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November 19, 2006

In Bubba’s Footsteps: Live Blogging “Thought Bubbling” Bush In Asia


Six years to the day, the White House wouldn’t have had Clinton’s visit in mind, would it?

(Next installment: noon Eastern time.)


Daring to venture between the Presidential Palace and the next-door Office of the Government, a crowd of two (Palace employees?) flock to Bush while photographers stand by.

(Next installment: 3 p.m. Eastern time)


Almost as picturesque as searching for U.S. M.I.A. war remains,  Bush, MIA, thoroughly inspects the Hanoi Sheraton.  (Australian Prime Minister – right.)

(Next installment: 6 pm Eastern time) 


The White House caption refers to pedestrians and cyclists lining the President’s motorcade route.

At home, it’s called stopping traffic.

(Next installment: Monday 8:30 a.m. East Coast time )


With no sightseeing scheduled, Administration photographers go wandering.  Apparently, the White House posted this cow grazing shot to lend local flavor.

… Or is it a metaphor?

(Next installment: Monday 12:30 – 1ish p.m. East Coast time )

  • Candy Schultz

    Well it could be that but in all fairness it could just be the way the Vietnamese welcome an American president. Wish it were Clinton over there and in the WH.

  • Keir

    I don’t see anything particularly desirable or special about either of the Clintons, and just because Bush is such an insufferable jerk doesn’t mean Bill C. wasn’t a scumbag too. But still. These Vietnamese soldiers obviously see these two guys differently. Great graphic.

  • jt from BC

    Photo # 1 contains an officer who salutes, photo # 2 does not.
    General accepted protocol, regardless of rank, heads are never turned to follow a reviewing officer or dignitary. This is not followed in # 1.
    All soldiers in # 2 have their faces correctly looking forward but unlike # 1 all faces are turned upward suggesting bravado, disdain, contempt, inadequate training, or an intentional order to snub the C in C of the USA.
    Two assumptions, the present regular forces of the Vietnamese army would have followed the ceremonial protocol of their former occupiers the French, which is similar to, English, US etc.
    If Ho Chi Minh or General Giap observed this disrespectful display in # 2 or “follow the bouncing ball” in # 1 they they would have had strong words for the *RSM or CSM.
    In diplomacy and military discipline these men fully understood *our culture* and had they wished to show disdain it would have been with greater subtly.
    *Regimental Sergeant Major, Canada, Command Sergeant Major USA regular forces, different for marine corp.
    “Being expert at parades and ceremonies, their authority and responsibility extends to officers on the parade square.” wiki

  • Rafael

    I actually find comparing Clinton’s vs. Bush’s demeanor more telling. Clinton stands tal, looking to his left at the soldires, without staring. On the other hand Bush can even look front at center, let alone at the general direction of the soldiers. It is as if he doens’t want to acknoledge them, desperatly trying to avoid them in some way.
    Of course, the soldiers return the favor. In Clinton’s pic, the soldiers track his movement, stern but curious. Those along Bush’s line seem incurious and even defiant.

  • Cactus

    I LOVE The Bag’s bubble captions. Very clever.
    OTOH….did Jr. REALLY say that??
    More later, I hope.

  • GeorgeF

    @ jt: German parade regulations: Look at the passing guest by following him with head and eyes until he passes the third man left of you. Then look straight forward again. For the guest is the rule: Look into the eyes of the men you are passing. In the case of Clinton passing the parade it is all clear. Bush turns his head down and neglects the parading soldiers. This is a clear insult and neglectance of any rules of diplomacy and politeness. May be, the soldiers here do react to the neglectance. If as the parade’s guest you don’t catch the eyes of the parading men, how should they feel?

  • The Heretik

    Thanks for the laugh. Um, laughs.

  • Samantha

    This is why I love this site. What an incredible comparision. The same presidential title, the same light blue tie and dark suit…yet the differences in the men and the reactions to them are overwhelming. And yes, one of them saluted.
    It is so apparent how much more respect those soldiers had for Clinton than for Bush. I guess they can’t hand pick them for photo ops for Bush like they do in the states.

  • jt from BC

    GeorgeF > thanks your correct, I personally rather enjoy the second picture from a soldiers point of view
    Samantha > there is no officer shown in the Bush photo if there was he would have saluted, a mute point, but a wingnut would suggest that this choice of photo is proof that a conspiracy is going on here to make the great C in C look bad.
    These photograph compliment his high world ranking as a person to really fear.

  • Craig

    Absolutely BRILLIANT comparison. A picture is worth 1000 words, comparing and contrasting Bush and Clinton’s visits is like night and day. Bush looks absolutely cowed. He is a man the vast majority of the world disapproves of in every way.

  • GeorgeF

    And there were the pictures of the Asia-conferences closing scene: All participants in traditional Vietnamese silk-gowns, all of them visibly without problems wearing rather strange gowns – solely Bush and Putin grinning at each other in demonstative negligence of their outfit.

  • margaret

    Clinton has charisma, human warmth, desire to be loved, and reaches out to people to get that love. These pictures illustrate Bush’s disconnect from people, his inner anger, and, very importantly, his fear: of being physically attacked or killed. he is pathetic and lonely. It’s a dangerous place for him (and for us) to be, vis-a-vis the next two years, not to mention, the next two months, with a still Republican-led Congress.

  • momly

    It is as if [Bush] doens’t want to acknoledge them, desperatly trying to avoid them in some way.
    Not much has changed in forty years, has it?

  • KansasKowboy

    This set of photo’s say it all. No comment really necessary.

  • John E Thelin

    Pleas note that the president is Commander in Cheif of the US Forces, not of America itself. The difference is vital and important.

  • Loithuxua

    As a Vietnamese I feel that Mr. Clinton is, in some ways, a more frienly president than the later one. This’s just my feeling. The wars are the past and the history, we study them at school. We remember and never forget but it’s never necessary to think much about them these days. We are very happy to welcome the two American president to VN, we do business and together took forward wonderful things that will surely happen in the future.

  • Loithuxua

    The pictures form this site may tell you sth different:

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