On the Plane

Bush's Beach Volleyball Pat

By Michael Abramowitz


(Photo by Larry Downing -- Reuters)

You might call it the back slap seen around the world.

Visiting the Chaoyang Park Olympic Beach Volleyball venue this morning, President Bush was joking and posing for pictures with American star beach volleyball players Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor.

At one point, May-Treanor, clad only in a bikini, turned her back to the president, bent over and seemingly invited the president to pat her somewhere on the backside -- a common beach volleyball custom.

"Mr. President," she said. "Want to?"

Bush obliged, lightly tapping the small of her back with the back of his hand, before scooting back. The images, captured in photos and video, may not be exactly the visuals that Bush had in mind from a relatively light day at the Olympics on Saturday, which also included watching women's softball practice and biking at the Laoshan Mountain Bike Course.

The incident put a spotlight on the unusual arrangement governing television coverage of the Olympics. NBC, which owns the television rights to the Games, is providing the "pool" coverage of the president attending the games, but to protect its investment, it is preventing other networks from airing any video that shows competition or venues. Only tightly shot videotape of the president is permitted.

After news of the back slap filtered through the White House filing center in Beijing, there was an argument among the television networks about whether the video of the slap could be provided to all under the terms of NBC's contract. NBC eventually permitted the footage to be aired -- as a courtesy to the other networks.

And to the public.

Related item: 'May-Treanor apparently is not shy -- which was also evident when sports blogger Dan Steinberg talked to her and other U.S. Olympians about their favorite Chinese food: "

By washingtonpost.com |  August 9, 2008; 8:06 AM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Asia, August 2008
Previous: Press Corps Endures International Incident | Next: At Olympics, Bush Is 'First Fan'

Comments

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Awkward!!!!!!!

Posted by: bakunin | August 9, 2008 10:28 AM

I wonder what portion of her anatomy Bill Clinton would have patted. And I wonder what the WaPo would have said about it.

Posted by: Fergie | August 9, 2008 10:29 AM

Tacky and very un-Presidential. Sometimes no matter what people ask you to do you should have the common sense to say no. Of course, with the

No wonder he is a joke to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Sexist & Stupid | August 9, 2008 11:01 AM

Maybe she follows the news and what she really said to the preznint was, "Want to kiss it?"

And bending over as she was, she could hardly have meant somehwere above the waist, could she?

Just wondering.

Posted by: Bill Burke | August 9, 2008 11:14 AM

Give me a break he slapped her on the back not her booty. I'd like to do plow her ample backside personally.

Posted by: thcarson | August 9, 2008 11:39 AM

#######

I can't wait til this idiot is
back in Connecticut or
Kennebunkport or whatever
Yankee town he's from.

#######

Posted by: Bushbegone | August 9, 2008 11:55 AM

Hilarious! Humor is a very good thing. Wish more people had a sense of it.

Posted by: Minority Retort | August 9, 2008 2:41 PM

It is like Hitler waddling around... sickening. International War criminals should not try to play normal... it is disqusting. He ruins the spirit of the Olympics, taking time off from bombing wedding parties and anybody over 6'3". The Chinese should arrest Bush for the sake of humanity.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 9, 2008 2:51 PM

How would you serve Bush he asked?

Posted by: jakeD's shadow | August 9, 2008 2:53 PM

get that friggin little embarrassment george "pathetic" bush out of there..

g*d d*mned idiot.

Posted by: fred | August 9, 2008 2:55 PM

Well "W" is like Mussolini not Hitler. He struts and shows off his steroid made muscles and declares "Mission Accomplished" while going AWOl when he was called to duty. What happened to the Boomers? First, we get Clinton who can't keep his hands off women except his wife and then we get real self promoting goof balls like Kerry, Edwards and now this idoit "Bush." Some say "God Bless America," some say "God Damn America but we should be saying "God Help America."

Posted by: russ james | August 9, 2008 3:27 PM

i wonder where the dirty old man bush went after copping some cheap feels of the lady volleyball players who always seem to act like dogs in heat, and who really only have the claim to fame as being the only professional "athletes" who are watched more for how little they wear, rather than their athletic ability.

my guess is bush had his secret service find him a little dark closet where he could peek out and ogle the little 14 year old girl gymnasts while drooling all over his shirt and doing other 'unmentionable' things as well....

it's too bad we have a president that cares more about getting off his little presidential nuts than he does about the u.s. troops who are fighting and dying even today for the war he staged in iraq to restore oil rights for the american big oil companies exxon/mobile and shell.

