"Mr. President," said a reporter with the BBC, "you have a meeting with Prime Minster Blair tomorrow -- "
"Correct," Bush said.
"There are some concerns in this country about the European plan for what they call a rapid-reaction force, their own military capability. What will you tell Prime Minister Blair about the American attitude to this rapid-reaction force?"
Again, Bush didn't answer the question; it must not have been on his cheat sheets. "I, first, look forward to the visit," Bush said. "I'm anxious to meet the prime minister. We've had a couple of good conversations on the telephone. I'm thankful that he's coming across the -- actually coming down from Canada -- but coming across to see, to visit us. Laura and I are looking to having a private dinner with he and Mrs. Blair Friday night. We'll be having a press availability after our meeting, and -- "
"I know, but I think a lot of people would like to -- "
"Well, why don't we wait until after he and I visit," Bush said, "so I don't have to give the same answer twice."
"But just on the whole outline of the question of the European defense capability -- "
"You bet," said the president. "I understand; you're trying to get me to tell you the answer twice. Britain and the United States have got a special relationship; we'll keep it that way. I look forward to talking to the prime minister about the importance of NATO. It is -- anyway, let me visit with him first. I promise to call upon you tomorrow."
An informal poll of White House reporters indicated that 100
percent were confident Bush had absolutely no idea what the
BBC reporter was talking about.
--from Salon.com's Bush's Opening Night