On the Plane

Inside the Bush Bubble

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- The first sign of trouble at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington was the large plane on the tarmac with the crown painted on it. It didn't seem likely that the White House planned to send the media that covers President Bush to Latin America in royal fashion. And sure enough, that was not our plane. King Abdullah II of Jordan was in town and taking his time about leaving. Until he did, we couldn't.

You know a presidential trip is getting off to a bad start when the king of Jordan jumps the line. So President Bush's visit to Latin America kicked off with scores of reporters, photographers, cameramen, sound guys, White House staff and Secret Service agents cooling our heels at Andrews for a couple hours waiting for Abdullah's men to load his luggage and take off. Fortunately for Bush, the press charter that ferries the media on big international trips leaves the night before he does. Presumably not even a king would delay Air Force One.

We're going to try something a little different with this trip. Welcome to the first White House traveling blog, a variation on a theme started by our colleague Glenn Kessler, who recently began filing web-only on-the-road dispatches from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's many international travels.

For the next week as the president makes his way across Latin America, we'll be posting regular updates taking you inside the bubble of a presidential trip. We'll try to show the nitty-gritty of how the White House and the traveling press corps actually operate, in a way that never gets seen in the daily newspaper or the nightly news. It'll be ugly at times, but that'll make it fun.

As one of three White House correspondents at The Post (along with Michael Fletcher and Michael Abramowitz), I've never written a blog, so bear with me as we experiment. My colleague Jessica Yellin of ABC News explained that a blog is for all the whining you can't do in the newspaper or on air and that seems like as good a mission statement as any. But if you have comments or questions, please post them here and we'll try to shed light on whatever interests you.

A quick preview of the trip: Bush will spend the next week traveling to Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, trying to repair relations with a region that has felt pretty neglected since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush plans to offer a commitment to addressing poverty and "social justice" (his words) that will compete with the leftist vision of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Bush effectively summed up his message the other day with words straight out of his father's presidency: "We care."

The chartered jet that carries most of the media -- in this case, a Boeing 777 arranged by the White House Travel Office but paid for by our news organizations -- left Andrews last night and, after a nine-plus-hour overnight flight, we arrived this morning in Sao Paulo at 10:50 local time. The president left on Air Force One this morning and will catch up with us here this evening, late enough that he'll head to bed without any events until tomorrow.

So the journalists have the day to get ready for his arrival, write setup pieces, look around and (editors, stop reading here) maybe even do a little shopping. Actually, it'll be the only relaxed period of the trip. Starting tomorrow, we're in for six days of 5 a.m. wakeup calls, shuffling from one filing center to another, multiple security checks, three-hour bus rides and, at the end of most days, another plane flight to another country and another hotel.

So get ready to come along. And forgive the whining.

By  |  March 8, 2007; 2:12 PM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Latin America, March 2007
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Comments

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Congratulations on your first blog entry. Here's a tip: Nobody cares what the media have to go through to do their jobs. We don't care if your plane is crowded or late or missing. We don't care if your schedule is busy. We don't care if your new White House pressroom is nice or if your old one was a dump. Lots of people have hard jobs in difficult circumstances.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:51 PM

How about this priviledged midia tell us -if you can - the simple genuine elementary truthful truth ?

Posted by: paulojacobsen | March 8, 2007 2:53 PM

this sounds like a 'cool' experiment. i'm tired of the same old write-ups and want an inside perspective on what goes on behind the cameras and the pen.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:57 PM

I wonder if you'll actually understand anything that's going on outside the bubble. Bogota is already locked down in preparation for the Sunday visit. There are thoiusands of soldiers and even tanks on the streets, and people are being stopped and searched all over the place. Yesterday there was fighting at the National University over the visit.

Bush will be in town to pledge his support to a government deeply implicated in death squad activity and drug mafias in what they call "Latin America's oldest democracy."

