For presidential candidates, posing with supporters’ babies is a rite of passage as important as eating deep-fried state fair food or enduring endless debates. TIME celebrates this hallowed tradition with 34 photos of infants in varying states of joy, indifference and abject terror on the campaign trail in 2012.
More Photography from Time
- Photos: At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
- The White House Correspondents Pre-Party: Photos Inside the TIME-People ‘Welcome Reception’
- Presidential Reunion: Scenes from the Opening of the Bush Library
- Front Row Seat: Eric Draper on George W. Bush
- Inside the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
- Secretary of State John Kerry’s First Overseas Trip