HOW BORING IS A SPEECH BY CHINA'S PRESIDENT HU?
China's President Hu had a memorable visit to the US last week. It started off well. He went to Seattle and did some deals for a few hundred new Boeing airliners, checked out the cafe latte s with the head of Starbucks and went home with Bill Gates for a quiet dinner.
But then President Hu went to Washington, and that's where it all started to go so terribly, terribly wrong.
First there was the journalist screaming at him during his welcoming ceremony at the White House with President Bush, cursing him to hell and back, calling him a murderer and saying his days were numbered. Then Bush grabbed Hu's arm and yanked him into position for a photo op, much to his complete chagrin. You just don't touch President Hu, apparently. You certainly don't grab and rustle him.
And then there was the fact that the Chinese National Anthem was introduced by an MC at the White House as being the anthem of the "Republic of China"....which is what Taiwan calls itself.
China being, of course, "the People's Republic of China".
If Bush wanted to throw off his number one rival for King Of The World, mess with his head a bit before they got down to business, then Bush's staff and secret service were doing a top notch job.
The mysteries of psychological warfare might also explain the following two photographs, taken during a President Hu speech. It wasn't a long speech, twenty minutes or so, President Bush can now babble on for ninety minutes or more.
But for some reason, maybe a late night, maybe a bit of extra stress in the workplace now key staff are abandoning ship and being indicted, White Housers there were feeling tired and weary.
And some were downright sleepy.
DICK CHENEY "CHECKING HIS NOTES"
"Checking his notes" was the explanation offered by Vice President Dick Cheney's spokesman.
No-one's explained what Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice was doing. So we've helped out :
RICE "RESTING HER EYEBALLS"