Albanians Swipe Chimpy’s Watch

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.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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.”

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

And *poof* the watch is gone.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


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.

23 thoughts on “Albanians Swipe Chimpy’s Watch

  1. Honey, George W. Bush isn’t going to leave his watch on his wrist when pressing the meat with the little people. Why, they might steal it or something, y’know? Any good white Texas boy knows that if you’re going in amongst the darkies, button up your pocket so they can’t steal your wallet (not easily anyhow) and slide your wristwatch into one of your front pockets. That’s, like, just part of white Texas culture.
    Racism? Of course! But it’s as good an explanation for the disappearing watch as the notion that it got stolen. Which could *also* have happened, if the dipshit in chief was stupid enough to wear a thousand dollar watch while wading into a buncha folks who make five dollars a week.
    – Badtux the Former Texan Penguin

  2. Babs really shouldn’t let her little boy mingle with heathens like that. It’s just sheer luck he didn’t lose his pants too. Those people aren’t like us, you know.

  3. Why oh why couldn’t the Elbonia – um – Albanians just keep him there? If they love him so much they can have him – please!

  4. Now that video is funny! The whole first part of the “loving Albanians” bit is made up of folks trying to swipe his watch, until someone finally succeeds. I can’t figure out why someone didn’t just swipe the whole package – surely they love him so much they would want to keep him in their living room?

  5. I’ll second the suggestion that they just keep him. And yes, if you watch the video at Jude’s site, you’ll see lots of hands wrapping around his left wrist, and you’ll briefly see two hands, unbuckling the watch. Receiving a “hero’s welcome” has its price, I guess.
    Peace, V.

  6. (Besides that being the funniest thing I’ve seen in years…)
    In most of Europe, it is my understanding that whistling is the equivalent of what booing in the US. Now clearly, much of the crowd is pro-Bush, but I hear an awful lot of whistling on the video, too.
    Anybody know of whistling = booing in Albania?

  7. If you check the video from AP the watch is slipped of his wrist by the scores of people trying to shake his hand, it is at the 13-14 second mark and the secret service guy is standing right there. There were so many people tring to get a touch with him it’s no wonder he didn’t bat and eye. But remember our taxes will replace it and God-forbid we say something about the Albanians. We have pick-pockets over here too and it doesn’t all Americans are pick-pockets. One in the crowd doesn’t name the country. Get real.

  8. To answer my own question…
    I ran into a woman in my apartment building who grew up in Romania, and she said that – absolutely – whistling in Albania is the equivalent of booing in the USA.

  9. At the very end of Tucker Carlson just now, he/they showed a piece of video, taken from George’s left, that supposedly showed George slipping the watch off. They didn’t set it up very well, so it was over before I realized what I was supposed to be watching for. At about the 0:59 point of the centrepedal video, when he steps away from the crowd for a moment.

  10. It is sad you people are so negative toward another country. It just eats you up that our President would be so respected away from his homeland. He represents each one of us. Maybe they respect Americans or is it possible a little attention to help them thru their daily lives.

  11. I understand why people are wondering why the albanians love Bush so much and I can give you the explanation.
    After World War I President W.Willson played a decisive role in keeping together Albania as a country. Albania`s neighbours Greece and Serbia wanted to divide it and take each of them some parts. Mr.Willson saved the country.
    Second Bill Clinton saved Kosovo and its Albanian people from extermination in the hands of Serbian Army and now America is determined, as Bush said, to give them the indipendence.
    Third George Bush for them represents the greatest democracy in the world, the American democracy. It has flaws but nothing is perfect in this world except GOD.
    So its not love for Bush but love for democracy, liberty, freedom and prosperity which America represents.
    These comments about the watch are really stupid. We should not low the bar of qualitative discussion so low. Its sad. This is just projecting your anger somewhere. SAD

  12. I got a 2nd look at the video on Tucker’s show, and while it is not definitive either way, it’s pretty likely that George did indeed slip the watch off and into his pocket.
    So George outsmarts the Albanians! What were the odds?

  13. Its not a heist nor did it slip. Its a classic way of passing informatin. God only knows what vast amounts of information could be stored onto a microchip placed inside his watch. Its a classic drop. The government obvousy didnt think that anyone would notice.
    Whos the childish joker that came up with the title for this article?
    Do you have no moral decency, the guy works his ass off every day in hopes that when he wakes up tomorrow America is still intact!
    Show some respect people, he may not do things that you agree with, but he does what he thinks is best for our country, its what you elected him do to.
    “American Government places the best of men on pedastals so that the lesser men can throw rocks at them”

  14. NBC Nightly News had video from their own event coverage showing him removing the watch in between handshakes. Brian Williams seemed pretty amused that he had the trump card in the whole debate.

  15. I think you people got it all wrong; The Americans want to show the world that the Albanians are so uncultured to the point of stealing from their guest! Its a wrond attitude and I think they have some dignity.

  16. Yeah, that was a special Timex POTUS wristwatch. Georgie keeps the ‘launch codes’ on it.
    No, wait. Unka Dicks doesn’t let Georgie have the *real* launch codes.
    But the watch does have a sooper sekret wingnut decoder dial, and dog-whistle.
    Clearly, we’ll have to invade Albania to get it back.

  17. what with the trolls and some of the pitiful comments on this one? geez… this is what brings you out? it’s a watch. and the president isn’t that smart of a guy. was it magic!? um, no, i doubt he’s been hanging out with Criss Angel.

  18. I’m not trying to say or imply anything about Albanians, or Europeans, etc. Ijust thought the idea of W getting his watch stolen was funny. Its called schadenfreud (and there are few more worthy of it than George).

  19. This is so fucking dumb.
    “Here’s a picture of Bush wearing a watch. Now here’s a picture of him not wearing a watch. Proof that it was stolen!”
    “Here’s a picture of Bush drinking a non-alcohlic beer. Proof that he’s drinking real beer at night when nobody’s watching!”
    These retarded grand conspiracy theories over trivial shit make the left look really stupid, y’know?

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