To walk around a room or other location and shake hands with people. Usually done by politicians in an attempt to make friends and garner votes.
John Kerry was planning to press the flesh at the convention.
by RexGibson August 11, 2004
To meet people in person, particularly at an event where you can network with other people. The actual pressing of flesh here refers to shaking hands with people.
It's a big event next week, I suppose I'd better go and press the flesh.
by Ian Chode August 12, 2004
"The politicians were very tired after a long day on the campaign trail, kissing babies, and pressing the flesh with their constituents."
by Alexandra August 13, 2004
what politicians do in order to garner support for themselves from the common people; going out into the public to meet and greet; similar to baby kissing.
that skeezy politician was out pressing the flesh to try and save his sputtering campaign.
by megan August 13, 2004
What a politician does (or should be doing if s/he hopes to get elected) during the run-up to an election. It means to make contact with the voters by means of personal skin to skin contact (but hopefully non-sexual), such as shaking hands and kissing babies. In a general sense it implies getting out and getting in the face of as many different voters as possible because if they meet someone they're probably more likely to have a positive opinion of them than the candidates that they didn't meet in person.
Mr. Bush probably doesn't need to go out and press the flesh because he is running for re-election based on his first term record.
by PlaceHolder August 12, 2004
To shake hands and mingle with many people, especially while campaigning for public office.

Political slang refers to handshaking during a campaign. One could "press flesh" as candidate or on behalf of candidate or on behalf of political cause intending to garner support from those whose flesh is being pressed.

Shaking hands while attempting
To exert force or pressure.
To weigh heavily, as on the mind of another.
To advance eagerly; push forward.
To require haste; be urgent.
To assemble closely and in large numbers; crowd.
To employ urgent persuasion or entreaty.
To encourage (a falcon, for example) to participate in the chase by feeding it flesh from a kill.

Middle English pressen, from Old French presser, from Latin pressre, frequentative of premere, to press. -Press
Middle English, from Old English -flesh
1 Volunteers press flesh and pass pens to get Nader on the ballot.

2 State workers press flesh for better pay.

3 Tom CruiseC and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi press flesh while in town to promote the forthcoming Last Samurai.
by SR Gannon August 12, 2004