November 21, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen ...

... the President of the United States!

Dubya tries the door

[Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters]

Now, we could just leave this as a cheap shot at Dubya — and given the total lameness of his expression in the photo, we gotta tell you that taking the cheap shot is really tempting — but there's a story behind this photo.

First, here's the wire service caption:

U.S. President George W. Bush reacts as he tries to open a locked door as he leaves a news conference in Beijing [on] November 20, 2005. Washington and Beijing will cooperate towards making the yuan's exchange rate more responsive to market forces of supply and demand, visiting U.S. President George W. Bush said on Sunday.

What the caption doesn't tell you is that Dubya had just cut that press conference short because of the following exchange:

"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.

"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded. "Well, good. That answers your question."

The president then recited a list of things of that he viewed as positive developments from his Beijing meetings, including cooperation on North Korean nuclear disarmament and the ability to have "frank discussions" with his Chinese counterpart.

When the reporter asked for "a very quick follow-up," Bush cut him off by thanking the press corps and telling the reporter "No you may not," as he strode toward a set of double doors leading out of the room.

If you go to the White House transcript of the exchange, you'll notice that the reporter's attempt to ask a follow-up question — and Dubya's refusal to answer it — have been left out, hiding the fact that the press conference ended abruptly.

Via Reuters.

Posted by Magpie at November 21, 2005 01:21 PM | US News | Technorati links |

That face is great. The horror of possibly having to stick around and answer a few questions.

At least he didn't throw up on anyone during this trip.

Posted by: thehim at November 21, 2005 09:08 PM