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Bush Watch

Thomas M. Defrank and David Saltonstall write in the New York Daily News: "President George W. Bush may have left office with a historically bad 22% approval rating, but he's still eager to impart his wisdom - for $150,000 a speech.

"The former president will charge that hefty fee per pep talk - plus first-class or private jet transport for four - when he hits the lecture circuit next month with stopovers in Canada, the U.S. and other spots around the globe, sources told The News."

Kevin Sherrington blogs for the Dallas Morning News about Bush's visit yesterday to an elementary school in his new Dallas neighborhood.

"The Bushes were scheduled to visit three classes, but they ended up popping in on any room with an audience.

"Ducking in one room, Bush asked, 'Hey kids, do you know who I am?'

"Gasps all around, and then someone blurted, 'George Washington!'

"'That's right!' the visitor said. 'George Washington Bush!'

"Well, the middle initial was the same, anyway.

"A little later, at an ESL class, Bush tried introducing himself in Spanish. Only it was a little too West Texas for the Spanish speakers. He tried again. Blank looks. Even held up three fingers. You know, a 'W.' Still nothing.

"Finally, Pershing's innovative, energetic principal, Margie Hernandez, stepped in with a Spanish introduction....

"Once he finished his tour, he addressed a school assembly, where he related his favorite question of the morning:

"'Why did you come here?'

"Bush told the kids he came because he saw signs that welcomed him, and it made him feel good, and he wanted to say thanks....

"He seemed to have such a good time that I told him we could use him for the Dad's Club Haunted House.

"'I'd make a good ghost,' he said, grinning."

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 26, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
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All hat, no cattle

Posted by: dmls2000 | February 26, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

code word = schadenfreude

I sense a large amount of Daily Show/Colbert Report fodder as we watch the the number of and amount paid for, GW Bush speaking engagements dry up and disappear.

Posted by: PatD1 | February 26, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I for one would not pay a dime to listen to someone who can't speak English properly or in whole understandable sentences.

Posted by: Bangkokian | February 26, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Hey kids, do you know who I am?"

$150,000 plus first-class or private jet, huh? Why would ANYBODY want him, at that price or ANY price?

Keep us posted on how it goes, Dan.

And I hope you read Glenn Greenwald this morning on Karl Rove.

Posted by: herzliebster | February 26, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that there are still plenty of Americans who would pony up that much to listen to GWB (and not just in Texas...there's always Utah, Oklahoma and scattered mental institutions). But CANADA?!? Who in Canada wants to be reminded of that man ever again?...

Posted by: epuziss | February 26, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I believe the term is Wingnut Welfare. Bush can't do ANYTHING so they have set up 'speaking engagements' for the Frat Boy King. I can't wait for the day two sunglass wearing men in business suits ring his door bell and in that tone that only the FBI can muster say 'George W. Bush? You're under arrest'.

Posted by: davidbn27 | February 26, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The former president's speech proceeds should be subject to garnishment until he pays off the past 8 years.

Posted by: martymar123 | February 26, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The Canucks can HAVE him. I pity the promoters for this debacle.

Posted by: crix | February 26, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"The former president will charge that hefty fee per pep talk - plus first-class or private jet transport for four - when he hits the lecture circuit next month with stopovers in Canada, the U.S. and other spots around the globe, sources told The News."

Interpol take notice.

Posted by: fzdybel | February 26, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Something must have gone wrong with the Texas education system, if the kids have no idea who that funny man is. I'd blame the ex-governors.

The Obama administration should get right on the case and promote a "no president left behind" program.

Chris Brown in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown1 | February 27, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

So who exactly has contracted to have him come speak at that rate, how does that price compare to other former presidents (i.e., Clinton), and how full is his schedule compared to other former presidents?

The Clintons made a cool $15M/yr in the years after he left office (over $100M total); how is W projected to compare? Do they have the audiences to book him for 100 speeches a year at those rates?

Posted by: ddipaula1 | February 27, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like he just popped in to that school because they had some free time and didn't mind a visitor. Why pay the hefty fee when you could just put up a "Bush Welcome Here" sign? He might just show up for free.

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 27, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

'No good deed goes unpunished.' GWB drops by a local school to say hello to the kids and you people tear him apart. One thing is certain: Bloggers to the Washington Post are consistently coarse and hateful. One can't help but wonder if there had never been a GWB, would liberals ever had learned to speak and write?

Posted by: david-mckenzie | February 27, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

well i hope he goes out to shop with the money to help our economy.I would pay to listen to him if he would tell the truth ha ha ha but hes a walking talking liar now just like when he was our so called President.(court appointed that is)and dang those hanging chads created by his brother in the sunshine state.

Posted by: smorrow | February 27, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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