Monday, March 17, 2008

Did Bertie tell George that he's leaving?

At the Saint Patrick's Day reception --

President, as we say good-bye on this occasion, but hopefully we'll keep in touch over the years, I will remember -- and I hope that everyone in Ireland will -- how kind, how favorable you've been, how really open you've been to helping us, and the amount of time that the President has given to us.

Of course it's Bush's last St Patrick's Day. But he still has another very scary 10 months on the job. Does Bertie not think he'll see him again as Taoiseach? George seemed to have a similar impression --

Perhaps when we join the ex-leaders club, we'll sit back and put our feet up -- (laughter) -- and talk about the good old times. In the meantime, I know you're going to sprint to the finish, as am I, for the good of our countries.

"Sprint to the finish" was also Bush's formulation for his last press conference with Tony Blair, who by then had a public deadline for quitting.

One other thing Bush mentioned --

It's an interesting poster that somebody brought to my attention that said this: "In the United States, an industrious youth may follow any occupation without being looked down upon, and he may rationally expect to raise himself in the world by his labor." You know, occasionally, people did look down, but not anymore -- because Irish have been unbelievably productive people for the United States of America. They made a huge contribution. They've become an essential thread in the American fabric.

That "somebody" is senior Bush adviser Ed Gillespie, who had used the quote to argue that Ireland's famine emigrants would have favoured Bush's tax cuts.

No comments: