36 Sweet And Hilarious Photos Of Presidents With Babies

"Baby kissing" in politics goes back to the 1800s.
Jimmy Carter is one of many presidents who engaged in "baby kissing" on the campaign trail.
Bettmann via Getty Images
Jimmy Carter is one of many presidents who engaged in "baby kissing" on the campaign trail.

Politicians use many tactics to gain the trust and support of potential voters ― including holding and kissing constituents’ babies.

“Baby kissing,” which even has its own Wikipedia entry, is a time-honored political tradition that appears to date back to the days of Andrew Jackson.

According to a story printed in 1888, Jackson took a “dirty-faced infant” from his mother’s arms and declared him “a fine specimen of American childhood” while in New Jersey in 1833. He then reportedly prompted Secretary of War John Eaton to kiss the baby before handing him back to his mother.

Other accounts have suggested that presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt also held and kissed babies. Apparently Grover Cleveland and Richard Nixon were not fans of the tradition, however.

Still, the practice became normalized over time, particularly on the campaign trail. Photographers have also captured images of presidents holding their own kids and grandkids over the years.

We’ve rounded up 36 photos of presidents holding and kissing babies (and a few toddlers) going back to the 19th century. Some were taken on the campaign train, while others depict president-baby interactions inside the White House. Needless to say, these photos run the gamut from adorable to hilarious to slightly off-putting...

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Campaigns In Iowa
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DUBUQUE, IOWA - FEBRUARY 02: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (R) greets a baby during a campaign event on February 02, 2020 in Dubuque, Iowa. With one day to go before the 2020 Iowa Presidential caucuses, Joe Biden is campaigning across Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (R) greets a baby during a campaign event on February 02, 2020 in Dubuque, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
President Donald Trump holds a baby upon his arrival in Milwaukee on April 18, 2017.
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Trump, who at the time was the Republican presidential nominee, kisses a baby during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, on Nov. 5, 2016.
Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Trump holds babies at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 29, 2016.
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President Barack Obama cradles a baby at Charcoal Pit restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 17, 2014, before having lunch with Tanei Benjamin, a single working mother who wrote a letter to him.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Obama kisses a baby after speaking at a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, on April 27, 2010.
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Obama, at the time the president-elect, holds a baby as his visits volunteers during a National Day of Service Project event on Jan. 19, 2009.
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President George W. Bush holds up a baby during a campaign rally at Lancaster Airport in Lititz, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 27, 2004.
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Bush kisses a baby after speaking to reporters during a rally in Onalaska, Wisconsin on Oct. 26, 2004.
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Bush holds a baby at the Naval Station Mayport on Feb. 13, 2003, after speaking to sailors and military personnel in Jacksonville, Florida.
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President Bill Clinton holds a toddler on Aug. 4, 2000, after landing for his annual vacation on Martha's Vineyard island.
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Clinton, then a presidential candidate, holds a baby Oct. 5, 1992, in Florida.
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Clinton holds up a baby at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York.
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President George H.W. Bush holds a baby during his presidential election campaign in September 1992.
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Bush comforts a crying baby at campaign rally in August 1992.
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Bush holds a baby with AIDS in 1989.
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President Ronald Reagan visits National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1987, where he holds a 14-month-old baby with AIDS.
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Reagan and his wife, Nancy, hold a 3-week-old baby during a visit to the O'Farrell pub in the village of Ballyporeen, Ireland, in 1984.
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Reagan holds Jeffrey Hunt, son of Wall Street Journal editor Al Hunt and CNN journalist Judy Woodruff, in an official White House photo circa 1981.
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President Jimmy Carter kisses a baby during a 1979 visit to Elk City, Oklahoma.
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Carter poses with a baby in Quincy, Illinois, in 1979, during a summer vacation cruising the Mississippi River.
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Carter, then a Democratic presidential nominee, holds 4-month-old Joseph Sumner of Georgia while exiting Plains Baptist Church in August 1976.
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President Gerald Ford holds a Vietnamese baby on an Air Force bus after greeting refugees in California in 1975.
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Ford carries a Vietnamese baby from a plane in 1975.
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Richard Nixon, who was vice president at the time, holds 3-year-old Colleen Kelly, winner of the "Miss Baby Hawaii" title at the 49th State Fair in Hawaii, during her tour of Washington in August 1953.
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Nixon poses with his wife and two children in Washington after being nominated at the GOP Convention in Chicago as the candidate for the vice presidency in 1952.
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President Lyndon Johnson with his grandson Patrick Lyndon Nugent while traveling to to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a brief holiday on March 2, 1968.
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John F. Kennedy, at the time a senator from Massachusetts, acting as godfather at his niece Victoria Lawford's christening services in November 1958.
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Kennedy cuddling his baby daughter, Caroline, as her mom, Jackie, watches on March 25, 1958.
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President Dwight Eisenhower and his granddaughter Mary Jean at the White House in December 1956.
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President Harry S. Truman poses with his two grandchildren in an apartment window in Manhattan circa 1960.
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Truman passes through the town of Barstow in the California desert. Dressed in pajamas and a dressing gown, he stands on the platform of his special train to greet the townspeople and hold babies circa 1948.
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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt holding his grandsons Franklin III and John Bettinger Jr. on his lap at the White House on Dec. 25, 1939.
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President Woodrow Wilson holds his granddaughter, Ellen Wilson McAdoo, in Washington, D.C., in 1915.
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President Theodore Roosevelt holds a grandchild on his lap in Washington, D.C., circa 1901.
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Family portrait of Roosevelt, his wife Edith and his five children taken in 1895.

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