He was visibly irked. A reporter dared to say the American president seemed “off [his] game.” He blamed it on jet lag and used his greatest weapon for dodging questions — exit from the stage. President Bush not only reached for the wrong door, but he also found the door locked. (Watch BBC’s footage.) Much like the symbolic on-stage gaffe, there was no breakthrough in any of the banner issues during his state visit.The Washington Post reports in this morning’s issue:

When President Bush was flying toward Asia a week ago, his national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, predicted to reporters in the back of the plane that the four-nation trip would yield no “headline breakthroughs.” He turned out to be right.


At home, President Bush has always carried his Texan heritage proudly, donning cowboy shoes and hat like second skin. Photographers also catch him wearing tights after his bike rides. Yet it is unclear why his image consultants thought that the president of the United States, during a state visit, should wear tights and ride a mountain bike with professional Chinese cyclists who were clearly giving him the lead out of deference.

Imagine French President Jacques Chirac wearing shorts for a bike ride with Tour-de-France legend Lance Armstrong during a state visit to the United States. He wouldn’t unless he wants to commit political suicide.