2005/02/23

Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans

During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?...

On Wednesday, that town hall meeting will be nowhere on the agenda -- it's been cancelled. Neither the White House nor the German Foreign Ministry has offered any official explanation, but Foreign Ministry sources say the town hall meeting has been nixed for scheduling reasons -- a typical development for a visit like this with many ideas but very little time. That, at least, is the diplomats' line. Behind the scenes, there appears to be another explanation: the White House got cold feet. Bush's strategists felt an uncontrolled encounter with the German public would be too unpredictable.

To avoid that messy scenario, the White House requested that rules similar to those applied during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit two weeks ago also be used in Mainz. Before meeting with students at Paris's Institute of Political Sciences, which preens the country's elite youth for future roles in government, Rice's staff insisted on screening and approving any questions to be asked by students. One question rejected was that of Benjamin Barnier, the 24-year-old son of France's foreign minister, who wanted to ask: "George Bush is not particularly well perceived in the world, particularly in the Middle East. Can you do something to change that?" Instead, the only question of Barnier's that got approval was the question of whether Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority might create a theocratic government based on the Iranian model?

As an ersatz for the town hall meeting on Wednesday, Bush will now meet with a well-heeled group of so-called "young leaders."....
In order to guarantee an open exchange, the round has been closed to journalists -- ensuring that any embarrassments will be confined to a small group.
The requirement was that all of the nominees had to be in their twenties or thirties and they must already have been in a leadership position at a young age. In other words: there won't be any butchers or handymen on the elite guest list, but rather young co-workers from blue chip companies like automaker DaimlerChrysler, Deutsche Bank or the consultancy McKinsey. The fact that two American organizations are the ones managing the guest list suggests that the chat won't be overly critical of Bush.

3 Comments:

Don't you just love freedom of speech, LOL? 

Posted by WhyNot
2/24/2005 07:16:00 am  
"Behind the scenes, there appears to be another explanation: the White House got cold feet. Bush's strategists felt an uncontrolled encounter with the German public would be too unpredictable. "

I think that it would be quite predicatable: torches, pitchforks, and the angry mob.

Too bad the whole whack of the of the Bush Administration wan't there for it. Then we could make a little naked pyramid of them. Let's see "Big Dick" Cheney on the bottom flanked by his good buddy Rumsy and the attorney general, that other facsict. On Tier two we could have Dubya and and an angry born again smiting Jesus. Whos on top? Naked as a jaybird is Dr. Condi, straining to see over the wall America's foreign policy has built between itself and sanity. Unfortunately though that wall appears to be about 800 feet too high to see over.

Then we could all snap pictures and give each other the "thumbs up!".

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Were this entirely hypothetical satire ever to occur in real life it is important to note that this would be an isolated incident with a few bad apple "young age leaders" and would in no way indicate a systemic problem in the present leadership, or any upcoming leadership. At all. Ever.  

Posted by deviant1
2/24/2005 04:15:00 pm  
Hahahaha, you're so funny, Deviant1. I can visualize the pyramid with Condi at the top. I think she'd look good with long boots and a cat-o-nine-tails to keep that pyramid well stacked up. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/24/2005 04:42:00 pm  

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