Wherever he goes Bush will have to be fully insulated from contact with society. After all, he is hands down the most hated person on earth.

Posted by: Sal | March 8, 2007 3:08 PM

I in fact do find how the media is treated by the white house an interesting topic and an excellent indicator of an administrations feelings towards their ambassadors to the public. Please keep up the excellent work.

Posted by: TheLastStraw | March 8, 2007 3:17 PM

If you write something that is not nice about the White House, I suggest you refuse the "coffee, tea, or milk" that is offered on the plsne. Your hotel room might not have a window in it either but Libby would probably trade with you in a hearbeat. Good luck! PS: If Potus slaps you on the back, I would check to see if he put a Post-it note on your shoulder. "Enemy combatant"

Posted by: Ken McGee | March 8, 2007 3:31 PM

>>Here's a tip: Nobody cares what the media have to go through to do their jobs...

Rubbish! The travails of the "boys on the bus" are very interesting, as are the insights certain to be part of the blog as you rattle along. And, nice job on your first entry; I suspect the rest of the blog is going to be really well-written too... and fascinating!

Posted by: J. Ludwigson | March 8, 2007 4:17 PM

Like Sal, I hope that you will see and capture what the street perception of Bush's visit is here in Sao Paulo. He arrives tonight and for days the Brazilian press has been conveying the visceral animosity people feel, not just for what Bush has done around the world and his ideology, but for the tremendous disruption his visit will have in this city of 18 million. His economic-proposal visit is ironic: Brazilian taxpayers will shoulder a burden for his imposed drop-in, and the demands of security have forced small businesses, shop owners, taxi drivers, and other struggling workers to lose income as the Secret Service does what it needs to protect him (closing down streets, neighborhoods, air space). Many, many Paulistanos are ANGRY, even the apolitical ones. Of course, you will see lots of demonstrations here and on other stops, and Bush will dismiss them as exercises in Free Speech. I predict that this trip may end up doing much more harm than good, PR-wise. But, hey, welcome to the continent!

Posted by: Mary in Sao Paulo | March 8, 2007 4:18 PM

*Bush plans to offer a commitment to addressing poverty and "social justice" (his words) that will compete with the leftist vision of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Bush effectively summed up his message the other day with words straight out of his father's presidency: "We care."*

hahahahahahahahahahaha -- seriously, that is the funniest damned thing i've read in at least 7 years...

Posted by: linda | March 8, 2007 4:23 PM

We learned the hard way in London that when Bush visits, so great is peoples desire to protest him, and so fundamental his little-boy need to be insulated from dissent, that he ends up shutting down entire cities for days, costing the locals hundreds of millions. They closed all of central London so Bush wouldnt have to look at demonstrators. Amusingly, the Chinese premier made no such demands, but simply lived with the protests. So please cover the Bush security circus, and remember, its not there to protect him from terrorists, its there to protect him from the people.

Posted by: OD | March 8, 2007 5:06 PM

"Of course, you will see lots of demonstrations here and on other stops, and Bush will dismiss them as exercises in Free Speech."

Brazil has free speech? Funny, that. Has Brazil invaded anyone? According to most Americans I speak to, free speech is something your army gives you by invading and occupying foreign countries.

That's why, whenever Americans criticise the govt, someone tells them: "You can only say that because our Brave Men and Women (tm) are fighting abroad to protect your right to complain."

Isn't it strange that Brazil and western Europe actually allow more protest than America? They dont even herd demonstrators into out-of-the-way "free speech zones". And they do it all without having a vast military-industrial complex and endless wars. Food for thought...

Posted by: OD | March 8, 2007 5:13 PM

Since Mr. Bush no longer has any credibilty at all regarding what he says about the rest of the world ( never mind the US), why would you go to all these lengths to cover a non-event? I know, somebody has to be present for the "body watch," but a pool reporter can do that. Why do you go through all this when you know it is already meaningless?

Charles

Posted by: charles Moore | March 8, 2007 5:32 PM

Sigh!

