Lula Lightens Things Up
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- So the White House staff and reporters on the trip are all still buzzing about yesterday's mini-news conference featuring President Bush and Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The two emerged from private talks to face journalists for a brief question-and-answer session at the Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi in Brazil, where Bush was staying. The U.S. president appeared a bit cranky as they walked in. They were 45 minutes behind schedule, a rare occurrence in Bush world that usually leaves the ultra-punctual president irritated. Lula is the kind of leader who likes to filibuster a bit.
But Bush likes Lula, according to aides, and the Brazilian soon lightened things up. A Brazilian reporter asked about the long-stalled Doha round of trade talks. Lula expounded for a bit and expressed confidence that progress would be made toward a resolution. No one was quite prepared for the colorful way he would express that confidence.
"We're moving on solid ground to find a chance for the so-called G-point to come to an agreement," Lula said. "G-point" is how the interpreter translated the phrase into English. Evidently, the Brazilians heard a slightly different variation that has nothing to do with, say, the G-8, because they all started to titter. Even Bush cracked a smile.
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