On the Plane

In the Pool With the President

ANCHORENA PARK, Uruguay -- Life on the road with the president is an endless series of hurry-up-and-wait movements, wakeup calls, security sweeps, bus rides, plane flights, more security sweeps, motorcades, crushing deadlines, late nights and long hours spent sitting in vans or hotel ballrooms turned into filing centers. Only occasionally does it involve actually watching the president doing or saying anything of consequence.

Because so many reporters, photographers, cameramen, producers and sound guys from newspapers, wire services, television and radio networks follow President Bush on an overseas visit like this one, only a few are included in a rotating "pool" that rides on Air Force One or in his motorcade to events. The rest fly on a separate press charter, stay in a different hotel and work out of a filing center where senior officials rarely if ever set foot. It's possible to go all day traveling with the president without seeing him.

None of this is particular to Bush, by the way. It works more or less the same way as it did under Bill Clinton, although Clinton's closest aides were more likely to stop by the filing center and answer a few questions.

To give a sense of how this works, it might be instructive to walk through a single day in the life of the reporter in the pool. Saturday proved to be a pretty classic example. Warning: Here comes some of that whining you were warned about at the beginning of this blog last week. But the serious point, if there is one, is to show how limited access really is to a president and his top advisers.

1 a.m. local time Saturday (10 p.m. Friday EDT) -- The traveling White House staff and press arrive at their hotels in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, after a long day in Brazil and an evening flight that landed after midnight. Fortunately, the White House keeps all the passports for those traveling with the president, so we don't have to go through customs.

5:15 a.m. (2:15 a.m.) -- Reporters and lower-ranking White House staff staying in the press hotel report for buses that will take them to the main event of the day, a "Joint Press Availability" between President Bush and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez. The good news is the event will be at a peaceful, woodsy ranch that is the Uruguayan equivalent of Camp David. The bad news is it's a three-hour bus ride away.

8 a.m. (5 a.m.) -- Reporters who are in the pool and some White House staff report to accompany the president (POTUS, in White House lingo) to the event. Everyone is "swept" by Secret Service, meaning they pass through magnotometers and their bags are hand-searched by agents and checked out by bomb-sniffing dogs. The pool generally includes one reporter from each of the three main wire services, a radio reporter, a newsmagazine reporter and several photographers. A single television crew provides footage to other networks and a single newspaper reporter files pool reports on everything he or she sees for the other reporters unable to get so close. For this day, I am the pool newspaper reporter.

8:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m.) -- After their three-hour trip, the buses carrying the non-pool journalists pull up to Estancia Anchorena, the retreat located in Anchorena Park, a picturesque expanse along the water far away from civilization. For unknown reasons, it takes another 40 minutes to get permission to enter the gates. Once through, reporters and staff are swept.

8:50 a.m. (5:50 a.m.) -- The president's motorcade departs the Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel, where Bush is staying and heads to a designated landing zone for Marine One, his helicopter. The hotel is located on Plaza Independencia, a main square, but today it looks like a ghost town, blocked off by hundreds of security agents. Across from the hotel is hand-painted graffiti that says, "Fuera Bush Asesino!!" or "Get Out Bush, Murderer!!"

9 a.m. (6 a.m.) -- The president arrives at a grassy strip along the Rio de la Plata river that separates Uruguay from Argentina. The motorcade includes 31 vehicles plus at least a dozen police motorcycles, including two identical, armored black limousines flown in from Washington. One is for the president, the other is a decoy. We ride in the 28th vehicle. It's not armored. Bush boards Marine One, which has also been flown in for the visit, and takes off. Two identical helicopters follow with his staff. Two Navy MH-53 choppers then land to take reporters and lower-ranking staff. Unlike the comfortable Marine One, these Navy choppers are utilitarian machines meant for troops; three dozen of us cram inside with earphones to try to block out the roar. The unlucky few find hydraulic fluid leaking on them.

9:57 a.m. (6:57 a.m.) -- Marine One lands at the ranch. The staff and press helicopters land first so everyone is waiting when the president disembarks. A second motorcade awaits him here, including two identical black Chevy Suburbans also flown in from the United States. The president's vehicle pulls up to the main house, a waterfront white manor with green trim that resembles a Swiss chalet and is surrounded by lush trees. The press and lower-ranking staff are then taken to a press filing center set up in a nearby white tent to join the reporters and staff who came by bus. A bad sign: Insect spray has been left on each table. I file the first pool report of the day providing the basic, mundane details of Bush's flight here. Carlton Carroll, the ultra-efficient, ever-patient, unfailingly-nice young aide in the White House press office who helps us solve myriad logistical hassles, forwards it by email to a long roster of White House reporters and others on a distribution list.