Posted by: Cici | March 8, 2007 5:39 PM

Bush and Chavez deserve each other. They are like two peas in a pod. The Toles cartoon yesterday of two frat boys on spring break hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: eo mcmars | March 8, 2007 5:40 PM

back stage "goings-on" are always more interesting to read (or hear) about than the prepared propaganda and "canned" speeches from illiterates who only read the script.
Thank you, it should be enlightening!

Posted by: WMCK1212@AOL.COM | March 8, 2007 5:40 PM

There are 22,000 National Police on the streets of Bogotá and the city is "armor plated" in the words of national daily El Tiempo. The police have announced that they intercepted "terrorist plans" for Bush's visit, which in Colombia often means that the armed forces themselves fake terrorist activities (called "false positives" in the local lingo) either to bring glory on themselves for their brilliant work, to hype up the need for even more paranoia and repression, or to do Bush's friend President Uribe a political favor.

Colombia has many problems. A visit from the world's #1 war criminal is the last thing the country needs.

Posted by: Sal | March 8, 2007 5:43 PM

I feel sorry for you. You will writing more of the same - how Bush is not welcomed anywhere. It's really getting to be a drag. I remember when an American president was mobbed because he was so admired like Kennedy. Now, if people can spit on Bush, they would. Bush should have just stayed home.

Posted by: M. Stratas | March 8, 2007 6:03 PM

Er...is the blogosphere going to mention that while Bush is making nice to South America, he actually cut funding for the region's
human needs by 8% ?

Part of his usual razzle-dazzle. Since the mainstream media are still largely kissing ***, isn't it your job to bring out the, er,
discrepancies between word and deed?

Posted by: Aspasia | March 8, 2007 6:07 PM

I especially enjoy comments from the citizens of Brazil and Bush's other stops (seriously). Please keep it up, Sal & Mary, etc. After 7 years of Bush, including his shameful reelection, do you still make a distinction between hating Bush and liking Americans?

Posted by: Washington, DC | March 8, 2007 6:09 PM

By the way, Sal and Mary, I'm sure you've heard this story about Bush's knowledge of Brazilians: Early in the Iraq war, Cheney told Bush, "Our allies are really coming to our aid. A contingent of Brazilian soldiers arrived in Iraq today." Bush: "That's great! Really fabulous!...Remind me, Dick, how many in a "brazilian"?"

Posted by: Washington, DC | March 8, 2007 6:14 PM

Ho hum. Traveling with Mr. Flight Suit in his hermetically sealed bubble. "W" might as well stay in the White House and phone it in. He'll never see a protester or anything else remotely resembling the reality of the culture or ambience of the countries he visits. Cowardice thinly disguised as "security measures." The only public appearances he makes are on U.S. military bases.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 8, 2007 6:19 PM

Each stop in each country will cost the taxpayers in that country and the United States 10 to 15 million. Cancel the blasted dog and pony show, and give the money to the poor of each country. There are a number of folks who would not walk 40 feet to see the guy. Maybe Libby will sneak on the plane and stay in Columbia, and when the reporters ask about this, Bush will put his hand to his ear and say, "Pardon!"

Posted by: oldjon | March 8, 2007 6:33 PM

They are already rioting in Brazil - check out CNN,

Posted by: ML Jones | March 8, 2007 6:48 PM

Bush sent a clear message to Latin America when he chose notorious death squad accomplice John Negroponte as Deputy Secretary of State: "Do what we say or we'll kill you."

He employs many other Iran-Contra veterans, such as convicted criminal Elliot Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy.

That's just a hint of why why the world's most hated man is unwelcome and will be repudiated EVERYWHERE in the Americas.

