We'll get an idea of who George Bush considers to be his closest foreign political friends from the visiting schedule over the next few months as his presidency winds down -- and especially who he doesn't mind being seen with before the election. So here is Silvio Berlusconi explaining to Dick Cheney his next visit to the USA:
[as translated] And the Vice President Cheney also renewed the invitation by President Bush to attend a dinner in my honor in the United States. I told them that considering the present situation, they could do without it, but he renewed the invitation, so this time I have to say, yes, I will accept. And I accept the invitation with deep gratitude. I'll be attending this dinner on Columbus Day in the United States, and on that occasion, I will renew my friendship and my gratitude toward the friendship that they have for me.
Columbus Day is Monday 13 October. No doubt Silvio approves of the choice of Sarah Palin. After all, Silvio likes to shake things up with appointments of women to top positions.