actually got north of Bakersfield

What would Shirtless Chuck Norris do--workout machine pitchman and ex-pretend Texas Ranger who backed conservative Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination but he lost anyway

Shirtless one-time bodybuilder and budget-buster California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Shirtless Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy

Is this a shirtless Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper?

Shirtless political blogger stokes up for the winter

Photo credits: People (Obama); Associated Press (Clintons, Reagans, Gore, Schwarzenegger, Kennedy, Burger Boy); ABC (Putin); MGM (Baldwin); AFP (Sarkozy);; Michael Thompson / GQ (Anniston).