Tuesday, November 09, 2004

He reaches out
In the months before the election, one of the most annoying bits of common wisdom was that one of the reasons Bush's approval rating stays so much higher than is justified by his performance is that he was just so darned likable. That Bush charm was on display last week when he reached out to Democrats to let them know he is willing to allow them to help advance his agenda. That's awfully damned white of him, I say.

Now he's turning on the charm to make the same irresistible offer to our oldest allies and most important trading partners in Europe. I'm sure they'll be as receptive to his kind offer as I am to his domestic offer.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Colin Powell said President George Bush would not alter or curtail his policies abroad in his second term.

"The president is not going to trim his sails or pull back," Mr Powell said in his first interview since the election.


After disagreements with European leaders over US policy, Mr Bush was "anxious to reach out" to them.

Mr Powell explained to reporters on Monday that he would be "spending a lot of time in Europe in the weeks coming up" in an effort to heal divisions.

"Our European friends have no illusion that the president wants to have a strong relationship with all of our European friends and allies, notwithstanding any disagreements we have had in the past," he said.

However Mr Powell's interview, published on Tuesday, puts a stop to any thoughts that a second Bush term might have heralded a change in US foreign policy, says the BBC's Ian Pannell in Washington.

I probably will not live long enough to see the day when we have repaired the damage this callow frat boy is doing to our standing in the world.

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