Bush and Vazquez
Presidents George W. Bush and Tabare Vazquez in Anchorena, Uruguay.

11:50 a.m. (8:50 a.m.) -- Bush and Vazquez hold a Joint Press Availability in another tent with the postcard-perfect landscape as a backdrop and the chirping of birds as a soundtrack. This is the only real news event of the day and it is "Open Press," meaning all journalists can attend, not just those in the pool. But it's not a full-fledged news conference. Just two Americans are called on, Bret Baier of Fox News, who asks Bush about reports of FBI abuses of anti-terrorist intelligence-gathering powers, and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times, who asks why Bush refuses to even say the name of his regional bete noire, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Bush makes some news on the first question and ducks the second. Bush seems eager for lunch because first he mentions the Uruguayan barbecue that awaits him and then twice says the blueberries here are supposed to be wonderful. The availability is over in 25 minutes. As the senior staff departs with Bush, none stays to talk with reporters, although as he walks out press secretary Tony Snow calls over to Rutenberg to say he plans to phone him later. Snow evidently is not happy that the Times led the day's paper with Chavez's anti-Bush rally in Buenos Aires and wants to complain.

1:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.) -- The pool is loaded into vans to go back to the helicopters. But after arriving at the landing zone, security officers order us back into the vans and back to the filing center.

2:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m.) -- The pool is put back in the vans and taken back to the landing zone again. This time, Bush shows up in his Chevy Suburban, boards Marine One and takes off at 3:10 p.m. We follow in the Navy choppers. The rest of the press boards their buses for the three-hour overland trip back to Montevideo.

4:06 p.m. (1:06 p.m.) -- Marine One lands back at the landing zone in Montevideo. This is our only other encounter of the day with senior staff. National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley walks by and, without breaking stride, says, "Hi, everyone," before ducking into his vehicle in the motorcade. Bush returns to the hotel. Along the way, a young White House aide tells us the president went on a boat ride with Vazquez, although we did not see it ourselves.

5:10 p.m. (2:10 p.m.) -- The pool and some junior staff report to accompany Bush to a reception at the U.S. ambassador's house. Secret Service agents sweep us again, although we have never left the security "bubble." While we wait, Gordon Johndroe, the National Security Council spokesman, comes by to tell us that Bush has sent Congress a letter asking for money to send more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I send out a second pool report informing other reporters of this news.

5:55 p.m. (2:55 p.m.) -- The pool is loaded into the motorcade vans.

6:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m.) -- The president leaves for the reception, arriving 15 minutes later at the stately mansion of Ambassador Frank E. Baxter. The pool sees nothing and is escorted to "hold," to use the vernacular for "wait," in a basement room, where some of the wait staff kindly offers appetizers from the party upstairs.

7:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m.) -- The president leaves the ambassador's residence and heads back toward the hotel. The schedule says this is his last "public" event of the day. But as we approach the hotel, suddenly the motorcade screeches to a halt and all the photographers tumble out of the vans to run hundreds of yards to catch Bush getting out of the limousine at the front. This is an OTR, in White House jargon, or Off the Record, meaning a stop not included on the schedule. It turns out Bush has made plans to go out and have dinner -- or rather Mrs. Bush insisted they go out. The only problem: The motorcade stopped at the wrong address. Suddenly people are shouting and the stampeding photographers turn around and start stampeding back to the vans. The motorcade revs up again and takes off -- all of 500 yards or so, this time to the right address. The pool gets out of the vans again, but is not invited inside. We wait outside Tavern La Corte restaurant while the president eats.

The Bush's at La Corte restaurant
First lady Laura Bush, left, waits to the side as U.S. President George W. Bush, center, poses for a photo with chef, Taomas Vartesaghi, left, and owner Marcelo Angres, right, after having dinner at La Corte Restaurant Saturday, March 10, 2007 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

9 p.m. (6 p.m.) -- The president emerges along with the first lady (or FLOTUS), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Baxter and his wife, Kathy, after a meal of milanesas, or breaded beef, and homemade ravioli caprese. With the cameras snapping away, Bush throws his arms around the chef, Tomas Vartesaghi, and the owner, Marcelo Angres, and offers a three-star review, then pats his stomach. Hoping to catch the president's attention and engage him in any kind of conversation, Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press asks whose idea it was to go to dinner. "It was my idea," Laura says. But that's as far as the president wants the conversation to go, so he makes one last testimonial for the chef. "I strongly recommend that you have dinner," he tells the pool. Then he jumps back in the limousine for a one-minute drive back to the hotel.

