Says "We're Kicking Ass!" In Iraq
President Bush is now Down Under, and clearly enjoying his time in Sydney with Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, while his wife, Laura, is stuck back at home in the US with a 'pinched neck' that supposedly stopped her from joining her husband on the long flight, via Iraq, to Australia.
Arriving at Sydney airport last night, Bush and Rice looked and acted more like a president and his first lady, than a president and his secretary of state.
After a day's worth of meetings, press conferences, lunches and a little business, President Bush and Condi Rice climbed aboard a magnificent cruiser for a night-time trip across Sydney Harbour to the residence of prime minister John Howard.
Condi Rice stood back from Bush while he met with senior ministers of the Howard cabinet, but when he noticed her alone and off to one side, President Bush put his arm around the woman long rumoured in Washington to be his lover and said "You can be my date" for the dinner. The n the champagne began to flow.
Go To The Orstrahyun For More On The Ultra-Security Now Enveloping Sydney For Bush's Visit
From Your New Reality :
President Bush's first 24 hours in Australia have been a mix of luxurious dining, a chow down with Australian troops, harbour cruises, press conferences and big deals signed with Australia on the sharing of military technology secrets.
Bush's hour long press conference with Australia's prime minister John Howard was a dreary, long-winded mess of standard Bush rhetoric on the Iraq War, climate change, the lapdog loyalty of Australian prime minister John Howard and the hassle of having to wage both an "ideological" struggle and a battle for "hearts and minds" in the 'War on Terror'.
But President Bush is clearly feeling confident regarding the Iraq War. How confident?
When Bush arrived in Australia last night, he was greeted at the airport by deputy prime minister Mark Vaile. Having just flown in from Iraq, Bush was asked how things were going over there.
Bush grinned, "We're kicking ass!"
Bush almost topped himself in the headline quote department earlier today during the press conference when he told prime minister John Howard that he was expecting him to "shout" lunch.
"I'm a meat guy," the president reminded his Australian host.
A meat guy who loves kicking ass.
It's remarkable he's so unpopular back home in the United States.
President Bush also made the most of his massive 30-plus vehicle long motorcade. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was shut down so the president could cross the harbour to go mountain biking in a patch of national park.
And earlier in the morning he broke his own record for the shortest presidential motorcade ride in history. A mere 230 feet from his hotel to the prime minister's office. The motorcade was longer than the distance it traveled.
No doubt realising the sheer absurdity of driving such a short distance, Bush left the motorcade behind to walk back to his hotel.
But the streets around the Intercontinental Hotel are 'caged' - lined with ten foot high steel fences embedded in huge concrete blocks. The evening news was filled with bizarre images of the president walking down a city street, but cut off from the entire city by the massive security fence. The only people inside 'The Cage' were literally hundreds of police, riot squad officers and paramedics in chemical weapons suits and flak jackets.
Many Australians probably thought that was exactly where Bush belonged. Locked up behind steel mesh.