Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Oh my God -- it's Toastgate!

...when the time came for President Obama to deliver his toast to Queen Elizabeth Tuesday night, the meticulously planned state dinner at Buckingham Palace turned, well, awkward.

As Obama began wrapping up his remarks, he put down his notecards and picked up his glass.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please stand with me and raise your glasses as I propose a toast," the president said, as the guests stood up. "To her majesty the Queen."

At this point, the band queued up "God Save the Queen." But Obama wasn't quite finished yet.

So he kept talking -- over the British national anthem....

"A minor mishap," a BBC commentator said Tuesday night on air.

Shorter everyone in Wingnuttia, in so many words or by implication: This is unprecedented! I'm sure no previous president ever flubbed a royal toast! Especially the Republicans! They have class!

Well, actually...

And as for the last Republican president....

... on the south lawn of the White House on Monday, [President George W. Bush] fluffed his lines and suggested that the 81-year-old Queen has been on the throne since the 18th century.

Realising his mistake, and in front of all the cameras, George junior turned to the monarch and winked at her.

Now, the Queen is not used to being winked at. And certainly not by a fellow head of state, on a public platform in front of 7,000 people.

"She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child" quipped George, making as graceful a recovery as he could.

The queen ultimately had to be gracious where he wasn't:

Queen Elizabeth ended her US trip last night with a rare public show of humour, gently teasing President George Bush for his verbal slip-up that added 200 years to her age.

During an official welcome ceremony on the White House lawn on Monday, Mr Bush stumbled over a line in his speech, initially saying the Queen had helped celebrate the US bicentennial in 1776, rather than 1976....

At a formal dinner last night at the British ambassador's residence in Washington, the Queen opened her speech with a toast to the US president.

Grinning playfully, she began: "I wondered whether I should start this toast by saying, 'When I was here in 1776...'" The guests, including Mr Bush, erupted in laughter.

So, wingers, please -- don't be smug about this.

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