On the Plane

All Cleared for Takeoff

BUCHAREST, Romania -- So why did President Bush abruptly bolt from the last NATO discussion of the day? Maybe he was annoyed to learn the latest news: The White House press charter has been cleared to follow him to his next stop after all.

United Airlines grounded all of its Boeing 777 jumbo jets yesterday because it had not conducted needed inspections of their fire suppression systems. That grounding included the chartered plane ferrying most of the White House press corps as well as a number of White House staff and Secret Service officers on Bush's European trip.

United reported today that it has now taken care of the problem and the charter will take off tomorrow along with Air Force One en route to Bush's next stop in Zagreb, Croatia. "All of our aircraft but one are back in service, including the plane in Bucharest," United Airlines spokesperson Jeff Kovick said in a statement.

-- Peter Baker

By Washington Post Editor |  April 3, 2008; 4:53 PM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Eastern Europe, April 2008
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Don't let the hatch hit you on your way out, Mister President.

Posted by: Mister Methane | April 3, 2008 5:34 PM

Bush's public remarks when arriving at the NATO meeting seemed unusually full of verbal stumbles, even for this normally tongue-tied fellow.

Any speculation that he was drunk?

Could inebriation perhaps explain his quick getaway as well?

Yes, yes, we all knew that he swore off the Demon Rum years ago, when Billy Graham helped him find God. But maybe he slips now and then? He's got such a tough job and has made such a hash of it--that really might drive a man to drink.

Remember Nixon, besieged in the White House as Watergate closed in on him?

Posted by: jm917 | April 3, 2008 5:35 PM

Mr. "Bungle" Bush is consistent at least. I'm rather sick and tired of reading about his stupidity - 7 years seems an eternity.

Posted by: M. Stratas | April 3, 2008 6:00 PM

He had to poop.

Posted by: lewis | April 3, 2008 7:08 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 9:04 PM

Seems this is one Lame Duck-With WINGS!

Posted by: rat-the | April 3, 2008 9:27 PM

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