On the Plane

He's Outta There

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Enough is enough, it seems. With the NATO summit meetings consistently running two hours over schedule most of the day, President Bush abruptly got up and left the last formal session of the day, not bothering to wait for an official summit photograph of all the leaders.

Bush is no fan of windy meetings and evidently had had his fill. He left behind Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to represent him for the rest of the session, which concerned NATO operations in Afghanistan, but his departure was so sudden and unexpected that he left some of his motorcade behind, inculding his press pool, when he got into his car and headed back to his hotel.

"The president sat through the entire first part of the meeting, unlike some of the other world leaders who went and came as they pleased," explained a White House official, who asked not to be named. "The bulk of the discussion he felt had ended at that point. However, Secretary Gates stayed back and represented the U.S. for the duration of the meeting."

Bush was not the first leader to leave while the conversation dragged on. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were seen leaving before Bush did. "He wanted to get back here in order to pick up Mrs. Bush and get ready for the evening events," the White House official said. The evening events, including a cultural presentation and a dinner among the leaders, were then delayed to give everyone enough time to rest and get ready. The official photograph Bush was supposed to pose for was canceled.

-- Peter Baker

By Washington Post Editor |  April 3, 2008; 1:12 PM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Eastern Europe, April 2008
Previous: At NATO Meetings, No Tight Schedules | Next: 'He's Got a Few Other Things to Do'


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I don't want a pretend president anymore. Can we get one of those real ones that, like, lead constitutional democracies and stuff?

Posted by: Mobedda | April 3, 2008 1:36 PM

Did anybody notice he was gone?

Posted by: Gary | April 3, 2008 1:47 PM

I'm not sure which he is, spoiled brat or arrogant twit, but I am so tired of being embarrassed by this man.

Posted by: WaitingforJan20 | April 3, 2008 1:54 PM

What a petulant child he is.

Posted by: CallMeSkeptical | April 3, 2008 2:27 PM

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Posted by: iopqje | April 3, 2008 2:48 PM

You Bush haters are absurd.

"Bush was not the first leader to leave while the conversation dragged on. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were seen leaving before Bush did."

Do you guys think that Sarkozy is a "spoiled brat or arrogant twit"? Is Harper a "petulant child"?

Can liberals make a comment without resorting to name calling? No.

Posted by: Mike | April 3, 2008 3:51 PM

"You Bush haters" --?
"Liberals" --?

Talk about assumptions. Last time I checked, approximately 75% of the population has similar sentiments.

Posted by: Joe | April 3, 2008 4:21 PM

Maybe he had to go poop.

Posted by: lewis | April 3, 2008 5:50 PM

He he had to go to the bathroom he would have to get permission from Condi first.

Posted by: John Gillnitz | April 3, 2008 6:21 PM

Ya gotta love how the Post tries to make this out to be a GOOD thing: "No fan of windy meetings... not the first one to leave."

He's the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with - which is, no doubt, exactly what "President" Tipsy McStagger had in mind.

Posted by: dave | April 3, 2008 6:22 PM

I bet Angela missed that back rub.

Posted by: Alan | April 3, 2008 6:28 PM

Mike, in re "you Bush haters" -

well, look - only 28% approve of Bush these days.

Of course, 25% of Americans also think that the sun revolves around the earth: I think there's considerable overlap between the two groups.

Still, I suppose SOMEBODY has to be in the Coalition of the Deluded. Congrats on that.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 8:00 PM

Let's see. It's his job to attend the meeting. He's paid to attend it. He's expected to. It's his duty as an elected official. The responsible thing, the adult thing to do, is to accept that some parts of your job are not fun, and do them anyway, because it's your job.

Or you could be a child and do only the parts of your job you want to do.

Posted by: Jon | April 3, 2008 8:30 PM

Not competent for the position of president but too egotistical and lacking in judgment to notice.

Posted by: Cay | April 3, 2008 8:46 PM

I'm totally a Bush Hater and refuse to apologize for it or even justify it. He is a complete and total fool and nothing else, that we should have to justify our hatred of this man after everything he has done is just crazy. Is it too much to ask of him that he at least do his job with some dignity?

Posted by: Kelly | April 3, 2008 8:49 PM

Too much to ask Kelly. Why should he start now toward the end of his reign?

Posted by: tydicea | April 3, 2008 9:01 PM

Since the 28%'ers love to kiss W's ass so much, it's time for them to move to the front, ... Have a good time, losers, I'm afraid we haven't had the need to validate the Worst.President.Ever for a long time.

Posted by: 666 | April 3, 2008 9:01 PM

I luv chu Geor Booosh!

Posted by: Iraqi | April 3, 2008 9:23 PM

So that's why we went to war no patients!

Posted by: jfisher23 | April 3, 2008 10:42 PM

True. Bush is no fan of windy talk. However, it is conceivable that Bush felt windy and flatulent and had to leave. It is not unusual-Since 50% of the time he is full of air, the other 50% he might be fool of poop.

Posted by: genuineone | April 3, 2008 10:56 PM

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