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Presidential PDA … in the last days of Bush-bashing

Well, I’d like to think I never bashed Bush for anything he didn’t truly warrant … . Here’s an example — a column I wrote in July 2006 after his mal apropos back-rubbing at the G8 Summit.


By now, we all know that George W. Bush spent a few seconds giving an unsolicited and evidently highly uncomfortable “back rub” to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the recent G-8 Summit.

Some people are calling his action just a friendly “rub” among world leaders. No harm, no foul.

Others say his behavior was the equivalent of a frat-boy grope writ large on a world stage. After all, when you’re the leader of the free world you can’t exactly grab the German Chancellor’s butt as she walks by, can you?

Certainly not. When you’re the President of the United States, you restrain yourself against such déclassé antics.

Instead, you show your esteem for the only female at the G8 table by coming up from behind her, catching her completely off-guard, putting your hands on her body, and giving her a little good-natured massage action in front of the entire world.

Nothing like a little public display of affection, presidential-style.

Maybe somewhere in our collective opinion, we could forgive the guy for yet another shameful faux pas, if there was any reason to believe that Merkel welcomed his odd attentions.

But her reaction – arms upraised, fists beginning to clinch, a grimace of discomfort frozen on her face – broadcast her considerable dismay. Not for a second does her expression register “Oh, what fun this Bush fella is!”

You could tell she just wanted his presidential paws off her body. And G.W. obliged, giving Merkel mere seconds of all-in-good-fun manhandling before moving on.

G.W. embarrassed himself and our country by putting his hands on a woman – a world leader no less, at a world summit no less – in such an overly-familiar fashion.

In the context of the Summit, G.W.’s lack of manners was eclipsed only by the poverty of his good judgment.

It was a buffoon’s move; an abysmal breach of presidential protocol.

Wait a minute, you might say; maybe G.W. thought those loosey-goosey Europeans would be a bit more relaxed about that kind of thing. Besides, he didn’t mean anything by it ….

Or did he?

Was his “rub and run” an attempt to get Merkel to soften up? She did, after all, level criticism at the U.S. last January in connection with the goings-on at Guantanamo Bay. Maybe in his juvenile mindset, G.W. thought he could create a little good will by getting physical.

Or, perhaps his patronizing massage was a not-so-subtle attempt to undermine her credibility? His inappropriate informality definitely conveyed a certain lack of respect for her chancellery.

Or could it be that G.W. has a little crush? Maybe he simply meant to impart some heartfelt feelings with his quickie rub-a-dub?

He did seem a bit starry-eyed about Merkel this past May. After concluding a round of meetings with her in Washington, he waxed rhapsodic about his deepening connection with her. “I have to say I got a glimpse into her soul, into how she feels,” he said at the time.

Naturally, the next step after glimpsing a woman’s soul is to knead her neck and shoulders in front of media cameras during a summit of world leaders. No doubt it gave him even further insights into how “she feels.”

If it isn’t a case of him being smitten by Merkel, then surely we can expect to see similar Bush-esque gestures of friendship toward other world leaders in the future.

Perhaps a full-body bear hug with Vladimir? Double kisses smacked Frenchie-style on Chirac’s cheeks? Or maybe a boisterous exchange of head-butts with his boy, Tony?

Who’s next in line for a little presidential PDA?

Posted on January 6th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
5 Responses to Presidential PDA … in the last days of Bush-bashing
  1. Hey MC!

    I’m so excited. I climbed out of the 20th Century and figured out how to subscribe to your blog! I can now get my regular dose of the Reality Chick delivered to my Mailbox. I’m so cool. (tee hee)

    Love love love your writing, and can’t wait to read more!

    Take care, and make it a good one.


  2. ah, Theresa, I love YOUR writing! And I couldn’t BELIEVE the spread in the Sarasota Herald Tribune about you and your book Opening the Kimono. Jiminy Cricket!!

    For those of you unfamiliar with Ms. Rose —
    check her out!!!

  3. John W. Perkins
    January 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I can only wonder if you’ll be as observant and highly critical of President Obama for the many faux pas he will commit.

    Hang on. I just remembered, to you, “The Ordained One”, cannot commit any error of judgment.

  4. Not true, John! He’s not the ordained anything and I believe he does commit errors of judgment. I’ll be as observant, in fact, already am, of Obama. Criticism will be based on whether or not he warrants it…. Thanks for reading …and writing! MC

  5. How about the appointment of Leon Panetta as head of the CIA?Bill Richardson fiasco?…..Obama’s silence about Israel fighting Hamas on the Gaza Strip?He warrants something with any the above …..


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