In 2000, tens of thousands of Hanoi’s residents poured into the streets to witness the visit of the first American head of state since the end of the Vietnam War. Mr. Clinton toured the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature, grabbed lunch at a noodle shop, argued with Communist Party leaders about American imperialism and sifted the earth for the remains of a missing airman.
On Saturday, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, conceded that the president had not come into direct contact with ordinary Vietnamese, but said that they connected anyway.
“If you’d been part of the president’s motorcade as we’ve shuttled back and forth,” he said, reporters would have seen that “the president has been doing a lot of waving and getting a lot of waving and smiles.”
Jeebus, the intimacy of driving past at 40 miles an hour.
Calvin Coolidge looks like a social butterfly in comparison -- even Reagan added depth to his actual world experience by at least imagining himself on a movie set when he was abroad.
It's not just pathetic, of course, it's rude on the most basic and understandable level. Fresh off telling the Vietnamese last week that the Americans should have stayed longer and killed more of them -- he pointedly goes out of his way to avoid dealing with any of them.
At least take the time to LOOK interested you damn simian!