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So Tony Blair is in the US on his farewell tour…  they don’t want to call it that, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from stating the obvious.  I think its sad that Blair burned his approval ratings to the ground in Iraq –he arguably accomplished a lot while in office.  Will time work in his favor?

Look at it this way: while most concede Blair had many accomplishments outside of his Iraqi excursion, what will people say about Dubya’s eight years in office?  Once you strip away Iraq… most people seem to remember the first year everyone seemed happy he wasn’t completely stupid, then 9/11 happened and he, for those fleeting moments, had the world on his side… then everything slowly came apart.  There’s no catch-phrase like “devolution” to attribute to Bush’s non-Iraq, non-9/11 related work –if anything the phrase would be “scandal” involving his administration …or maybe “shady” when thinking about all the erosions of civil rights and, before 9/11 the uncomfortably close ties between department heads and the industries they were supposed to be regulating.  Even the initial success in Afghanistan is slowly coming apart.  I think Tony’s future isn’t as dark as it seems now.  As for George, this is a quote from today: “Last year I read three histories of George Washington. If you’re still analysing 1 then 43 doesn’t have anything to worry about.”  Somehow that’s not a great excuse…

So other than the two chums slumming it up in the White House, I’m sure there’s a little bit of politics going on, but nothing more than Bush asking “So, is Gordie going to be cool?”  Seriously now: how long do you think it will be until Dubya dubs the new UK Prime Minister with his own nickname –“Tony” already came prepackaged, Gordon Brown just sounds to stuffy for the President to let slide by.  “Brownie” unfortunately came to an early end after Katrina.  “Gordie” just begs to be used; even The Simpsons used the name for a joke on Canadians (back when they were funny, the Scorpio episode) –now that I think about it, I could picture the President mixing his cultures and addressing the new PM thusly: “Hey Gordie, how’s it going aboot, eh?”

I frankly hope the new UK PM comes over to the US regularly –if only to bring their delightfully interesting press corp –you might know them as the ones who actually ask tough questions.  Today the questions took our domestic-press-spoiled Commander-in-Chief for such a loop that Tony couldn’t help but note: “You had forgotten what the British media were like hadn’t you?”  George didn’t reply, but I have a feeling someone is going to get a noogie when they get back into the clubhou–err, I mean White House.

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Rather than try and explain this one, I’ll leave it to the President. From WashPo:

“So the Florida Gators had the nation’s toughest schedule, and instead of wearing them down, it made them tougher; instead of, like, discouraging them that they got the bad deal . . . all that did was cause them to play harder. . . . Like you might remember, all the pre-game polls said you couldn’t win. So much for polls.”

~President Bush, welcoming the 2006 NCAA national football champions to the White House yesterday, the fourth anniversary of the start of war in Iraq.

You gotta love him.