Posted by: Corina | March 8, 2007 7:02 PM

WAR CRIMINAL THAT WALKS FREE

G.W Bush a first president that is destroying U.S national interests around the World and breaking all the rules of international unity and peace around the World. Here is at a stake whole existence of U.S for now and in present, as we have known. Hatred against U.S and its people and dark forces around the World are emerging in millions not in thousands regrouping and are bound sooner or later to find a new weapons or ways to damage U.S economy and existence.

We have to return back to justice, democracy and value and the laws of our forefathers and humane rights of every U.S citizen and people around the World as we did before G.W. Bush came to power. The President is directly responsible for deaths and casualties in Iraq and starting a war that had no valid reasons to be started at all. We now know there was no valid reason to start war in Iraq, we now know it was personal vendetta and money reasons of G.W Bush, Saudi King Family and Israel to bring Sadam Hussein down at any cost and removing one dictator by reinstating puppet government and a dictator much worst and more cruel than one before. U.S soldiers and superior military technology was used as tools to totally destroy a sovereign country and functional government without any provocation or attack on U.S or its citizen's. We have bypassed all International laws and have shown the World that we are no different than Nazi Germany in 2nd World War in taking country by force without any provocation and valid reasons thus putting 25 million people of Iraq in to anarchy, despair and constant killing on average of 50 innocent people daily from car bombs or military actions.

G.W Bush must be brought at front of senate to answer question directly why did he started this war? His motives must be investigated in details, he must be confronted with the actual numbers in casualties of U.S soldier's killed/injured and Iraq civilian population killed and injured during the war that he authorized and sealed. The end number in total casualties of all humans in Iraq will be staggering and the killing methods more devastating than used by Nazi Germany during WWII. Already now Americans are called in Iraq and rest of Middle East as "Nazis of Middle East" and this attitude of Middle Eastern people will eventually in future reduce our commercial influence in Middle East to minimum. U.S will never recover from bad name in Middle East and from being most loved nation in the Middle East in past U.S has now already become most hated nation not only in Middle East but all around the world.

Below you will find facts and opinions that have to be used in campaign to bring down G.W Bush and start his trial based on a crime as authorized and committed against humanity. "Give America New Life New Horizon and New Hope For All"

G.W. Bush the mass killer that walks free

The G.W. Bush instigated war for personal vendetta and to please a Kuwaiti and Saudi royal family was the cause of the biggest death, torture, displacement of women, children and people of Iraq in the in recent history.

There is much about the Bush Administration's practice of torture in its 'global war
on terror' that we don't yet know, but there is also much that we do know. We do know that U.S Government has broken every civil liberty law and international law in the name of terrorism hunting. We do know that U.S Army is braking in Iraq in to homes daily and arresting innocent people and throwing them in jail with out trial or any evidence against them.

A President of United States against the Geneva Convention authorizes the handing over a president, government officials and prisoners of war to hostile country where they have faced certain death by hanging.
A President of United States authorizes the illegal wiretaps.
A Secretary of State lies about illegal detention and torture around the World.
A Vice President secretly schemes to wage war and than secretly profits.
A Secretary of Defense authorizes the use of chemical weapons (Phosphorus Bombs Bullets) on the people of Iraq.
An Attorney General abandons the rules of Law to defend torture, spying and the abuse of powers by a President of Untitled States.

At the behest of the government, uniformed servicemen and women, contract interrogators, CIA employees, and people in foreign countries have beaten, maimed, sodomized, and killed prisoners held in custody. In Afghanistan, in Iraq, at Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere, prisoners have been kicked and punched, their bones broken.

Their heads have been hooded, wrapped in duct tape and smashed. Their flesh has been seared with the chemicals in fluorescent lights. They have been frozen to death, suffocated, hung upside down until dead, starved, electrically shocked and cold water boarded.

And in few if any of these cases have the victims been individually charged;
in none of these instances has evidence, pro or con, been formally presented against
the individual subjected to excruciating pain or death."

