On the Plane

Bush in Liberia: Autographer-in-Chief

MONROVIA, Liberia --Deborah Charles, a Reuters correspondent, has had a rough trip. She fell down at the start of a presidential event in Kigali, Rwanda, and messed up her hand pretty badly. But she'll come out of the experience with a rather unique keepsake.

Air Force Col. Richard Tubb, the White House physician, came to Charles's rescue, as he has with any number of aides and reporters who have suffered various maladies during the six-day Africa trip that comes ends today. Tubb--who also treated New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd's stomach flu during Bush's recent Mideast trip--set Charles's hand and wrist in a soft cast so it wouldn't get worse before she returned home.

The cast caught President Bush's attention and has become a regular talking point. He beckoned to Charles after a media event in Accra, Ghana, yesterday and signed the cast. Then he invited Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor to sign it too. Today, Bush was at it again. After a photo opportunity, he asked Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf if she wanted to sign the cast, which she did.

Not many people boast a cast with signatures from three heads of state. "When you put it on e-Bay," Bush told Charles, "I won't expect a commission."

-- Peter Baker

By Washington Post Editor |  February 21, 2008; 7:11 AM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Africa, Feb. 2008
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I wish the good doctor hadn't been so kind to MoDo.

Posted by: Bartolo | February 21, 2008 2:57 PM

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