Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bush, Sr. meets Abe

Former US President George H.W. Bush visited Japan on Saturday and met with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (and, incidentally, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was in Tokyo for meetings with Abe).

I can't help but laugh at the symbolism of Abe meeting with George H.W. Bush, with whom I compared Abe in this post. Abe -- the grandson and nephew of prime ministers and the son of a strong contender for the premiership, raised in politics but utterly lacking a common touch -- meeting with George H.W. Bush, US president, son of a senator, father of a president and a governor, who was famously described by the late Ann Richards as being born with "a silver foot in his mouth." A truly priceless photo-op.

But seriously, the more I think about the comparison between the two, the more valid it seems: Abe, groomed for the premiership, seems to have no idea what to do now that he's moved into the Kantei. Bush, for all his acclaimed successes in foreign policy, by self-admission lacked "the vision thing," and could never articulate the larger purpose of his presidency.

Maybe Bush was giving Abe pointers on how to be charismatic...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That Ann really had a thing for the Bush kids and a thing for one-liners. I'd never heard that one before. But I did hear her one about GWB: "He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple." While it's funny, it doesn't really apply. I hardly ever got the impression GWB didn't recognize his roots, but maybe that was different in the old Texas politics days. Sure, he played up the whole "ranching" thing, but he didn't grow up like Reagan or some po' folks down south.