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San Francisco Chronicle: Cowboy george Bush's unexpected squeeze of the German chancellor has the Internet howling (July 19, 2006)

GOP commentator and Fox News political analyst Karen Hanretty said the outraged reaction shows how "President Bush just can't win."

"Aren't these the same women who have been angry about cowboy diplomacy?" she asked. "Do they want a kinder, more sensitive Bush -- or a cowboy? Once again, there's no pleasing women," she said. "Give them the cowboy and they want Alan Alda.''

Hanretty went on to say that "these women who would criticize the prez for making a friendly gesture are the same women who refused to say anything about Bill Clinton when he was accused of sexually harassing Paula Jones. Where were they when Katherine Willey was grieving for her dead husband and Bill Clinton was rubbing them in all the wrong places?''

Hoover Institution research fellow Bill Whalen, a former adviser to former Gov. Pete Wilson, says the generous coverage of Bush's backrub and his open mike comments fully illustrates the power -- and occasional "goofiness" of the Internet in its ability to turn quotes and images into major events for what he calls the "get-a-life contingent.''

"We have this perception that presidents are like Quakers or Amish; they don't say any dirty words,'' he said. "But occasionally an s-bomb will slip in there."

As for that neck rub, Whalen quipped: "There are those who say the President should be more Clintonesque ... maybe he misunderstood what they meant."

Merkel's face is all you need to know about this affair. What is wrong with these people?

Maybe this is what needed to happen for Germany to get tougher on the US diplomatically. I wonder whether Merkel will reflect on this incident as  ametaphor of US-Germany relations.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 02:27:08 AM EST

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