Compare and Contrast
When Dear Leader visited Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific economic summit, we were treated to a display of his warmth and charm, his concern and caring for the people of Vietnam.
[…] Bush emerged from his hotel for only one nonofficial event, a 15-minute visit to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which searches for the remains of the 1,800 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.
On Saturday, Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, conceded that the president had not come into direct contact with ordinary Vietnamese, but said that they connected anyway.
“If you’d been part of the president’s motorcade as we’ve shuttled back and forth,” he said, reporters would have seen that “the president has been doing a lot of waving and getting a lot of waving and smiles.”
He continued: “I think he’s gotten a real sense of the warmth of the Vietnamese people and their willingness to put a very difficult period for both the United States and Vietnam behind them.” [emphasis mine]
Now, compare that to former President Clinton’s current visit.
From the Associated Press:
Former President Clinton was swarmed for autographs, handshakes and photographs on the streets of Hanoi on Wednesday by throngs of admirers whose warm welcome contrasted sharply with the restrained reception given President Bush last month.
Clinton, in town to sign an agreement between his foundation and the Vietnamese to get more AIDS drugs to children, left the Hilton Hotel in the center of Hanoi, crossed an intersection buzzing with motorbikes, and strolled toward Hoan Kiem Lake, the spiritual heart of the city.
“It feels great to be back,” Clinton said as he set off for his stroll.
The feeling among most Vietnamese was mutual.
“I love you!” a young man shouted, reaching over the crowd for a handshake.
“There are no words to describe how happy I am,” squealed 17-year-old Nguyen Thu Hang, jumping up and down and clutching Clinton’s freshly signed autograph. “I’m going to frame this and hang it on my bedroom wall!”
Followed by Secret Service agents and Vietnamese police, Clinton stopped along a half-mile route to chat with his Vietnamese admirers before making his way to an art gallery in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and then to the tomb of Ho Chi Minh, who led Vietnam’s communist revolution.
This is just one of the differences between the two men. Bush stays put in his hotel and can feel the warmth of the Vietnamese people through the bullet-proof windows of his limo, while Clinton walks among the people.
About the only thing they share is Bush41 and an aversion to dying in Vietnam 40-some years ago. Bushie partied his way through Yale and his National Guard service, while Bill dodged the draft and was a Rhodes scholar.
And which one made the better President? Hmmm….
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