A Great Campaign Slogan, for a Change
Diplomats at the G-8 meeting in Georgia last week had developed a program called the "G8 Action Plan: Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations," a senior administration official told reporters. "We haven't worked out an acronym. It's had different names as it's evolved through the weeks. But it's where we are today -- Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations."
Our annotated Diplo-Speak Today dictionary advises that, in acronyms, it's proper to delete hard "g" and hard "c" sounds, so this would be pronounced "EPSO," which probably would become "Epso facto."
So whose cell phone was it that went off right as Bill Clinton was speaking during the unveiling of the Clintons' portraits at the White House on Monday? None other than that of historian Michael Beschloss. Worse yet, Beschloss fumbled around as it continued to play a catchy tune.
President Bush gets most annoyed when these things happen, and audience members had been sternly admonished to turn off their phones.
Beschloss thought he had. "I'm afraid I'm so 19th-century," he explained yesterday, "I pressed the button to turn it off when I went into the room and accidentally turned it on instead."
Mi Ranch, Su Ranch
Colleague Glenn Kessler, in tracing the origins of President Bush's custom of inviting foreign leaders to his ranch in Crawford, Tex., found that the tradition appears to have stemmed from his first foreign visit as president.
One month after taking office, he traveled to Mexican President Vicente Fox's hacienda, and the two men, tieless and in cowboy boots, basked in the informality of the event.
Seeking a similar connection with another leader, President Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, Bush wanted a similar informal side trip when he made his first visit to Europe. Aznar had no ranch but arranged for a state-owned guesthouse. Still, the White House described it at the time as Aznar's ranch -- as did Bush, when he welcomed him to Crawford in February 2003.
"I visited his ranch on my first visit to Europe as the president," Bush said, as Aznar remained diplomatically silent. "I'm very pleased to return the hospitality."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
_____In the Loop_____
Blowing Smoke? (The Washington Post, Jun 14, 2004)
They Wouldn't Wait in the Lobby (The Washington Post, Jun 11, 2004)
A Tossup on Reagan Tribute (The Washington Post, Jun 9, 2004)
An Initiative by Any Other Name (The Washington Post, Jun 7, 2004)
Would GOP Go to India for Votes? (The Washington Post, Jun 4, 2004)
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