This Week In Pool Reports

It was another week on the road for the pool with Bush, his “black Croc-like clogs”, peacocks and some technical snafus.

  • “Six hours into the flight, Dana said Bush had been briefed by Rice and Bolten about an incident at the U.S. embassy in Belgrade. She said that at about 5 p.m. EST embassy was attacked by thugs who breached our consular section, setting a fire. She said the embassy staff was secure, safe and accounted for. You should have long ago received the transcript of the pool visit with the president and Mrs. Bush. Just a bit of color: We met with them in the conference room. He was wearing the blue Air Force One jacket, blue warm-up pants, no socks, and black Croc-like clogs. (Were they Crocs? Were they knockoffs? We dont know). She was in the white suit with red beads that she had been wearing earlier in the day. He showed no sign of being overly worn out by the trip, although, as you see in the transcript, he indicated he had a nap in mind.” — Jim Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times

  • “The Liberian minister of protocol then stood and talked for several more minutes about POTUS, reciting his career going all the way back to, you guessed it, childhood, mentioning his interests in baseball, nature, and other things. He also said that POTUS has ‘played a pivotal role in bringing peace and stability to Liberia.’ At this point I saw one audience member sleeping, and maybe another. The one that was definitely sleeping was woken by the horn blowing, and clapped twice very slowly after an applause line.” — Jon Ward, Washington Times

  • “Jon Ward called in to deliver a brief pool report; he’s got no internet and couldn’t transmit. Everything the wires have from Dana on Air Force One is correct, re Musharraf call, and he confirms it.” — Sheryl Stolberg, New York Times

  • “The one real twist — the promised christening of the new ‘George Bush Motorway.’ Details follow: POTUS left the hotel at 7:20 p.m. in a motorcade that seemed, if possible, even longer than usual, snaking through town past the shanites where people in simple clothing stood and watched, eventually arriving at the dinner a full eight minutes later. The State Banquet Hall was festooned with green, yellow and red bunting as well as large streamers that looked to be gold lame. An African band played dinner jazz as POTUS and FLOTUS entered the hall with President Kufuor and his wife. … The lengthy toasts foreshadowed the inevitable. POTUS did not make it out by the scheduled 9:05 p.m. departure. He finally managed to slip out at 9:40, boarded the motorcade and returned to the hotel for bed at 9:50 p.m. And that’s it for us. See you in Monrovia.” — Peter Baker, The Washington Post

  • “The motorcade rolled from the press availability to the U.S. embassy, where POTUS and FLOTUS and Condi took part in a greeting for staff on a covered porch. As you know by now, the 2007 American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, did a soulful, stirring rendition of the national anthem. POTUS then recounted the Idol Gives Back campaign from last year, and urged generous support for this year’s.” — John McKinnon, Wall Street Journal

  • “The next and final event was a T ball game supporting a foothold that baseball fans are trying to establish in Ghana, which is soccer mad but reportedly doesn’t take much interest in cricket, despite its British colonial background. It was sponsored by the Ghana Little League, with equipment donated by Major League Baseball. Two teams of 7- to 9-year-olds took part. One — the Little Dragons — is made up of young kids from the Beacon House Orphanage. The other — the Little Saints — is made up of kids from less advantaged homes. Your pool is no expert on T ball but was impressed with one kid who hit the ball over your pool’s head and out of the park.” — McKinnon

  • “To answer the only question presented so far about the morning: the screeching you may have heard from the press conference apparently came from peacocks.” — Gerstenzang

  • “The whole thing took eight minutes. Biggest excitement was when the limo, back up limo and Secret Service four-by-four momentarily blocked the view of the press corps at the outset of the ceremony, prompting wild gesticulations from the advance staff before the drivers figured it out and pulled out of the way.” — Stolberg

  • Ben Feller made a valiant effort to get POTUS reaction to the news that Castro is stepping down, calling out a question during the 20 seconds or so we were brought into the top of the bilat. POTUS did not answer or even look in Ben’s direction. We’re assuming Ben will be left behind to find his own way home from Kigali. Sorry, Ben.” — Baker