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Friday, November 21, 2003
What must his father be thinking?
The National Embarrassment in Merrie Olde England, representing our nation as best he can. Sigh.
Texan on the Thames: President Bush Treated Royally (washingtonpost.com) :
"But here he was, seated next to the Queen of England, amid Corinthian columns and gold-enriched pilasters, before a red velvet throne used for the coronation of King Edward VII. The Yeomen of the Guard, with their red robes and long spears, stood at attention. The Puligny-Montrachet '96 was flowing. And the president was having trouble with the toasts.

The queen gave her toast, noting that, unlike presidents, she was not term-limited. The president smiled, Prince Charles did not. When the queen finished, the president raised his glass, but Her Majesty did not return the gesture, instead waiting for the American national anthem to begin. Hearing the music, Bush put down his glass and placed his hand on his heart, then took it off, then put it on again. 'The Star-Spangled Banner' over, he clinked glasses with the queen, then turned to clink glasses with Princess Anne, who was already sipping from hers.

The awkwardness continued after Bush's toast, when he again picked up his glass to clink with the queen, who stood motionless, waiting for her own national anthem. Bush put his glass back down and, as the orchestra played 'God Save the Queen,' winked at somebody in the audience. Finally, the anthem finished, president and queen consummated their clinks."

Remember, for all the "good old boy" image, George Bush is from an "old money" family. He grew up with Congressmen and Ambassadors. His father, whatever other failings he might have had, would never have "winked at somebody in the audience" while listening to God Save the Queen in the presence of Her Majesty.

I've alluded before to Nicholas von Hoffman's description of Richard Nixon, and how apt it sometimes seems for Bush, but never given the entire quote. von Hoffman was on the original "Point/Counterpoint" segment of 60 minutes, and on one episode said, "Mr. Nixon is the dead mouse on the kitchen floor, and the American family, in slippers and bathrobe, is gathered around him arguing over who will pick him up by his tail and drop him in the trash." Mr. Bush is perhaps not quite dead, but more and more of us think he's pinin' for the fjords.

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