I hope above opinion will help in a small way to restore America to beautiful democracy we had before and above all let us hear the voice of what we want "Bring our Troops Home, Stop the Killings, The War is Over"

Posted by: Michael James | March 8, 2007 7:07 PM

I am surprised he is not stopping in Paraguay. I understand the Bush family recently bought 98000 + acres there. I think he could find time to check out his retirement ranch. It is a good choice for him as we have an extradition treaty with Paraguay but it has some important exceptions.

Posted by: Redman | March 8, 2007 7:12 PM

We saw some footage on CNN of the protests in Columbia and they looked pretty rough. You take care. I am old enough to remember when Nixon almost got killed on a South of the Border Trip. Do Report on what you see as to the people in the cities, what little bit of their lives you see, etc. Is there a lot of poverty, and I know there is a lot but hope springs eternal. Perhaps it is not so bad. Do things look better or worse than you thought? Do you see the street children in Brazil we read about? Is the New Free Trade Deal Bush is trying to ram through Brazil causing the trouble? Are they afraid they will be driven from their farms and have no where to go? In Brazil, we read that the gangs are so bad they attack prisons and free prisoners. There have been reports of barbaric burning of entire families in sealed cars among drug gangs. Is this what you see? I think you have a fascinating window on both a political and historical moment. Your blog can also serve as notes and perhaps you can write a book one day. Stay safe.

Posted by: Teka | March 8, 2007 7:40 PM

We just want the TRUTH, unadulterated by advertisers demands or editors concern for their promotions. WE WANT THE UGLY TRUTH, ALL OF IT. And yeah, it's not an easy job, but we're counting on you! The Post is the only semi-respectable news organisation left in this country. THANK YOU.....and please don't let us down. The truth will set YOU free, also.

Posted by: Dave | March 8, 2007 8:00 PM

Man, I appreciate the effort and all, but any blog entry that begins by explaining that "... a blog is for all the whining you can't do in the newspaper or on air" is doomed to failure. You should use your blog, if not your newspaper, to tell truth to power. HB.

Posted by: Holler Boy | March 8, 2007 8:56 PM

How sad that the Bush admin believes that a few day trips to South America will somehow "counteract" Hugo Chavez's influence - how blind the Bushies are to their own rep in the world - we are all tired of Amerika; nothing they (or you WP) say or do will change that!

Toronto, Canada

Posted by: TaffyMoon | March 8, 2007 9:20 PM

Let's see, this is the guy who got advice on the war in Iraq from Henry Kissinger, the guy who told the junta in Argentina that it should hurry up and do something about their leftist problem. This lead to thousands of "Disappeared" students, intellectuals, etc. Also lots of complicity in the assassination of Allende in Chile. And then there is our stellar record of training the death squads in El Salavador at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning...How about the priests and nuns getting whacked in the 80s, or Somozas re-treads, the Contras...Is it any wonder that South and Central America are over gringo Conquistador Diplomacy? Yankee go home!

Posted by: Bob | March 8, 2007 9:33 PM

the idea sounds very hunter thompson - a blog version of "fear and loathing: on the campaign trail". just make sure that it's more than soft news.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 9:41 PM

Blogging the trip as you go sounds like it could give readers a few insights we might not normally read of. Remember, Bush is bringing American Democracy to these countries, whether they requested it or not. Please try not to regurgitate too much of the Snow spin!

Posted by: H5N1 | March 8, 2007 9:43 PM

The universities in Bogota and Medellin are already closed after they used water cannons on the students; the airport is being closed on Sunday and alcohol sales are banned. Today the National Police ordered my wife's son out of a cab, then searched the drivers and passengers of eight taxis in all at one intersection. They say that they will be emptying buses to search the passengers.

They claim that they will have twelve rings of security around the war criminal Bush and are even bringing a "sophisticated aerial surveillance" aircraft from the US to watch the entire city. Why doesn't he just stay home in the "land of the free" where degenerates like him are are so popular?

