Sunday, June 10, 2007

I've found Bush's base!

Albanians lined up to welcome President Bush to the capital of Tirana on Sunday.

[photo courtesy Damir Sagolj/Reuters and the New York Times]

Recent polls put President Bush's percentile approval rating somewhere in the low 30s/upper 20s. I'd assumed they meant among American voters.

Bush On Tour has been in Europe for the past week. Along with attending the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm in Germany (a beautiful seaside resort built in the 18th C. on the shores of the Baltic -- wish I'd had a chance to visit...), he has been wowing fans in Prague, Poland, Rome and elsewhere.

(To be honest, he's actually been riling up citizens in various countries throughout Europe, causing protests and political actions to erupt in places that haven't seen this much unrest since before the fall of Communism.... But we won't split hairs.)

Oddly enough, the only place he's arrived to flag-waving onlookers has been New York Washington Chicago Los Angeles Poughkeepsie Tirana, Albania.

It seems the Albanians are infatuated with GWB. Apparently, from afar, the Albanians have come to love our president. The Albanian prime minister greeted him as “the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times.” Wow. Ever in all times? Alexander the Great, Saint Paul, Attila the Hun -- Bush is greater and more distinguished?

I was reading recently about groups in the South Pacific that worship the strangest of gods. One area of Vanuatu reveres Prince Philip (Queen Elizabeth's husband) as "simply divine". Elsewhere (on the same island, no less) there are some who worship a mythical WWII-era American known as John Frum -- it's called a cargo cult.

Albania has issued three stamps recently with President Bush's likeness on them -- they've also named the street in front of their parliament after him.... According to the NYT, even the Iraq War is popular there. Sorry Saint Paul, apparently your missionary work has been superseded.

- T

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