George W. Bush v. The Belgians

I may just have to pick up the Tony Blair memoirs this weekend and read it. Sounds like there’s some damned interesting stuff within, like this delicious nugget found by Marc Thiessen:

George had arrived bang on time for this first discussion and had not fully said hello to all the participants. He didn’t know or recognize Guy, whose advice he listened to with considerable astonishment.

He turned to me and whispered, “Who is this guy?”

“He’s the prime minister of Belgium,” I said.

“Belgium?” George said, clearly aghast at the possible full extent of his stupidity. “Belgium’s not part of the G8.”

“No,” I said, “but he is the president of Europe.”

“You got Belgians running Europe?” He shook his head, now aghast at our stupidity.

Heh! Blair has also pointed out in his book that it’s downright stupid to believe that George W. was and is stupid:

“No one stumbles into that job, and the history of American presidential campaigns is littered with the corpses of those who were supposed to be brilliant, but who nonetheless failed because brilliance is not enough,” Politico quoted him, as writing in his memoir.

“To succeed in US politics, or that of the UK, you have to be more than clever. You have to be able to connect and you have to be able to articulate that connection in plain language,” Blair writes.

“The plainness of the language then leads people to look past the brainpower involved. Reagan was clever. Thatcher was clever. And sometimes the very plainness touches something else: a simplicity that is the product of a decisive nature,” he adds.

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