The Bush way of diplomacy

White House photo Over the audio system here at U.N. headquarters, I just heard U.S. President George W. Bush greeting Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the U.N. This brief encounter, I have to say, confirmed all of my preconceived notions of how Bush interacts with other world leaders. Secretary Ban thanked Bush for attending ...

599103_070925_dinner_05.jpg
599103_070925_dinner_05.jpg

White House photo

Over the audio system here at U.N. headquarters, I just heard U.S. President George W. Bush greeting Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the U.N. This brief encounter, I have to say, confirmed all of my preconceived notions of how Bush interacts with other world leaders. Secretary Ban thanked Bush for attending last night's dinner, to which Bush responded brusquely, "My pleasure." U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad were a little more gracious, warmly thanking Ban for his hospitality. Perhaps realizing his goof, Bush chimed in with his own word of thanks, then blurted out, "The red snapper was delicious." He then went on to explain why he didn't stay for the whole event, citing an important meeting he had with his daughter, Jenna, who is getting married soon.

White House photo

Over the audio system here at U.N. headquarters, I just heard U.S. President George W. Bush greeting Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the U.N. This brief encounter, I have to say, confirmed all of my preconceived notions of how Bush interacts with other world leaders. Secretary Ban thanked Bush for attending last night’s dinner, to which Bush responded brusquely, “My pleasure.” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad were a little more gracious, warmly thanking Ban for his hospitality. Perhaps realizing his goof, Bush chimed in with his own word of thanks, then blurted out, “The red snapper was delicious.” He then went on to explain why he didn’t stay for the whole event, citing an important meeting he had with his daughter, Jenna, who is getting married soon.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.