Beginning even before the APEC summit in Australia, we got a good laugh as a fake motorcade was able to completely bypass security. Now that the summit has officially begun, we humor from President Bush as well!
- “Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit,” Bush said to Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
- Bush quickly corrected himself. “APEC summit,” he said forcefully, joking that Howard had invited him to the OPEC summit next year (for the record, an impossibility, since neither Australia nor the U.S. are OPEC members).
- The president’s next goof went uncorrected _ by him anyway. Talking about Howard’s visit to Iraq last year to thank his country’s soldiers serving there, Bush called them “Austrian troops.”
- Afterwards…He strode away from the lectern on a path that would have sent him over a steep drop. Howard and others redirected the president to center stage, where there were steps leading down to the floor of the theater.
- Bush started 10 minutes late, so that APEC workers could hustle people out of the theater’s balcony seating to fill the many empty portions of the main orchestra section below _ which is most visible on camera.
- APEC security workers would not allow the members of the media who travel in Bush’s motorcade to enter the Opera House along with him.