George Bush sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley to talk about the housing and financial markets (they were “inebriated”), the auto-industry bailout (he’s considering “all options”), and, of course, the shoe-throwing Iraqi reporter from this weekend. Bush kept his sense of humor about the whole thing:
Crowley: Was there ever a part of you that, in reflection, went, wait a second, we have poured billions of dollars, not to mention U.S. blood and treasure into this country, how dare this guy, even if he is a single guy?
Bush: No, I — look, first of all, I didn’t have much time to reflect on anything. I was ducking and dodging. And I — first of all, it has got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency. Here I am getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a democratic Iraq, and a guy stands up and throws a shoe.
Bush: And it was bizarre. And it was an interesting way for a person to express himself. I was asked about it immediately after the incident and I said, here’s a person that obviously was longing for notoriety and he achieved it. But I don’t feel this is — I’m not angry with the system, I believe that a free society is emerging and a free society is necessary for our own security and peace.
So he’s pretty philosophical about the whole thing, and hopes that Iraqi authorities don’t “overreact” in their handling of the journalist. But this quote got us thinking. This is really one of the “most weird” moments in your presidency? Really? Setting aside anything war-, economy-, or policy-related, was it weirder than the time you couldn’t open that door in China? Or when you chest-bumped an Air Force cadet? Or when you punched the air and said, “Good-bye from the world’s biggest polluter” at the end of a climate meeting at the G8?
Not that we won’t, in some small way, miss this kind of thing. But it will be nice, for a change, to have a president who has a slightly lower level of enthusiasm for the “weird.”