Wednesday, February 20, 2008


From the Yeas and Nays blog at soon as [President Bush] started speaking at the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, he was spitting out one-liners like Henny Youngman at a Catskills resort.

"Please be seated -- unless, of course, you don't have a chair," he opened.

"I had a speech -- I'm not going to give it," he continued.

And later: "Any other Texans that are here? Yes, there you go. You know what it's like."

According to the official transcript, the president's quips elicited polite (we'd guess) laughter at every turn.

Even White House flack Dana Perino got into the act. When asked about the unfavorable election results in Pakistan, she replied that since Republicans lost control of Congress in the 2006 elections, "we've continued to work as a strong, functioning government -- well, 'functioning' might be a little strong. (Laughter.) But all kidding aside, we continue to function as a government." ...

Oh, and, according to the transcript, Bush also joked about a plan to name a street near the embassy after Martin Luther King:

I do want to recognize our great Secretary of State. I thought, for a minute, you were going to name that road after Secretary Condoleezza Rice. (Laughter.) When they're talking about great Americans, and they're going on and on and on, I was certain it was going to say, "Rice Boulevard." (Laughter and applause.)

Rice, not King -- oh, tee-hee!

All this levity came about four hours after Bush's visit to the Kigali Memorial Centre, Rwanda's genocide museum.

More from the Examiner:

Perino also supplied some serious news: "American Idol" winner and Super Bowl national anthem performer Jordin Sparks will join the president and Mrs. Bush on their next stop, in Ghana.

"Melinda Doolittle, who was a previous 'Idol' winner, joined Mrs. Bush in Zambia last June," Perino said.

"Melinda didn't win," a member of the press pool reminded her.

"Well, she was close, a finalist," Perino came back.

OK, so we lied about the "serious" part.

When I read that, I just can't tell you how proud it makes me to be an American, on so many levels.

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