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It was his first speech since leaving office and he was full of his usual cheer: “I actually paid for a house last fall. I think I'm the only American to have bought a house in the fall of 2008”:
Bush included a little recycled reminiscing: “So I had [Russian then-President Vladimir] Putin to Camp David one time, and I introduced him to Barney. And he kind of looked at Barney like, ‘Oh, man, he looks like a Monopoly piece. I'm crazy about Barney, by the way. I love the little guy. …
“So fast forward to a visit to Putin's dacha outside Moscow. He says, ‘You want to meet my dog?’ I said, ‘Sure, I would like to see your dog.’ And out bounced this huge hound embracing all over the ground. And he looks to me -- honest to goodness -- and says, ‘Faster, stronger, and bigger than Barney.’
Whereupon [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper says, ‘At least he only showed his dog.’ I thought Harper's got a good sense of humor.”
Early in his remarks, Bush made his point about his successor.
“I want to say something about Barack Obama. Now, he was not my first choice for president. But when he won, I thought it was good for the United States of America. I was deeply touched and deeply moved when I saw African-Americans weeping on TV saying, ‘I never thought it was possible.’ I want the president to succeed. I love my country a lot more than I love politics. I think it is essential that he be helped in the office. …
Read the full article: Bush promises not to attack Obama
First we had Narendra Modi likening himself to a Hindu monk in a white dress, and now we have George W. Bush reminding us here that he "was a compassionate conservative". There's something about this self-image thing that makes me wonder....
So, this is just for posterity. We all know what happened and it's been covered on the site under the wire news and day in pictures, but still and all, perhaps it is best if it were placed here at least for the record. So, the what, when, where, how etc first: When? December 14, 2008 Where? Baghdad, Iraq What? George W Bush, who was on a surprise trip, conducted amid deep secrecy, to Baghdad to thank his troops and herald a new security pact. At a press conference with the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, he said the conflict had been necessary. "The war is not over," he added. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, came a hurled shoe, as a journalist, later identified as Muntadar al-Zaidi yelled: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog! This is the end!" But clearly, that was not the end. For soon came his other shoe, hurled once with his full might: “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!”