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Dennis Rodman Meets President George H. W. Bush

If you haven't seen it yet, this photo is beginning to make its way around the internets, mostly because it is such a bizarre pairing. Taken at the Final Four in Houston this weekend, yes, that's the former president there on the left. And shaking his hand old-school badass style, that's Fort Lauderdale's Dennis Rodman, the newest member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Now, the circumstances of this particular meeting are not yet clear. Both of these men have ties to Texas, though it seems pretty unlikely they'd ever met before.

We'd like to believe both men were happy to meet each other, but, judging from the picture, it's not clear either man has any idea who the other is. President Bush could easily think this flashy, big-fisted sideshow is, well, anyone. And really, Rodman could have thought he was shaking hands and posing for a photo with yet another rich white fan.

Their lives -- one as the former leader of the free world, now a philanthropist and pedagogue; the other a former pro athlete, now a reality television star -- are not all that different. Where Rodman goes, an entourage follows. Where Bush goes, the Secret Service clears a path. They are both divisive figures haunted and celebrated for their pasts, both of which include a number of a memorable social missteps. "Read my lips...Rodman was married to Carmen Electra."

Really, what this photo is, is a glimpse at the lives of two very interesting men in America.

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Michael J. Mooney

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