Host President Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia invited her counterparts from Lithuania and Estonia to make opening statements, but forgot Bush before opening it up to reporters’ questions.
Bush interjected, and she demurred to her high-profile visitor.
“I think maybe somebody from across the ocean should be given a chance to make a statement, as well,” she said, drawing laughs from Bush and the reporters.
After Bush finished, Vike-Freiberga then explained that they would take four questions — one for each president. Again, Bush tried to interrupt, saying, “Or you can have all four questions to me,” knowing that foreign reporters usually want to use the opportunity to probe the U.S. president.
Vike-Freiberga ignored the remark as she called on a Latvian journalist, and Bush threw his arms up and looked to help from aides offstage. The Latvian journalist said he would prefer to question the U.S. leader, and Bush responded, “Yeah, I thought that might be the case.”
And of course the lurker was in Latvia as well.