Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

More Misadventures of Mr. Intercontinental Man

A few days ago, I mocked Bush for coining a new phrase, "intercontinental man." There is a backstory to this. It started at a press conference...
From the New York Times:
"I wonder why it is you think there are such strong sentiments in Europe against you and against this administration?" Mr. Gregory asked Mr. Bush in English, "Why, particularly, there's a view that you and your administration are trying to impose America's will on the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to the Middle East and where the war on terrorism goes next?" Turning to Mr. Chirac, Mr. Gregory broke into French and asked him to comment on the same question.

Perhaps Mr. Bush thought the French question was directed at him, or perhaps he thought Mr. Gregory was showing off. Whatever the case, Mr. Bush, his voice dripping with sarcasm, said "Very good, the guy memorizes four words, and he plays like he's intercontinental." (Mr. Gregory offered to go on in French, but that only made things worse.)

"I'm impressed — que bueno," said Mr. Bush, using the Spanish phrase for "how wonderful." He added: "Now I'm literate in two languages."

Mr. Gregory seemed a bit abashed, but others noted that, during the trip, Russian, German and French reporters posed questions to Mr. Bush in English, and in their native tongue to other leaders.

That Bush. He's got a sense of humor.
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