Dubya Incidents
Some Dubya incidents are truly worth special notice. This section of the site features those incidents. If you know of any other confirmed Dubya escapades worthy of inclusion here, please e-mail DubyaSpeak.

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Mar. 22, 2010 There is some debate as to whether Dubya was really wiping his hand on Bill Clinton's shoulder in order to clean it after shaking hands with a bunch of Haitians, or whether he was just awkwardly (impatiently?) attempting to prod Clinton into moving along, but it's safe to say that either explanation would seem to fit Dubya's personality pretty nicely. Have a look at the video and decide for yourself.

(Excerpted and adapted from an article by Mark Knoller on cbsnews.com.)

Jan. 19, 2009 There are many ways to assess President Bush's eight years in office. Countless hours of broadcast time and tons of newsprint are being consumed in that pursuit these days. And you can agree or not with what's being said and written.

It's difficult for any of us to convey an objective assessment of the Bush presidency, but numbers come close to offering a bit of unbiased insight.

So here are some of the numbers that mark the record of the 43rd President of the United States. When no source is cited, the numbers are from the tallies I [Mark Knoller] maintained during day-to-day coverage of President Bush.

Debt When Dubya Took Office: $5.7 trillion
National Debt as of Jan. 15, 2009: $10.6 trillion
National Debt Increase: $4.9 trillion
(Source: U.S. Treasury Dept.)

Number of Political Fund-Raisers Attended: 338
Amount of Money Raised at These Fund-Raisers: $802,586,070
(Some campaigns refused to disclose the amounts)

Number of U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq: 4,228
(Source: Dept of Defense as of Jan. 16, 2009)

Number of U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan: 634
(Source: Dept. of Defense as of Jan. 16, 2009)

Number of Medals of Honor Bestowed: 12
(Nine were awarded posthumously. Four were for service in Iraq, 1 for Afghanistan.)

Number of Vacations Spent at Camp David: 149, totaling all or part of 487 days.

Number of Vacations Spent at His Crawford, Texas Ranch: 77, totaling all or part of 490 days.

Number of Vacations Spent at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine: 11, totaling all or part of 43 days.

Total Number of Days Spent on Vacation: 1,020

Compared to Previous Presidents:
President Bill Clinton (D):
152 days (over 8-year span)

President George H. W. Bush (R):
543 days (over 4-year span)

President Ronald Reagan (R):
335 days (over 8-year span)

President Jimmy Carter (D):
79 Days (over 4-year span)
(Source: Counterbias.com)

Number of Rounds of Golf Played: 24
(The last one on Oct. 13, 2003. President Bush has since explained that he stopped playing golf out of respect for the families of Americans killed in the war in Iraq.)

Number of Formal, Solo, White House News Conferences: 44

Total Number of News Conferences: 212
(Including many joint sessions with foreign leaders at home and abroad)

Number of News Conferences at Which Shoes Were Thrown at Him: 1

Number of Recess Appointments: 165
(Source: Senate Historian)

Number of Addresses to the Nation: 23
(The last was his Farewell Address on Jan. 15, 2009)

Number of Addresses to Joint Sessions of Congress: 9
(Of which 7 were State of the Union speeches)

Number of States Not Visited As President: 1 (Vermont)

Number of Vetoes: 12, including 1 pocket veto.
(Dubya did not cast his first veto until his sixth year in office, against a measure to extend federal funding of stem cell research.)
(Excerpted from the Associated Press coverage.)

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 14, 2008 On a whirlwind trip shrouded in secrecy and marred by dissent, President George W. Bush on Sunday hailed progress in the wars that define his presidency and got a size-10 reminder of his unpopularity when a man hurled two shoes at him during a news conference in Iraq.
"This is your farewell kiss, you dog!" shouted the protester in Arabic, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

Bush ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him.

"It was a size 10," Bush joked later.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 15, 2008 Dubya hosted the annual Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G-20) summit in Washington, D.C., which ended up being rebranded a special meeting to focus on the financial sector collapse and ensuing worldwide economic crisis, but that apparently did not earn him any respect. Witness the video clip on the right, which clearly shows the world's leaders intentionally not shaking Dubya's hand and only his hand when he appeared on the stage for a group photograph. That had to be awkward.

WHITE HOUSE, Jun. 24, 2008 In another amazing outing, with the president of the Philippines in attendance, Dubya manages to pay Philippine-Americans his respects in a way that doesn't exactly come across as well thought out.

"And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House."