Posted by: BOB | August 9, 2008 3:47 PM

At least we have a president who can see the humor in this and play along by slapping her lower back.

His predecessor would have turned the cameras off, grabbed her with two hands, likely forced his way on her and then given a speech about feeling her pain. He may have even cried a little. what a predator.

Posted by: Dream Out Loud | August 9, 2008 4:40 PM

Now I know why I like volleyball!

Posted by: webg | August 9, 2008 5:39 PM

Probably the only ass this mutt has had in decades

Posted by: mikie44 | August 9, 2008 5:47 PM

a great leader with a great sense of humor

Posted by: USAUSA | August 9, 2008 6:55 PM

Bush sits with Putin for the opening ceremony and poses with the beach babes while Russia bombs Georgia. Can you spell "clueless"?

Posted by: im4america | August 9, 2008 8:57 PM

What a whimp!

The lady respectfully asks, "Mr. President,Do you want to?"

..... and what does the whimp do?

.........NOTHING

......Par for the course.

Posted by: John B | August 9, 2008 9:07 PM

Can you imagine the outrage had this been a picture of Obama? Hmmmnnnnn.

Posted by: gwt301 | August 9, 2008 9:29 PM

What a shame that there is something sexual assumed by patting someone on the butt in this circumstance.

Posted by: rpatoh | August 9, 2008 9:59 PM

A liberal Democrat would have ran away from her like a little sissy-girly-man!

Posted by: G.W.. Bush | August 10, 2008 12:24 AM

What happen to having respect for the seat of the "Presidency of the United State" I voted for this man twice, I am ashame to admit it. Over in Georgia It looks as if World War III is about to break out, and he is allowing some half wit women to bend over infront of him and ask him to pat her back side. This country is going to hell in a hand basket fast!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Corn | August 10, 2008 12:02 PM

Hey, John.

I'll tell you why he declined to slap her backside: Because here in Texas, unlike cheek-spreaderville where you live, our wives are real women, unlike yours and own guns and are just a little protective when it comes to their husbands.

And all of you Kool-aid drinkers, please don't refer to him as a wimp; at least he, like the rest of us Texans have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the bullies of the world, solve our own energy problems by producing the energy we have that is VIABLE, not some pipe dream that can only replace 60% of the latent energy in the fuels we have and execute our murderers and rapists rather than give them a free ride like the rest of you do. The simple fact of the matter is you are the wimps.

Posted by: Miles Mueller | August 10, 2008 1:06 PM

Look at all the moonbats on here. Even a sports-slap is now infused with BDS.

It's ok, Mr. Hopey-Changey will make everything better for you when he waves his magic wand and descends from his chariot surrounded by light.

Posted by: JB | August 10, 2008 2:57 PM

How's that for restoring honor and dignity to the White House.

Posted by: amcb | August 10, 2008 5:33 PM

you call that an ass?
the President deserves better.
why can't sistas' or latinas play beach volleyball?????
Regardless, I'm a democrat and I love this picture, why the hate? You pathetic conservative clowns!!!!!
love you'all

Posted by: luigi | August 11, 2008 2:27 PM

It's great. If Bubba did it, or the Messiah, the libs would love it. We've known forever, that Bush can do no right, where the press is concerned.

I loved the pics coming out of China. Normally, you'd never see so many friendly exchanges with our president and athletes, stars, etc. Thanks to our lovingly biased media in America. He's not a democrat, and what's worse, he's Bush, the anti-Christ to the secular.

Too bad we can't have a press pool here in our own so-called free country. Trouble is, the media seems to decide what to show and who to prop up. Can you say Obama? Freedom of the press to manipulate, more like it.

Posted by: TomRoberts | August 11, 2008 6:20 PM

...It was supposed to be a pat on the butt....and this moron can't even get that right.....

...I guess he is afarid of strong women......

What a pathetic loser......

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 12, 2008 8:18 AM

We gotta get to the bottom of this :-)

Posted by: jr | August 13, 2008 1:24 AM

GWBush a religious politician should done better than slapping a woman bum

Posted by: UKreader | August 13, 2008 11:32 AM

Clinton wouldn't have aimed for the back

Posted by: Mike | August 13, 2008 3:15 PM

Geez, some of you take this way too seriously! I think it's funny. The guy obviously didn't do anything wrong. He probably felt very uncomfortable when she asked. It's a funny moment!

Posted by: Phoebe | August 17, 2008 7:36 PM

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