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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.
DUBYA WIPES HIS HANDS ON BILL CLINTON IN HAITI
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.
DUBYA'S TERM, BY THE NUMBERS
(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)
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.)
DUBYA DODGES HEAD-BOUND SHOES ON LAST IRAQ "VICTORY TOUR"
(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.
NO HANDSHAKES FOR DUBYA
DUBYA "PLAYS BASKETBALL" IN NORTHERN IRELAND
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.
DUBYA ATTENDS OPEC APEC CONFERENCE IN AUSTRIA AUSTRALIA, MAKES ASS OF SELF
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."
DUBYA FINDS A WAY TO USE "AL QAEDA" 95 TIMES IN ONE SPEECH
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!
"MILDLY PROFANE" DUBYA ON THE LOOSE
(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...]
DUBYA BRINGS 13-YEAR-OLD TO TEARS
(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.]
NEW POPE, SAME DUBYA
(Reprint of an article posted on South Africa's News24.com)
VATICAN CITY, Jun. 9, 2007 — President George W Bush drew gasps at the Vatican on Saturday by referring to Pope Benedict XVI as "sir" instead of the expected "His Holiness", pool reporters said.
They could clearly hear the US leader say "Yes, sir" when the pope asked him if he was going to meet with officials of the lay Catholic Sant'Egidio community at the US embassy later during his visit.
A handful of pool reporters were on hand as Benedict greeted Bush at the door of his private library ahead of a private audience of about half an hour.
On his way to see the 80-year-old pontiff, the US leader apparently recognised someone he knew, and could be heard greeting the person with a casual "How ya doin'?"
The pool reporters also noted Bush's relaxed posture, crossing his legs "Texan style" while facing the pope across his desk in the private study of the apostolic palace.
Dubya's difficulty with Vatican protocol has been seen on these pages before: 1 | 2
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