Posted by: Sal | March 8, 2007 9:49 PM

The British Guardian Unlimited is already reporting on anti-Bush protests. Have you seen anything yet? If so, how large are the crowds? Will you be reporting on that or do you have to be nice to Mr. Bush? Also, what does *FORA BUSH* mean or is the first part just cut off in the Guardian's picture?

Posted by: bb | March 8, 2007 10:00 PM

BUSH OUT

FORA BUSH (Portuguese)

FUERA BUSH (Spanish)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 10:02 PM

Looking forward to your upcoming articles - how refreshing to read something real, for a change. I no longer read, listen to or (heaven forbid) watch the one living in the White House. Can't stand to call him 'the president.' The scripted, staged, costly events are sickening - it's unbelievable even the paltry 29% of the public can swallow this. When is enough, enough -

Posted by: Aggie | March 8, 2007 10:02 PM

Will the butcher Bush apologize to Guatemala for the holocaust of the 1980s made in USA? For the decades-long military nightmare brought on by the 1954 CIA coup? GO AWAY!

Posted by: Caridad | March 8, 2007 10:05 PM

Abajo ,el imperialismo Yanqui ! Ahi lo tenemos en su representacion mas baja, criminal y sordida del alcoholico, religioso, bruto, feo y tonto de George "WANKER" Bush

Posted by: Carlos | March 8, 2007 10:09 PM

In an editorial headlined "Uncle Scrooge's Paltry Package," the conservative daily newspaper O Estado de São Paulo noted Wednesday that Mr. Bush's offering amounted to "the equivalent of five days' cost of the war in Iraq."

Posted by: andy | March 8, 2007 10:15 PM

Fresh graffiti on streets here in São Paulo, where he landed Thursday night for his first stop, calls him a murderer.

Although President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be meeting with Mr. Bush on Friday to sign the ethanol accord and is scheduled to visit him at Camp David on March 31, the leftist Workers' Party he leads has chosen to support and take part in the anti-Bush demonstrations.

The party warned on its Web site that Mr. Bush "shouldn't count on Brazil for imperialist actions in the region." One essay called him "the big boss of international terrorism," while another declared that Mr. Bush was "persona non grata" in Brazil.

"The United States in general and the Bush government in particular are brutally violent," wrote Valter Pomar, the party's secretary for international relations. "We will only be free of this threat when the North American people constitute a government on the left."

Posted by: Carl | March 8, 2007 10:17 PM

Hi Peter,
I think this a great idea, it kind of works like a travel diary, pretty cool. Beside the news, try to fill us in with all the nuances that will bound to encounter. In any case, we will be eagerly waiting for your blog.
Have a safe trip.
Thanks

Posted by: Guddu | March 8, 2007 10:29 PM

In this trip, the only country where Mr Bush is not going to spend a night is Colombia, despite his strong defense of President Uribe.
That's not exactly a gesture of confidence in the alleged success of Mr Uribe in his fight against terrorism. Don't you think so?

If Colombia is the safe Country that Mr Uribe claims, why Mr Bush is going to spend so short time there?

If the Uribe Administration is not able to host President Bush for more tha ten hours or so, because of security reasons, it means that the money American tax payers have given to Mr Uribe has been wasted.

And if that happens with such important person, could you figure out what is the level of security for a simple pedestrian in Colombia? How is the confidence of a of a farmer in Colombia's countryside?

I think that Mr Bush does know that in Colombia the terrorists belonging to Farc are still at large; the murderers of paramilitary squads are getting a non declared amnesty, and the drug trafficking and the money launderng continue And for those reason he prefers just to stop by and say hello, before departing to Guatemal, a country that looks a little bit safer.

Posted by: Vladdo | March 8, 2007 10:37 PM

I like this coverage. Thanks for giving us insight into the behind the scenes.

