On Saturday, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, conceded that the president had not come into direct contact with ordinary Vietnamese, but said that they connected anyway.
“If you’d been part of the president’s motorcade as we’ve shuttled back and forth,” he said, reporters would have seen that “the president has been doing a lot of waving and getting a lot of waving and smiles.”
He continued: “I think he’s gotten a real sense of the warmth of the Vietnamese people and their willingness to put a very difficult period for both the United States and Vietnam behind them.”
Perhaps, but the Vietnamese have barely seen or heard from Mr. Bush. He spoke at his first stop, Singapore, promising that “America will remain engaged in Asia.” But the response was tepid — the invited audience somehow missed several of built-in applause lines — and one senior Singaporean diplomat, declining to be quoted by name, said there was little in the speech “that his father didn’t say to us 15 years ago.”
Well, how about this one, too:
But Mr. Bush is not staying overnight in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, which Washington has portrayed as a critical test in the struggle to promote moderate, democratic Islamic states. The Secret Service said it was too dangerous, so he will spend the night in Hawaii.
Yeah. Makin' friends everywhere he goes. That's our Boy Prince.