11 p.m. (8 p.m.) -- There's just enough time to file a final pool report and write a story for the newspaper before crashing for a few hours of sleep.

A long day, but actually an easy one compared to what's ahead for us on Sunday: We have to report at 3:45 a.m. (which will be 2:45 a.m. EDT). We will then leave for the airport in Uruguay to fly to Bogota, Colombia, and then after a day of events there we'll fly on to Guatemala City, Guatemala, where our day will end at 10:45 p.m. local time, or 12:45 a.m. EDT Monday. The time zones will be especially confusing -- we will start the day three hours ahead of Washington, but because daylight savings time switches in the United States and Uruguay at the same time but in opposite directions, it means we'll then be one hour ahead before takeoff. Then in Bogota, we'll be one hour behind Washington. And finally, in Guatemala, we'll be two hours behind. All in a single, easy, three-country, 22-hour day.

See what I mean about the whining? Actually, we shouldn't complain. It's an extraordinary job in a lot of ways, certainly an important one with enormous responsibility, and we both appreciate it and take our obligations seriously. But like any job, it's not always as glamorous as it may look on television.

By  |  March 11, 2007; 12:57 PM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Latin America, March 2007
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Comments

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Can a reporter be trusted to tell the truth or follow Bush orders and spread the lies. Looks like the answer is to purify the area and clear away sin and lies. Mayan Priests will purify sacred sites after Bush leaves now that tells us alot it's not just Chavez who thinks Bush is Satan. For those who say no he isn't, I say look at the lies and treatment of injured troops. Bush calls our dead brave soldiers numbers and Connie say they need to die for the greater good and Gulf oil. I think we should call a Priest to purify the White House, GOP, Dems and others in the United States so we can get Satan out of our country. Don't forget to purify the Journalist and media too.
God's got a lot of purifying to do here in the United States of America.

Posted by: Jackie | March 11, 2007 1:53 PM

And it's "daylight saving time", not "savings", a common error.

Posted by: Stickler | March 11, 2007 1:55 PM

Why bother? The press doesn't cover Bush. All you do is cover his rear end.

Posted by: Lily | March 11, 2007 1:57 PM

Your particular "pool" could be herded onto cattle cars and you'd just be scribbling down notes:

11:00 AM It's hot, so we all drink koolaid

Someone needs to think outside the pool. Did you go straight from keeping a teenage diary to working at the Post?

Posted by: Tim Mooring | March 11, 2007 2:23 PM

Mr. Bush says nothing of substance when queried by news media at anytime. Bush, and his staff, e.g., Snow, play a game of "keep away." What a delight it must be to post George and Laura on holiday in south America.

Posted by: PKForsyth | March 11, 2007 2:26 PM

Idiot liberals!

Posted by: Dave Obey | March 11, 2007 2:33 PM

Who cares about the Bush cess pool. We want to hear more reporting on Chavez's rallys. Also more reports on the Satan-cleansing rituals!

Posted by: Jeb's Boehner | March 11, 2007 2:40 PM

This story caught my eye on the front page today. I didn't realize it was a new feature. Very interesting to see how totally boring these trips are for the media.

Keep up the good reporting - here.

Posted by: Eleanor | March 11, 2007 2:44 PM

President Chavez came a lot closer than you did to the story and Mr. Bush. I'm sure he's still plenty "sore" about.

Posted by: Tim Mooring | March 11, 2007 2:44 PM

Very revealing. So why do you actually bother to "cover Bush", when you learn nothing (and neither do your readers?) In the midst of what seems like a very pointless exercise, don't you sometimes feel tempted to engage in a more confrontative brand of journalism?

Posted by: marcin | March 11, 2007 2:47 PM

I'm surprised by some of the idiotic comments here. Why, I don't know. But I understand the challenges and sympathize. Keep up the good work. And try to get some sleep...

Posted by: Aidan | March 11, 2007 3:01 PM

Why cover the Moron? If his lips move he is either lying ot wrong. Covering the most Incompetent, Stupid, Worthless President in History makes him feel important!

Posted by: BL | March 11, 2007 3:34 PM

The word "idiot" does seem a recurring theme. Something to reflect" on.

