Although Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times is far too much the courtier and flatterer to say so, it is clear from her description of Bush at the Latin American trade talks that he is a completely incompetent negotiator. And he gets cranky when he misses his naps.
Far Away From Home, No Rest for a Weary President: The next day, an administration official said Mr. Bush would skip a two-hour lunch with the leaders because of “time served” at dinner the night before. But the president’s planned escape was soon moot because the contentious summit talks ran so late, three hours over schedule at that point, that Argentina canceled the lunch.
So by 3:30 p.m., evidently on an empty stomach, Mr. Bush said he was sticking to his itinerary – a 4:05 p.m. Air Force One departure from Argentina to go to Brazil – and he did, leaving an assistant secretary of state behind to sweat out the trade talks. They ended hours later in failure.
“I didn’t get any readout of the president’s mood,” a senior administration official told reporters when asked about Mr. Bush’s state of mind. “But I can’t imagine that he’s mad.”
Well, he certainly did not look happy a lot of the time. Polls indicate that Mr. Bush is the most unpopular American president ever in Latin America, but what has been most striking about watching him on his trip to Argentina, Brazil and Panama, which ends Monday night, is how removed he sometimes seemed from the cacophony around him.
But, even if he is worse than totally useless at multi-national gatherings, it seems there is something that GW Bush does well!
Bush, Replying to Chávez, Urges Latin Americans to Follow U.S.: At one point, [Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula ] da Silva even exhibited a map of his country, which is larger than the continental United States. “Wow! Brazil is big,” Mr. Amorim quoted the American president as responding.
Wait for it, because it’s sure not geography….
After their appearance together, the two presidents and their wives headed off to Mr. da Silva’s residence for an outdoor Brazilian-style barbecue that included several premium cuts of beef, as well as lamb, oxtail and cheese. Mr. Bush later pronounced the meal “unbelievably good.”
Didn’t change the Brazilian position one iota, but he sure can chow down…