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Jun. 16, 2008 Dubya visited Lough View Integrated Primary School to shoot some hoops with students. Looking at the entertaining photos of this occasion, it is clear that what we have here is the natural sequel to Dubya playing cricket in Pakistan. Enjoy.


SYDNEY, Australia, Sep. 7, 2007 By all accounts, Dubya's appearance at the APEC Business Summit in Sydney, Australia was terribly entertaining, in the strictest sense of that expression.

Dubya started his speech off by getting the name of the organization whose event he was attending wrong:

"Uh, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a uhh, a fine host for the OPEC summit."

Although the official White House transcript doesn't record it this way, Dubya next referred to Australian Prime Minister John Howard visiting Austrian troops:

"We're givin' this young democracy the chance. It's in our interest to do so because, as John Howard accurately noted when he went to thank the Austrian troops there last year."

As usually happens in nearly all of Dubya's speeches, the topic of terrorism came up, and Dubya had occasion to mention the terror organization known as Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI... or Jemai-Islai-a-may-ah if you're Dubya: "[One of] the two most dangerous terrorist networks in this region are a group called Jemai-Islai-a-may-ah, or JI."

Another exit strategy fails:
Along with stumbling through the pronunciation of words like Canberra and Kuala Lumpur, and sounding pretty tongue-tied in general, Dubya managed to conclude the appearance with a repeat performance of his failed exit strategy incident (Beijing, 2005) by marching off to the side of the stage where there was no exit only to be called back to exit from the front of the stage by Howard (shown on the left).

Perhaps the crowning image of the entire event, though, was the official summit photograph, for which all the APEC leaders were asked to raise their right hands in salute (shown above). Dubya used his other right hand.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina, Jul. 24, 2007 Dubya visited Charleston Air Force Base to deliver a speech on his self-proclaimed "War on Terror". Apparently he wanted to connect the fight against al Qaeda to the fighting in Iraq, because he ended up mentioning al Qaeda 95 times over the course of 28 minutes. See the highlighted White House transcript for all of the details.

Also, it's interesting to note that the White House transcript suddenly changes the spelling of "al Qaeda" to "al Qaida" from Dubya's ninth utterance. Way to go!
(Excerpt taken from the Fox News account of the incident)

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jul. 17, 2007 President Bush shocked Capitol Hill staffers and Republican leaders Monday when he crashed a meeting at the White House to deliver a blunt message that he wasn't backing down on Iraq and Republicans need to understand that.

"It was stunning," said one GOP aide who attended the meeting. "We couldn't believe he came in."

"We kept looking at each other, amazed he came in," said another Republican aide.

Bush was described as folksy, adamant and mildly profane as he interrupted the meeting between senior White House communications staffers Tony Snow and Ed Gillespie and GOP leaders. His message: the policy on Iraq isn't changing. He is not backing down and no one on Capitol Hill should be confused into thinking he is letting up.

[It makes one wonder how many incidents Fox News isn't reporting...]
(Edited excerpt taken from the Washington Times account of the incident)

CLEVELAND, Ohio, Jul. 10, 2007 A question for President Bush on immigration rose up like a ghost from the grave this afternoon in Ohio. Only the questioner was a 13-year-old blonde-headed girl, Jessica Hackerd, from Brecksville, Ohio, who immediately broke into tears after making her inquiry.

"Mr. President, I know immigration has been a big problem in the U.S. And what is your next step with the immigration bill?" Jessica asked Mr. Bush, during a question and answer period after a speech Mr. Bush gave to a Cleveland business group. Mr. Bush's sarcastic reply a wry "yeah, thanks" drew laughter from the crowd of 400. But the attention caused young Jessica, who characterized herself in an interview afterward as very shy, to immediately tear up.

"No, it's a great question. No, I appreciate that," Mr. Bush said, as he saw Jessica's reaction. Jessica, in the interview, said that she was crying because she was nervous. But when the president's sarcastic answer was mentioned, she said, "I heard that, too."

Mr. Bush went on to speak more than 1,100 words about the death of his proposed comprehensive immigration reform, which was a heavy blow when it fell apart last month. But Jessica, there with her parents and younger sister, continued to wipe tears from her eyes for several minutes, and midway through his answer, Mr. Bush again tried to encourage the distraught youngster without drawing too much attention to her.

"It's a great question by the way, and I'm glad you asked it," Mr. Bush said.

[Note: The White House transcript of this appearance converts Dubya's sarcastic "Yeah, thanks..." to "Yes, thanks." but does keep the "(Laughter.)" notation intact. How nice.]

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