Posted by: Tim Mooring | March 11, 2007 3:35 PM

What a useless job to have, I feel pity -- all this time and energy spent following around a man from silly fabricated propaganda event to silly fabricated manipulation. Honestly, this reporter should get a real journalism job doing real reporting as this is nothing but sad stenography. I would hate to have such a pathetic job. My sympathies.

Posted by: Christian in NYC | March 11, 2007 3:54 PM

Thanks for an interesting insight into a day covering the president from behind the scenes. So much time and effort for reporters with so little news to show for it. A tiresome and frustrating job most of the time, but someone's got to do it.

Posted by: Brent | March 11, 2007 4:22 PM

For all concerned, a Shakesperian phrase comes to mind: "Much ado about nothing." I hope cost to the US raxpayer was kept to a minimum.

Right!

Posted by: Bohdan Balzic | March 11, 2007 4:35 PM

That's "taxpayer."

Posted by: Bohdan Balzic | March 11, 2007 4:36 PM

Mr. Baker:

Congratulations! Your decision to do this blog was a good one and the result is an inside, backstage look at what goes on while "news" is being made. You have brought a new and unexpected humanness to reporting and that is welcome and appreciated. Let the carpers carp; meanwhile keep up the good work.

Posted by: kjaba | March 11, 2007 4:46 PM

Thank you for your reporting, Peter. Obviously, there are some folks here who believe in politicized journalism and haven't quite got the idea that reporting is a job that requires keeping your personal politics out of the story. There seems to be a lot of taint by association too, which is ridiculous. Keep on keeping on. And for those who point out the grammatical and spelling errors, please find something better to do with your time! :)

Posted by: Amy | March 11, 2007 4:55 PM

Just because Mr. Bush is incapable of upholdng the dignity of the office he is in occupation of, doesn't mean that the media should try to carry that mantle for him. We're not talking about royalty here. I hope that Mr. Bush's baggage isn't being carried at the public's expense.

Posted by: Tim Mooring | March 11, 2007 4:58 PM

This is a very interesting post. I find it very encouraging that the White House press, certainly one of the most self-indulgent and petty crowd of folk to ever grace a room, have such an apparent lousy time. It's also good to see that the White House staff largely ignores them thereby not wasting any more tax dollars than necessary. The post would be "perfect" if you had reported that a few of my personal favorites, such as David Gregory or David Fitzpatrick, had come down with ptomaine poisoning.

Posted by: Terry | March 11, 2007 5:08 PM

Hey, Dave Obey, speaking of idiots, I think Jenna Bush twin should write another book. It would about a draft-dodging coward who was AWOL from his National Guard unit for a year but then his father's friends helped him make some money after his own businesses had failed time after time because he was smoking too much dope and snorting too much coke but then he got elected president even though his opponent got 500,000 more votes because the Supreme Court was friends with his dad and then he started a war to impress Poppy and, like, he got to wear a flight suit and say brave stuff like "Bring 'em on" and "Mission accomplished" (like he wasn't really a coward), and then a bad hurricane hit New Orleans but he and his friend Brownie took care of that but things started going bad when they tried to say he was a liar and a chickenhawk but, like before, he never had to worry because he never reads the newspapers anyway and Uncle Dick told him "just keep doing what I tell you" and the coward knew that his dad is still well-connected and has a lot of rich friends but then the mess boys ate the strawberries and . . . .

Posted by: mikeasr | March 11, 2007 5:09 PM

Not very interesting covering the Bush Bubble. Everyone and everything is manipulated and used. Be careful in what you write, Peter. It's a long walk home.

Posted by: RMB | March 11, 2007 5:09 PM

Covering "W" is always much ado about nothing. He never says anything substantial. It's amazing how much the rest of the world can't stand him, just like at home.

Posted by: Dan | March 11, 2007 5:17 PM

Mr. Bush you´re very welcome to Colombia
always,come again.
10 Q VERY MUCH

Posted by: charac | March 11, 2007 5:18 PM

Thanks you SO MUCH Peter, for the truth. IT ain't always pretty, but much appreciated, by this reader, at least. The more we see and feel the process of newsgathering, the more we understand its shortcomings. I for one, applaud The Post and you for this revolutionary breakthrough, and I'm not being melodramatic. Your suffering is felt, and appreciated!

Posted by: Dave Ellis | March 11, 2007 5:27 PM

How much money is spent for this useless exercise of "covering" the president?

It's money wasted, obviously.

