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The White House just called (seriously)

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David Almacy just called me from the White House communications office to clarify the reports that Bush flipped off reporters yesterday while visiting the Hill. David says that Bush was definitely giving the thumbs up sign with regards to the upcoming CAFTA vote (Central American Free Trade Agreement). I asked David if I could write about our conversation, and he said please do.

I have to say, I'm not real convinced by the thumbs up excuse. It's possible, of course, but the video doesn't look like his thumb, and Bush has a history of flipping off reporters (there's a video we posted last fall of him flipping off a reporter in Texas while governor). This is a still shot of that video from when Bush was governor.

There are also unconfirmed reports of Bush flipping off protesters last year. Bush called a NYT reporter a "major league asshole," and let's not even talk about VP Cheney's mouth.

And while, yes, it would be really stupid of him to flip off reporters while on the Hill, well, it would be pretty stupid to lie to the nation about going to war, and to keep Karl Rove and Scooter Libby on staff after it's already been proven that they outed a CIA agent. I'm not going to put it past Bush to do something really stupid.

Having said that, the White House gets two points for reaching out to bloggers, especially bloggers on the other side of the aisle. That's the job of a smart public relations person, to reach out even when you don't agree, so they get points for that. Now how about reaching out on the issues, then we'll start really talking.

You can check out our earlier report on last night's episode and decide for yourselves.

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