Obama: Giannoulias is “Next Senator”

VIDEO: view the Obama/Giannoulias bro hug here.

Brothers gotta hug!

After his speech in Quincy this afternoon, President Obama gave Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias just what reporters said he needed -- a presidential hug.

If you're curious, it was a double back-pat bro hug. See the video here.

While moving through the receiving line, Obama also hugged Secretary of State Jesse White, and gave Lisa Madigan a kiss on the cheek.

President Obama gave Alexi Giannoulias a shout-out before his speech proper, introducing him from the podium as the Illinois Treasurer and "next Senator."

Obama's hug and shout out was a tiny speck of good news for the Giannoulias campaign, which has been reeling from the closure of Broadway Bank, and has been looking for the White House to provide some campaign support.

Obama's acknowledgement was about as far as he could go in public -- the Quincy event is a federal one, not a campaign trip. And he's given shout outs to Giannoulias before, e.g., at the Greek Independence Day celebration at the White House earlier this year.

That said, it's unclear whether Obama's words qualify as a rhetorical hug. Totally qualifies.

But Obama saved his biggest plaudits for State Sen. John Sullivan.

After finishing his speech and walking off the stage, Obama leapt back up to the podium and acknowledged Sullivan, who served with Obama in the Legislature for two years, as "a man who has worked tirelessly."

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