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May 29, 2002

Mr. Bush outdoes himself
Posted by Teresa at 10:40 AM *

I wouldn’t have believed this story, but it’s in CNN’s own transcription of the Crossfire that aired on May 28th, and the person who said it was James Carville, who is nobody’s fool:

CARVILLE: Now it’s time for a look at those unusual, interesting, and downright shocking stories that you might not find anywhere but in our CROSSFIRE news alert. In case you think we Democrats are too tough on George Bush, I assure you, we usually have good reasons. Listen to this. The German magazine, “Der Spiegel” reports that during last week’s European summit, Mr. Bush asked Brazil’s president, “Do you have blacks, too?” “Der Spiegel” says National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had to quickly explain that Brazil probably has a larger black population than the U.S., and perhaps the largest black population outside of Africa.

If the question is open, I want to put up a picture of Pele. He’s the man on the right, and perhaps the most famous Brazilian of all time, at one time the most famous human on the planet. He sure looks black to me. Well, maybe he’s been in the sun too long. Mr. President, I don’t know.

The rest of the world knows that man is a laughingstock. It’s embarrassing. (And Lydy, thanks for the link.)
Comments on Mr. Bush outdoes himself:
#1 ::: Clark Myers ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2002, 04:19 AM:

site for Spiegel:,1518,196865,00.html
Bush seinen Amtskollegen mit der Frage verblfcfft: "Do you have blacks, too?" ("Haben Sie auch Schwarze?")
Rice, 47, die bemerkte, wie erstaunt der Brasilianer ob der Frage war, rettete die Situation, indem sie Bush aufkle4rte: "Mr. President, Brasilien hat wahrscheinlich mehr Schwarze als die USA, man sagt, es ist das Land mit den meisten Schwarzen audferhalb Afrikas."

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2002, 05:02 AM:

Clark, I don't have more than a smattering of German, but that looks to me like the original of Carville's story, and I get the impression that Carville's version is a straight translation of it. Would that be correct?

#3 ::: Beth Bernobich ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2002, 03:14 PM:

It's not exact, but close enough. (There's a phrase in there that comments how astonished the Brazilian president was at Bush's question.)

#4 ::: Arthur Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2002, 05:08 PM:

This may be out of date, but I remember reading that Brazil has the second largest black population in the world, after Nigeria.

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2002, 07:19 PM:

Thank you, Beth. I've been thinking that's the missing part of the story; that he must have been astonished. He cannot have failed to be astonished.

I fear Bush II's stupidity and ignorance, but I'm even more afraid of the unacknowledged debts you incur when you push an unsuitable candidate into office.

Arthur, I've seen that same stat quoted here and there, so it's either good, or it's false but unavoidable.

#6 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2002, 10:55 PM:

I can usually do okay rounding off edges and emphasizing contrasts in a Babelfish translation for flavour. For this passage the Bobelfish produces:

Bush his Colleague with a Question astonishes, "Do you have Blacks, too?"

Rice (47) -- she remarking was, how astonished the Brazilianer by the Question was, rescuing was the Situation, inthat she Bush cleared up [on this point]: "Mr President, Brazil has probably more Blacks than the USA, they say, it is the Country with the most Blacks outside of Africa."

#7 ::: Beth Bernobich ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2002, 08:24 AM:

That's far better than some Babelfish translations I've seen. Babelfish has trouble with context, as you might imagine, and often leaves me muttering "Ist nicht korrektheit."

#8 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2002, 02:14 PM:

Am I the only one who thinks that Dan Quayle somehow replaced the Shrub some years back? You know, with cosmetic surgery or something?

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2002, 02:51 PM:

There's this scene in =The Wind and the Lion= that starts with the Secretary of State getting seated next to the Japanese envoy...

#10 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2002, 12:41 AM:

Isn't it about time for Dan Quayle to be publicly acknowledged by his Poppy?

#11 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2002, 02:18 PM:

On mature reflection, I'd replace "astonished" with either "dumbfounded" or "gobsmacked."

"Seeing how gobsmacked the Brazilian president was, Ms Rice, 47, explained to Mr Bush..."

BTW, why do they mention her age?

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