A pizza shop owner in Florida got so excited when Barack Obama stopped by, that he lifted the president up in a giant bear-hug. But is Obama embracing a new, more laid-back image?
It was one of those golden moments in the long, long campaign: on a trip through Fort Pierce in Florida, president Obama stopped off at a pizza shop, to thank the owner Scott Van Duzer for his help supporting local blood donation efforts.
"Scott, what's going on, man?" the president asked, as he walked in. "Scott, let me tell you, you are like the biggest pizza shop owner I've ever seen." Mr Van Duzer, who is 46, is six foot three and weighs more than 19 stone. According to a reporter who was in the shop at the time, he is handy with the weightlifting, too.
He told reporters he had only heard about the presidential visit about 40 minutes beforehand, and got rather overcome with excitement. Rushing forward, he enveloped Obama in a giant bear-hug, lifting the world's most powerful man clean off the ground.
The president, once back on terra firma, was clearly impressed: "Look at that! Man, are you a powerlifter, or what?"
It certainly made for a great, and entirely unscripted, photo opportunity. But could this sort of informal joking around be part of a deliberate plan by Democratic strategists? An effort to make the president look relaxed, loose, comfortable around ordinary folks, in complete contrast to the lofty stiffness of his rival, Mitt Romney?
Zeke Miller, of Buzzfeed, has a theory that you can almost hear Team Obama whispering: "What would Biden do?" Joe Biden, of course, is world famous for his down-home, goofy moments. Today was no different, as he managed to get himself photographed cosying up to a female biker in an Ohio diner, before asking her friends: "Can I borrow one of your bikes? They don't let me ride any more."
Biden does not appear to have been put off by some high-profile gaffes, nor by Republican efforts to depict him as the embarassing drunk uncle at a wedding. But whether you call it engaging with voters or call it "staged social authenticity", this unashamed tendency to a bit of fooling around seems to have spread to his boss.
At the weekend, the Obama campaign bus stopped off for a beer in Orlando, where the president joked around with punters, led a rendition of Happy Birthday for one child, before spotting seven-year old Andre Wupperman with his family.
"You were born in Hawaii?" Obama asked. "You have a birth certificate?" This, surely, a dig at Mitt Romney, who made an off-the-cuff reference to Obama's nationality the other week, linking himself rather unwisely to the so-called "birthers" who forced Obama to produce his birth certificate to prove he was not born overseas.
Ale to the Chief
The week before, the White House also released the president's special beer recipes, in a blog post entitled "Ale to the Chief". From this, voters could learn that Obama used honey from the White House's first ever beehive to enhance his home-brewed concoctions.
According to Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith: "The president and vice-president enjoy meeting people where they work, where they eat lunch, and even where they watch football... Maybe if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did a little more of these types of events, they'd do a better job of relating to what most middle class Americans are facing."
The latest set of polls show that less than 60 days before the November election, Obama is a few percentage points ahead of Romney, buoyed by a slightly more positive reaction to last week's Democratic convention - where, in another much photographed hug, he embraced his predecessor Bill Clinton on stage.
A moment from some down-home, folksy talk from the Republicans, perhaps. A campaign memo has leaked out urging activists not to panic. But a top adviser, asked about suggestions that the campaign privately knows it is losing and that the state of Ohio is no longer in its grasp, hit back with an expletive we certainly cannot repeat here.
There is still no love lost for the media, then, even in this new touchy-feely world of politics. Some things, clearly, will never change.
Felicity Spector writes about US politics for Channel 4 News