Oh, lord. No wonder they were so happy to see him.
One moment President George W. Bush was glad-handing Albanians on Sunday, proudly sporting a watch with a dark strap on his left wrist. Moments later, it was gone.
Did it fall off? Did one of his bodyguards remove it? Or did one of the crowd artfully slip it off his wrist and pocket it?
The United States Embassy in Albania on Tuesday emphatically denied that Bush’s watch was stolen during his visit to the country, where he was acclaimed as a hero.
The Albanian media — and international Web sites — is buzzing with video showing Bush’s wrist watch apparently disappearing while he was shaking hands with people in Fushe Kruje, 15 miles north of Tirana.
“What the local media is saying is absolutely not true,” an embassy official, who declined to be named, said.
Here we see Chimpy’s watch peaking out from under his left sleve as he embraces Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha after their press conference.
And here he is glad-handing the crowd in Fushe Kruje. “The watch worn by President Bush on his left wrist, when he arrived. appeared to mysteriously disappear while he was engaging with the crowd.”
And *poof* the watch is gone.
As this official White House photo shows, Bush does not typically remove his watch before mingling with a crowd. In fact, I’ve looked at dozens of images of the man wihtout finding any, outside of the Albaninan crowd photos, in which he is not wearing a watch.
Jude has the video.