Presidential campaigns are about policies, interest groups, slogans, personalties, and, to the chagrin of very serious people, images. But there were some amazing photos taken during the 2012 election -- candidates campaigning in tough conditions from fried food fests to pouring rain, of funny faces, of candidate confrontations, and of devoted spouses. Here are the best photos of the campaign.

April 16, 2011: There was a time when Donald Trump was the most interesting presidential candidate. His issue? President Obama's birth certificate. His appeal? His ridiculous hair and plastic face. He started giving real stump speeches, like this one for the South Florida Tea Party rally in Boca Raton, Florida:

(Photo via Getty.)

(Photo via Reuters.)

May 31, 2011: Yes, children, once The Donald dropped out of the race, there was a moment in the Republican presidential primary when every single candidate kissed Trump's ring -- even the non-candidates.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

July 20, 2011: Romney began his campaign with a tour of ruin porn -- closed factories and strip malls. Here, he's in a mostly abandoned shopping mall in North Hollywood.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

August 11, 2011: The first real stage of the campaign: when the candidates are required to eat food on a stick on camera at the Iowa State Fair. Mitt Romney is eating a porkchop on a stick.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

August 12, 2011: Michele Bachmann goes through the same ritual, but with a corndog.

(Photo via Reuters.)

August 15, 2011: Rick Perry's turn with a corndog.

As well as hardboiled eggs on a stick (ew).

(Photos via Associated Press.)

October 18, 2011: There were very many primary debates. Here, Romney gets touchy-feely with Perry in Las Vegas.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

November 8, 2011: In a Scottsdale, Arizona, press conference, Herman Cain explains he never sexually harassed anyone. He just told this one lady she was the same height as his wife, which normal people do all the time in casual conversation.

(Photo via Reuters.)

November 9, 2011: In the middle of Rick Perry's oops moment, Ron Paul is no help, suggesting it's not three government agencies that should be eliminated, but five.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

It was not Perry's best outing. He also did the butter churn.

(Photo via Reuters.)

November 14, 2011: In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board, Cain seemed unable to remember what President Obama's position on Libya was, so he could oppose it.

(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel video still.)

December 28, 2011: Callista Gingrich meets people working at the Southbridge Mall in Mason City, Iowa, and is surrounded by disembodied hands.

(Photo via Reuters.)

January 8, 2012: Newt Gingrich is so proud of Rick Perry when he can remember three things at the Concord, New Hampshire debate, one of the 23 Republican primary debates.

(Photo via Reuters.)

January 21: Gingrich works the drive-thru window at a Chick-fil-A in Anderson, South Carolina.

(Photo via Reuters.)

January 30: Romney, whose campaign didn't always get along well with the press, tries to make nice with reporters on the campaign plane by distributing snacks.

(Photo via Reuters.)

February 2: Romney looks so comfortable getting close to Trump during Trump's endorsement in Las Vegas. (As in, not at all comfortable.)

(Photos via Associated Press.)

March 3: Ann Romney's love of horses is perfectly captured as she passes by a mounted policeman while leaving a rally at Montgomery Inn Restaurant in Cincinnati.

(Photo via Reuters.)

March 6: Gingrich campaigns in front of space craft in Huntsville, Alabama. He will not apologize for his pro-moon colony position, which was ultimately his undoing.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

March 24: Santorum rocks a bowling alley in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

May 3: On this day, Mitt Romney tolerated Michele Bachmann for the last time, as she endorsed him.

(Photo via Reuters.)

July 2: Ann and Romney ride a jet ski on Lake Winnipesaukee while at their vacation home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

July 14: Obama speaks in the pouring rain in Glen Allen, Virginia.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

August 30: Clint Eastwood talks Afghanistan policy with a chair.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

As the balloons fall at the close of the convention, Romney seems to genuinely marvel at the moment.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

September 5: Bill Clinton bows to Obama after Clinton finishes the speech that revived the president's campaign at the Democratic National Convention.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

September 6: By reader request: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm gives a very enthusiastic speech to the DNC. Fists pumped like ever before. Eyebrows soared to new heights.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

September 8: Biden pets a puppy in Chillicothe, Ohio.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

September 9: Biden gets close to patrons of Cruisers Diner in Seaman, Ohio. The Associated Press stresses that the lady is not sitting on Biden's lap, it just looks like it. The close talking is not an optical illusion, though.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Scott Van Duzer gives Obama a bear hug during an unannounced stop to Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant in Ft. Pierce, Florida.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

September 12: Mona Renee Johnson cries as Obama speaks in Las Vegas.

(Photo via Reuters.)

September 13: Ricky Watson thanks Obama for repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell at a rally in Golden, Colorado. 

Reuters: "Watson was kicked out of the Air Force 25 years ago for being gay."

(Photos via Reuters.)

September 27: A voter disqualified for being a baby is tired of campaigning in Springfield, Virginia. Sometimes babies don't want to be kissed.

(Photos via Reuters.)

September 29: 15-year-old Kobe Groce wasn't able to get to the front of the crowd in Ft. Meyers, Florida, to get Biden to autograph his sign, so he told a staff member about how his life had been helped by Obama. Biden asked to meet him. "I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket!" Groce told the campaign.

(Photo via BarackObama.com.)

October 3: Mitt Romney gives Jim Lehrer a pat on the back for moderating the first presidential debate.

October 10: Reporters pester Paul Ryan in St. Petersburg, Florida.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

October 11: Time magazine releases the photos taken of Ryan in December 2011 for its Person of the Year issue. The famously fit Ryan was a finalist.

(Photo via Time magazine.)

That night, Biden and his face debated Paul Ryan.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

(Photo via Reuters.)

Ryan and Biden check each other out while shaking hands after the debate.

(Photo via Reuters.)

October 13: A photo-op gone wrong, added by reader request. Ryan washes those infamous dishes at a soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio. Ryan showed up at the charity after the diners had already left, and initial reports said he washed dishes that were already clean. The kitchen later clarified the dishes were dirty after all.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

October 16: The second presidential debate is much more confrontational.

(Photo via Getty.)

Josh Romney, in particular, did not like Obama's new tone.

(Photo via Reuters.)

Romney kisses Ann after the debate.

(Photo via Reuters.)

October 21: Mitt Romney takes part in a coin toss before a flag football game between his aides and reporters in Florida.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

October 23: Ann holds on to Romney has he reaches to shake hands with the crowd at the final presidential debate.

(Photo via Reuters.)

October 26: A boy watches Obama speak in Cleveland.

(Photo via Reuters.)

October 28: Captain Romney for America watches Romney speak in Celina, Ohio.

(Photo via Reuters.)

October 29: Bill Clinton thinks Biden's speech is funny in Youngstown, Ohio.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

October 31: Obama comforts a woman in Brigantine, New Jersey, after Hurricane Sandy.

(Photo via White House Flickr.)

November 3: Ann Romney snuggles her husband during a rally in Englewood, Colorado.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

November 4Clinton can charm any baby. Even a gray bear baby.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Romney closes his final pitch at a late-night freezing-cold Pennsylvania rally with fireworks.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

November 5: By reader request: Tears stream down Obama's cheek at his last campaign rally ever in Des Moines, Iowa.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Did we leave anything out? Email us and we'll add them here.