Looks like a visit from Her Majesty wowed the US. I read a funny yet agreeable comment by someone who flew in from Alabama to see her from a distance: “I think we love it that they have a queen, and we’re glad that we don’t.”
Not at all surprising was Mr. President’s comment about the Queen helping to celebrate the US bicentennial “in 17–.” I’d like to say that this is an isolated slip of Mr. President’s tongue but it’s not and it is also likely to be taken as another example of the President’s lack of attention to detail. When the President behaves in this way, he is sending a message. The message: It’s just not that important for me to get it right with you.
I’d like to say that Mr. President understands that the Queen may be a figurehead but she also represents a very handsome quality of British culture and to many Brits she is a vital symbol of their national identity. I’d like to say that Mr. President demonstrates the formal respect that diplomats demonstrate. Why shouldn’t he do this for this woman? After all, it was those British people who always stood by Bush in the war. Wouldn’t it be entirely appropriate for Bush to give a spot-on performance when welcoming the Queen?
Realizing his error, Bush gave a look to the Queen and then commented, “she gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.” A touching response that makes reference to the origin of the two nations’ relations. I’d like to say that Mr. President has a history of such quick-witted charm and thoughtfulness. I’d like to say that, time and again, Mr. President has made similar reference to his rich understanding of the world and its history. Instead, I say that Mr. President was the son of a former Mr. President who also served as CIA director and U.S. ambassador to China, yet the current Mr. President never traveled abroad (excluding Mexico when Governor of Texas) before becoming Mr. President. To some people on both sides of the pond, that speaks volumes about Mr. President’s slip of the tongue.