This Week In Pool Reports

Want to know how to taunt the pool? We hear the smell of lump crab works well.

  • “As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the VP made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. We gathered at about 6:30 a.m. for the sweep, then flew the three hours from Muscat to Kabul via the same C-17 military transport plane — the one with the shiny travel trailer in the middle. On arrival at the airport, we took CH-47 Chinook choppers for the short hop to the presidential palace in Kabul, reportedly because the highway is regarded as risky. Afghan security lived up to their reputation for being strict. They swept our gear for so long that we basically missed the VP’s actual arrival at the palace, and at first refused to allow reporters and camera people anywhere near the ceremony, finally relenting after much complaining from the American side. VP and Karzai spent about an hour together in a one-on-one following a full delegation meeting.” — John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal

  • “The VP is currently participating in a reenlistment ceremony and will behanding out some medals, and will have dinner with the troops (prime rib, supposedly nothing special for this base, where steak and lobster also havebeen on the menu recently).” — McKinnon

  • “Wednesday was a pretty slow day after the Iraq leg. VP had the interview with Martha Raddatz that you’ve seen. The setting, we’re told, was a piano lounge in the Shangri La resort hotel where he’s staying. (We’re next door in a slightly less fancy place.) In the afternoon he went fishing on a royal yacht, the Kingfish I.” — McKinnon

  • “March Madness comes to the White House! The President of Georgia is here to celebrate the Bulldogs’ historic run through the SEC Tournament over the weekend, including two games and two wins on the same day in tornado-ravaged Atlanta. The Bulldogs’ tipoff in the Big Dance against Xavier is tomorrow at 12:20 p.m. right here in D.C. at the Verizon Center. Oh wait, I have the wrong Georgia on my mind (but that is probably due to the fact that there was absolutely no news in the photo-op).” — Kenneth R. Bazinet, Daily News

  • “Pool can now say that we overnighted at Balad Air Base about 40 miles north of Baghdad, in the southeastern corner of what’s known as the Sunni Triangle. After the press conference and a short filing period at the U.S. embassy on Monday evening, we choppered about 25 minutes to the base, which combines extensive air operations and Army supply operations. Press stayed in tents on the base. There was mortar firing at one point during the night. But soldiers stuck their heads in to let us know that there was no danger (to us anyway, presumably). The next morning, VP staff reported the firing
    was from the base, as part of a periodic effort to clear out ‘bad guys’ from a couple of areas nearby.” — McKinnon

  • “At the first event on Tuesday, a breakfast with troops, VP was asked as he went through the food line whether he’d heard the firing. He said he had. He wasn’t awakened by it, though, because he was already up. ‘Nobody came running in to wake me up,’ he said.” — McKinnon

  • “In the shortest pool spray since at least the Garfield administration, the pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at the conclusion of the meeting between the president and the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Within seconds — like, the number you can count on one hand — the pool was ‘thanked’ and ushered right out, much to the amusement of POTUS. No statements. No questions.” — Keith Koffler, CongressDaily

  • “Pool was ushered into Capitol’s Rayburn Room to witness the final moments of lunch, after speeches had already been made. As we entered, Speaker Pelosi, dressed in a hospital green pantsuit for St. Patrick’s Day, introduced an Irish-American band that she said would offer up ‘Celtic’ music, pronounced by her as in ‘Boston Celtics.'” — Koffler

  • “Pool has the great misfortue of being marooned in Statuary Hall where it can smell lunch being prepared for consumption by dignitaries in the Rayburn Room. The sweet odor consists of: jumbo crab and presrved lemon salad with ‘baby lettuces’ and a gelee of preserved lemon; roasted lamb chops with carmelized endive in a port wine reduction.; potato croquttes; fondue of vegetables; chocolate mousse; coffee and tea; and ‘fancy’ cookies. In an act of sheer brutality, plates were carried in front of the pool on their way in.” — Koffler