Posted by: J.E. | March 11, 2007 5:30 PM

For your record the Anchorena Park it isn't just a park, was a huge estate donated to the Uruguayan Government by a distinguish Argentine gentleman from one of the oldest families of Buenos Aires society, Mr Aaron de Anchorena Castellanos, famous for being a pilot and for his extravagances in Europe with Bonnie de Castellane, Florence Gould French husband. The name of the Estancia is "Barra de San Juan", the house is not a Swiss chalet style, was built by an English architect in 1909, following the Tudor style outside and inside the house. It had originally an extension of some 13,000 hectares. A Belgium landscaper Charles Thays designed the park at the same time; Mr. Thays was in charge of designing the parks of lots of estates and the Palermo Park, which is equivalent to Central Park in New York City or Hide Park in London. Last but not least, as an Argentinean in spite of the fact that I don't support President Bush foreign policy in many aspects, like the disastrous war in Iraq, which is a civil war now, I don't share our government's approach to the Venezuelan dictator, the last polls suggest that Argentineans in general don't have the slightest sympathy towards Mr. Chavez a new dictator, but using the same arguments than the old populism that had ruled our countries in the past, like Peron did from 1945 to 1955, when he was overthrew by a civilian and military coup. .

Posted by: Louis A. F. Wetzler | March 11, 2007 5:31 PM

Peter, it's really time that one of you tail chasers told PUTZUS to go fool himself.

Posted by: Marvin | March 11, 2007 5:35 PM

Re Amy's comment: "Obviously, there are some folks here who believe in politicized journalism and haven't quite got the idea that reporting is a job that requires keeping your personal politics out of the story."
---------
1) I agree with this partially -- in that I think a reporter should strive to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.

2) Unfortunately, the US news media does not do this. Instead , it lets itself be manipulated by the White House in exchange for "access" -- i.e., the privilege of writing down whatever lies the President wants to put out. Look at Judith Miller, for example.

3) The US New media constantly bleats about the "peoples right to know" but their actions every day show that they hold that very idea in contempt.

4) If the press wanted to inform the US people, they would leave the Bush caravan, go out and talk to South Americans from various walks of life, and investigate how US policies have bought misery down upon so many. Start, for example, with the catastrophe the people of Argentina have dealt with -- and the role of the US-led IMF.

Posted by: Don Williams | March 11, 2007 5:38 PM

Don Williams, I hear you, and agree. But in these despicable times, I'm not hoping for miracles, just improvement. I'll take whatever I can get, and Mr. Baker and the Post have made HUGE steps in the right direction.

Posted by: Dave Ellis | March 11, 2007 5:49 PM

For your record the Anchorena Park it isn't just a park, was a huge estate donated to the Uruguayan Government by a distinguish Argentine gentleman from one of the oldest families of Buenos Aires society, Mr Aaron de Anchorena Castellanos, famous for being a pilot and for his extravagances in Europe with Bonnie de Castellane, Florence Gould French husband. The name of the Estancia is "Barra de San Juan", the house is not a Swiss chalet style, was built by an English architect in 1909, following the Tudor style outside and inside the house. It had originally an extension of some 13,000 hectares. A Belgium landscaper Charles Thays designed the park at the same time; Mr. Thays was in charge of designing the parks of lots of estates and the Palermo Park, which is equivalent to Central Park in New York City or Hyde Park in London. Last but not least, as an Argentinean in spite of the fact that I don't support President Bush foreign policy in many aspects, like the disastrous war in Iraq, which is a civil war now, I don't share our government's approach to the Venezuelan dictator, the last polls suggest that Argentineans in general don't have the slightest sympathy towards Mr. Chavez a new dictator, but using the same arguments than the old populism that had ruled our countries in the past, like Peron did from 1945 to 1955, when he was overthrew by a civilian and military coup. We hope that common sense some time will prevail and we shall go back to our traditional partners. But first someone else must win elections and defeat Mr. or Mrs Kirchner, who are concentrating an incedible amount of power in their hands, ignoring that we are suppose to have a balance of power. Perhaps with someone else in the White House and new leaders in Argentina our countries will have again much better relations.

Posted by: wetzvonken | March 11, 2007 5:50 PM

I wish I were a reporter for the Post.

...sigh...

Posted by: Josephine | March 11, 2007 5:57 PM

Is there any way you can ensure that this individual does not return to the U.S.?