Posted by: boomer | March 8, 2007 10:47 PM

Peter, a suggestion. Look for the folks who were invited, then interview the common man on the street of each country that were not invited. Don't go for the Dog and Pony show, make a human story out of your trip. When talking to the common man, fuzz the picture, alter the voice and see what type of comments you get from the folks in South America. I think the U.S. citizen who is not of the Bush cult would be interested in this type of news.

Posted by: oldjon | March 8, 2007 11:09 PM

Newsies are well known for their feeling of entitlement and special treatment when on the road. They tend to forget that THEY are not the principal. Example - embassy provided bottled water not cold - van to transport press to the suq was late in returning to hotel. Please minimize the whining and complaining.

Posted by: Tupac Goldstein | March 8, 2007 11:22 PM

Writers,when I see your scribbles written down in a panic, not attached anymore to the rest of world, there is only one explanation. The U.S.A. is going down in free fall, the final struggle of ones an Empire !!!

Posted by: jwh | March 9, 2007 2:21 AM

I'd rather hear about your story than W and his BS. Keep him honest, if that's possible.

Posted by: tuttlegroup | March 9, 2007 4:45 AM

Great thing that President Bush is visiting Latin America. His charm and wit will win over the people and demonstrate again why the US is admired throughout the world.

Posted by: Matedecoca | March 9, 2007 7:14 AM

"The hands down most hated person on earth". Unfortunately, that's so true. The entire Republican ideology is hated more than any system of governing this side of Nazi Germany- and just barely. How do those people sleep at night knowing that the entire world hates them and prays for their departure from any areas of responsibility for governing?

The man is an embarrassment to the United States of America. May God help us all.

Posted by: notskinner | March 9, 2007 8:03 AM

Wow! Just read the responses to your new blog attempt and wonder if there may be a bit of hostility involved in the feedback. I must agree that if all you cover is the "expected response" that comes from reporters on trips with presidents in areas that are not friendly, save us all the time reading your report. However, if I can feel connected with actual unvarnished events as seen through your eyes, I can hardly wait for your next report. Good luck!

Posted by: Benny | March 9, 2007 8:59 AM

I appreciate the inside view, but why the hell couldn't the Washington Post send a reporter who speaks, or has at least a minimal understanding of the language of the countries visited?

Posted by: Brillz | March 9, 2007 10:43 AM

oh, goody...another blog from Bush haters. What a concept. Go ahead, enjoy yourselves and your unique experiences. Not just anyone could go...ya' know!!

Posted by: barbabrams | March 9, 2007 1:41 PM

Dear World, Please accept our apology for having elected this rogue president.

What would happen if Bush were kidnapped, held captive and tortured in Columbia? Do you think he might reconsider his approval of torture then?

The only worst thing that could result from that would be Cheney would become President.

Posted by: Mimi | March 9, 2007 2:11 PM

I wonder who outside the USA could take this murderous imbecile seriously, and his henchmen and women, except a Nürnberg type of tribunal. Scoundrels were actually hung after Nürnberg for far less than what this group has done... Shame on the country that re-elected this criminal moron. His "welcome" to South America is just another illustration of what the world has come to think of the USA. The journalists' job is to tell the truth, and analyze the facts, not to whine at their own fate while doing their job for which they are quite well paid.

Posted by: Günther, Berlin | March 9, 2007 2:49 PM

Just curious. Why if America is hated so much, are there thousands daily risking everything to get here. Maybe its because things here are better than most of you will ever realize.

Posted by: JIM | March 9, 2007 4:00 PM

From what I've heard and seen, the Brzil trip seems to be little more than a lot of biomass.

Posted by: Bohdan Balzic | March 9, 2007 4:57 PM

Why sudden interest in South America and start visiting thess places. Is it because he can travel under full protection at tax payers expense (Not just U.S. but also of the countries he visits), surely once out of Office, he will not be able to travel and see the world, or is it for some grand new mischief at play, I think it is the later. Perhaps a diversion for the invasion of Iran.

Posted by: Maryrose | March 10, 2007 12:21 AM

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