The caption for the above White House photo says --
President George W. Bush drops by a meeting between National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and France's Minister of the Interior and Regional Development Nicolas Sarkozy at the White House Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006
Sarko is likely the next President of France and by all accounts asked for the meeting with Bush. Consider now this BBC story about a Bush meeting with Gordon Brown today --
Sources close to the chancellor told the BBC the meeting with the president was completely unplanned. Mr Brown was in a scheduled meeting with US national security adviser Stephen Hadley when President Bush appeared and said they should talk.
i.e. the exact format as the Sarko meeting, except that the spin from Gordon's camp* is that he didn't ask for the meeting and there's no photo. When it's highly plausible that the format is in fact Bush's way of meeting likely future leaders who have asked for a meeting with him.
[A related implication is that Guido
[* and Gordon himself -- "I happened to be at the White House meeting the National Security Advisor yesterday and President Bush happened to drop in at the meeting."]
UPDATE 25 APRIL -- Brown's story now even less credible. Bush is meeting with the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne today (linked to a malaria initiative), further suggesting a formal White House structure or being careful not to take sides in overseas politics. It's unlikely that a chance meeting in an office would be viewed as needing such balance.
FINAL UPDATE: Toby Harnden says that the Osborne meeting was hyped, as he was just one attendee at the malaria event, but also --
That's why the 40-minute "drop-by" with Brown was carefully pre-arranged last week - to smooth the way so there's no "Colgate moment" when they have their first appearance together as leaders.
[via Iain Murray]