Dubai is fancy fancy. POTUS gets his groove on and do you know what goat brain tastes like? Ask Mark Silva.
“Bush greeted, shook hands and posed for pictures with workers throughout the facility, and used ‘hola’ to greet the numerous Hispanic workers. At the conclusion of the tour, Bush delivered his remarks on the need for an economic stimulus package, and admiring the ‘Stander,’ asked Wright to ‘crank this sucker up.’ After receiving a demonstration from Wright, Bush took the reigns, going forwards and backwards on the ‘Stander’ while waving to the press corps. Bush called it a ‘fine looking machine.'” — Andy Leonatti, CongressDaily.
“Air force one took off at 2:29 after a fairly sluggish motorcade made its way past the Egyptian security guards staring out at the desert, the mountains and the sea. The security guards tried to stop our back part of the convoy at the airport, but only for a moment. No gaggle. In fact, no anything, except cheeseburger and fries, followed by lasagne, with a couple of movies in between.” — Daniel Dombey, Financial Times
“While a crush of about 40 mostly local photographers held a scrum on a stairway, a voice from the top of the stairs called out, ‘I would like to answer your questions! Any questions? Too late.’ And with that, POTUS turned around and disappeared into his meeting.” — Richard Wolf, USA Today
“The president wore a full-length robe, which was black, with bluish-silver trim, and he seemed eminently pleased. Only later, when he sat beside the king and took it off, did it become clear that the robe was lined with fur. A Saudi said that the robe is called a farw — the pool looked up the spelling. Ambassador Fraker, Bolton, Gillespie, Perino and Elliot Abams followed in their own robes, or fara. Abrams, when asked by Newsweek, said he was allowed to keep it, suggesting these were gifts for all. A few minutes after the main group, Rice arrived, fresh from Baghdad and wearing no robe.” — Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
“Al Jandriyah Farm might have conjured images of the dusty scrub of Crawford, for those who have been there, or even horse country in Kentucky, but in fact it is a 2,000-acre of oasis in the desert, reminding the pool more of a golf resort than anything like last night’s desert encampment outside Abu Dhabi.” — Myers
Trainers lead out four of the king’s horses, which mostly just posed; they were very nice looking animals. Among them was Alysheba, the winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1987 (in a time of 2:03 2/5, for those who follow these matters). The horse, now 24, was said to be the king’s prized champion, and is a now a retired stud. Apparently his first owner was a Texan, but that requires further research. A foreign trainer there, whose name unfortunately the pool didn’t have time to get as the pool was rushed to the motorcade, said that Alysheba won $6.5 million ‘back when money was money,’ making the pool wonder what was considered money now, if not that.” — Myers
“Your pool caught up with the president at an arrival ceremony at the palace/museum open-air entrance area, as the program was already underway. With drums beating and performers chanting, he held a sword over his right shoulder, and swayed arm-in-arm to the music with his host, identified as Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh. He seemed to get into the dance, leaning further to the right and then left and slightly dipping his shoulders as he shifted his balance. He displayed a sheepish grin. He was wearing a blue suit; no overcoat.” — Jim Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times
“Each was asked to introduce himself and his/her company before speaking. The president went first and said: ‘I’m George W. Bush. I’m the president of the United States.'” — Gerstenzang
“The motorcade rolled from the cultural center in Dubai at 12:50 pm local and rolled out along Dubai Creek, with its relatively low high-rises, and then on through downtown, with its relatively high high-rises. What will be the world’s tallest building is only one among many with cranes atop them in a city that appears intent on building an instant high-rise skyscape. Dramatic curves and points and odd balancing acts seem to drive the edgy architecture. We headed to the legendary hotel, the Burj el Arab, and on the way we passed Ski Dubai, the indoor ski slope which contains five slopes and looks, from the outside, like an overblown air mattress. It’s supposed to be freezing cold in there. It’s warm and balmy out here. At the Burj el Arab, a white, tall, sail-like building on the beach, actually built out on a jetty jutting into the water, we marveled at the lofty helipad at the top where some tennis stars have played for a promotional event.” — Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune
“There was goat brain on the buffet in the pool hold in Dubai today. I cannot report what it tastes like.” — Silva
“The drizzle had ended by the dance’s end, and then four robed men came out with hunting falcons on their arms — fabulous big birds of light brown tones with dark markings, and they approached Bush, who briefly took a bird on his arm and handed it back. ‘Beautiful birds,’ Bush said. With this, we were led out and motorcaded to the cultural center past the famous Dubai creek, which was not active on this national holiday — declared so for the Bush visit. Your pooler dubbed it Freedom Day.” — Silva