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Bush 'Feels The Warmth' Through The Bubble

The "bubble" that protects the president from competing ideas and possible critics here in the United States has gone international. Conside

The "bubble" that protects the president from competing ideas and possible critics here in the United States has gone international. Consider Bush's recent trip to Vietnam, and the "connection" the president made with the Vietnamese people.

On Saturday, Mr. 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."

I can't be sure exactly how Hadley defines "connected," but exchanging waves from a speeding car is hardly the ideal way to get "a real sense of warmth."

Unfortunately, this fits into a pattern. When Bush went to India in March, he avoided regular people. When the president barnstormed through East Asia last year, he "visited no museums, tried no restaurants, bought no souvenirs and made no effort to meet ordinary local people."

It's remarkable, but we've elected a world leader who has no real interest in the world.

-Steve Benen

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