Posted by: Rula Lenska | March 11, 2007 5:59 PM

It seems like the whole thing was a useless waste of money--taxpayer money to send W to South America with his dozens of servitors, vehicles, helicopters, and aircraft, for some innocuous and inconsequential meetins, and of media money for sending so many reporters to report on essentially nothing. I'm glad that Bush had a chance to sort out all our controversial issues with Uruguay.

Posted by: apearsall66 | March 11, 2007 6:13 PM

Suppose it is a so called third world leader who is visiting various countries. Suppose he has colonized a western country and is destroying it for almost five years. Suppose he has been kidnapping-- using police and bribery in other countries--innocent citizens some as old as seventy of those countries and imprisoning and torturing them in secret prisons across the world for over five years. Suppose he is looting the colonized country's resources by forcing his stooges in that colony to pass laws legalizing the stealing of the property. Suppose that he wants to colonize some more countries too! What will we, as "upstanding virtuous Americans" say about the press of his country if a pack of journalists lovingly follow him during his travels and write cute pices on him without even once mentioning his documented war crimes?

Posted by: Rabiti | March 11, 2007 6:56 PM

While coordinated by the white house, the press pays their own way (hotels, flight expenses) to cover these presidential trips.

The drudgery of covering the white house beat--and the apparent lack of "real news" making--is punctuated and made ever-so-nessecary when terrible events of the magnitude of the assasination of JFK and 9/11 occurr. Given this reality, I hope reporters such as Peter Baker inside the bubble remain "bored" for a very long time.

And the Post and many other news outlets have been covering the full story of these trips and that includes protests and all. The white house beat is only one part of the picture.

Posted by: all kinds of whining going on | March 11, 2007 8:18 PM

As I said before I don't share most of Bushes opinions, I believe that he is one of the worst presidents in the whole history of the USA, his intervention in Iraq was a disaster for the whole world, we have more terrorism now that ever before. On the other hand, the way that his administration conducted the war waged on Taliban and Al-Qaeda, was another mess, instead of finishing a job that was agreed by all the international community, they started a new and internationally illegal war in Mesopotamia. But in spite of all these facts, nobody can deny that the USA is a great democracy, that many liberties are in jeopardy since the measures taken by this Government it is true. But you can take for granted that someone else will fix all these wrongdoings and mischievous behaviour. Last but not least, the press is doing a fine job reporting all the trip to South America and soon to Mexico as well, so please at least don't complain about them, is their duty, and with the UK and France the American press is one of the best in the entire world, my congratulations to the Post, you had your job done quite well.

Posted by: wetzvonken | March 11, 2007 8:40 PM

I am outraged at all of the expense!!! What is he trying to do, bankrupt the USA? Cheney, Condi, and any of his other cohorts flying all over the world and who is paying for all this. We, the taxpayers, and we are all ready so far in debt that we won't see the bottom for generations to come. Leave no child behind - what about us, the rest of the population?

Is this called 'diplomacy'? If so, does that make bush a diplomat?

Posted by: wmck1212@aol.com | March 11, 2007 10:00 PM

Look at please "Brazilian Bush": http://www.lainsignia.org/2007/marzo/cul_014.htm

Posted by: Urariano Mota | March 12, 2007 4:29 AM

How much does an ego trip like this cost the taxpayers?

Posted by: Arlie | March 12, 2007 7:12 AM

What a shame our country has degenerated to a lack of respect for the head of our government. What happened to statesmanship?

I think the liberal press has taken over our society. It would be nice if we cut off funding for those countries that hate us so much and lets see how they "make it on their own".

Posted by: D. R. Hart | March 12, 2007 7:54 AM

Dude, it's George Bush-- You were expecting substance?

Posted by: hurley | March 12, 2007 3:30 PM

Baker, doesn't it chap your arse to be treated at all times as though you're a terrorist who's out to kill the Commander-in-Chimp? So degrading! How many times were you frisked this day? Do you get a different crew of SS guards at each pat-down that doesn't recognise you, or do they just like to hassle people? Whilst I'm familiar with the fake camera crew that Osama bin Laden used to assassinate Ahmad Shah Massoud, are the Monkey-Man's minders so paranoid that they can't act rationally?

Posted by: Bukko in Australia | March 13, 2007 2:49 AM

Wow, what an extraordinarly boring blog. It's like the author wants to show people he's in the mix, when he appears to be nothing more than a glorified court stenographer. And that sophmoric business about where Tony Snow is? Probably staying as far away from the author as possible. And who can blame Snow? I hope Peter Baker's reporting is better reading.

Posted by: What an ego! | March 17, 2007 5:30 AM

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