Remember 2002, when David Gregory, at the Bush-Chirac joint press conference, had the temerity to ask the French president a question in French?
But, at the Elysee Palace on Sunday, Gregory found out that Mr Bush wasn't really his buddy after all.I was reminded of the incident this morning, when Susan Jacoby, author of "The Age of American Unreason," brought it up during her guest appearance on Wisconsin Public Radio, when she talked about Bush being a symptom, not a cause, of the phenomenon her book is about. Jacoby is also program director of a rationalist think tank, the Center for Inquiry-New York City. You'll be able to stream her appearance on the Kathleen Dunn show here after the link goes up.
"I wonder why it is you think there are such strong sentiments in Europe against you and against this administration?" he asked, before turning to the French leader and adding: "Et vous Monsieur le President Chirac, qu'en pensez-vous?"
The American president pursed his lips in annoyance: he does not speak French and sensed he was being mocked. "Very good," he said sardonically. "The guy memorises four words, and he plays like he's intercontinental."
Gregory, in so deep he couldn't turn back, ventured: "I can go on." But Mr Bush did a little mocking of his own: "I'm impressed - que bueno. Now I'm literate in two languages."