You know... the kind of gentle, supportive hug that will show a tar baby that they're really appreciated and that everything will be okay, at least in general political, demographic terms?
Perhaps they're afraid that something might rub off?
What would Uncle Remus do?!
*UPDATE* Apparently, the George Bush did, in fact, hug a tar baby. My apologies. Now we know why they don't want to do it again.