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The Best Mayoral Photo Ops of the Year

Around the world, mayors are more powerful than ever. But they still have to pose for lots of weird pictures.

There is indeed a growing global movement to give mayors more power, or, if you will, to let them rule the world instead of so many faltering national governments—but forget all that for now. No, today we're here to focus on a decidedly less lofty, more nitty-gritty aspect of what it meant to be a mayor in 2014. Because unlike presidents, the world's mayors regularly walk among the people. They stop and chat. They shake hands and kiss babies. And above all, they pose for far weirder pictures than any other top elected official.

Here we have Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson posing with cosplayers at the 2014 Ottawa Comiccon, which took place in May. There's a lot to like about this photo—the sheer variety of nerdtastic themes on display, the mayor's willingness to hold and pose with that storm trooper's blaster—but the best part has to be Watson's joyful geek smile. You just know he's thinking about racing home to catch the next episode of Game of Thrones. (Ottawa Citizen)
This is Darryn Lyons, mayor of Geelong, a medium-sized Australian city just south of Melbourne. Now listen: Most mayors and lord mayors in Australia occasionally don poncy mayoral robes and chains of office like these for formal ceremonies, and this is in fact Lyons' inaugural portrait, dated February 27, 2014. But! And this is a big but: rather few mayors and lord mayors in Australia choose to wear their mayoral robes while also sporting a bleached blonde mohawk, spreading their legs across not one but two rare animal skins, and posing in front of a portrait of what appears to be a nude woman, shall we say, enjoying herself. Well played, Mayor Lyons. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

I know, I know, including any image featuring London Mayor Boris Johnson in a list of this sort is practically cheating—he's the Muppet King of Mayors, bouncing around London with his crazy hair and total disregard for whether he appears to be an utter goofball. But back in October, Johnson accidentally tripped a small child during a public appearance at a youth soccer match. And there's a GIF of it. You're welcome.  

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is having a rough end to 2014, but back in June, he put on a full pirate costume and attended Coney Island's Mermaid Parade with his family. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)
Pssst. Someone forgot to tell Seattle Mayor Ed Murray he was supposed to wear his giant blue flower. (Courtesy City of Seattle, from January 20, 2014)
Remember 2014's absolutely, positively dumbest controversy? That was the one where Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was accused by the local police union president of flashing a "gang sign" in a photo where she stands next to a "criminal"—when in fact what she did was pose while pointing her finger with a volunteer who's a black man. In response, Mayor Hodges promised on her blog that she's "not going to stop pointing."

Frida, a female Chihuahua, is seen here outside City Hall after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors issued a special commendation naming her "Mayor of San Francisco for a Day" in San Francisco on November 18, 2014. To her right: her owner, Dean Clark. (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)
Back in February, then-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro posed with Lanier High School cheerleaders after dying his hair blonde to celebrate the school's basketball team making it to the playoffs. (Courtesy San Antonio Express-News)
Did you know that there is a town in New Jersey called Buttzville? Indeed. And pictured here are Buttzville Mayor Sam Race (R) and White Township Committeeman Jeff Herb (L), who earlier this year accepted a donation of free toilet paper rolls from Charmin for all 200 households in Buttzville. Because when your town's name is Buttzville, why not go ahead and sell your souls for a corporate giveaway. (Lisa Lake/AP for Charmin)
Apparently the mayor of Quebec, Regis Labeaume (R), has the ability to force Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pose with a deranged snow sprite each February. Now THAT's power.  (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo isn't at all sure about this llama. (AFP)
There are two things you need to know about Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The first is that he looooooves wearing large hats of all kinds. The second is that he has no idea how to hold a guitar. (CBS Philly)

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