Your preznit took a couple of quick questions this morning. I find one particular exchange merits annotation.
THE PRESIDENT: Rosey. [A confused George Bush calls on one of his key advisors, Rosey Scenario.]
Q Sir, is there a lesson — is there a lesson in the Palestinian elections that the Iraqi people should see? And what is this administration going to do to build on this election in the Middle East region?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first, I want to offer my congratulations to Mr. Abu Mazen [Interesting that Bush choses to refer to Mahmoud Abbas by his nom de guerre. Could it be that he has some difficulty pronouncing the name Mahmoud?]. I look forward to talking with him at the appropriate time. I look forward to welcoming him here to Washington if he chooses to come here. I look forward to helping to make sure that the conference in London, a conference all aimed at helping the Palestinians develop the institutions necessary to support Abu Mazen’s vision of a peaceful, active, vibrant state, to become reality. And so we are — this is a man who has been elected by what appears to be a good-sized vote [Abbas carried 62.3 percent of the vote while his main challenger, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, got 19.8 percent. Now that’s a mandate!]. I’m heartened by the elections, and I’m also looking forward to the Iraqi elections on January the 30th.
This is an extraordinary year, when you think about it. In the first month of a new year, there will be an election in the Palestinian territory and there will be an election in Iraq [Don’t be too sure of that, Chimpy. There may be no election for the four or the most heavily populated provinces in Iraq.]. Who could have possibly envisioned an election in Iraq at this point in history [No one with any sense of history, to be sure.]? And yet we’re going to have an election [Barley.]. And I’m sure there are — a lot of people are incredibly excited about the thought of having an election in Iraq inside the Iraqi territory [Particularly the suicide bombers.], except for a handful [He must have some pretty big hands as the insurgency is said to number 200,000 souls and rising.] who want to stop democracy, because they understand what an election means.
And so I’m — as a democrat [Ooops!], as a person who believes in democracy — a Republican democrat , I might add [You know, like Zell Miller or Tim Roemer.] — as someone who believes that everybody has a right to live in a free society and everybody wants to live in a free society, the month of January, 2005, is an extraordinary month.