Saturday, February 16, 2008

But is it true love, in the rectum?

Matt Frei: Mr President, thanks for joining us. You're famous for saying that you don't believe in opinion polls.

President George W Bush: Yeah!

Frei: Do you have any idea how you rate in the countries that you're going to be visiting in Africa?

Mr Bush: No, sir. I don't.

Frei: But, I've got news for you and it's good news.

Mr Bush: All right.

Frei: You rate pretty well. It's sort of - you know, in the average 80s... Is that one of the reasons why you're going there? This is one the parts of the world where you're still very popular?

Mr Bush: I - I go where needed. And - no, I'm going there because I've got a firm, heartfelt commitment to the continent of Africa and have ever since I became president


Frei: Your administration has given $15bn to treat Aids in Africa?

Mr Bush: Yeah.

Frei: Which is an unprecedented amount of money, and you want to double that amount yet again?

Mr Bush: Yeah.

Frei: This is a huge commitment. And, yet, the administration and you, personally, don't seem to be getting a lot of credit for it.

Mr Bush: Yeah - you know, this is kind of tied to your first question about polls. Polls are nothing more than just like a puff of air. What matters is results. And, ultimately, people will be able to make, you know, an objective judgment of a president and his administration and, in this case, a country's commitment. And so I care really about is the results of the programmes. I hope by now people have learned that I'm not one of these guys that - really gives a darn about elite opinion. What I really care about is, are we saving lives? And in this case, we are. As I mentioned in my speech that you kindly listened to - when I first went to Sub-Saharan Africa, 50,000 were receiving antiretrovirals. Today, 1.3 million. And that's a lot in a very quick period of time. But, there's so much more suffering. And that's why I've called for a doubling of aid. The good news is, it's not just America. As I mentioned in my speech, the G8 nations also are supporting this very important initiative. And, you know, it's... like an effort of mercy.

Frei: But, it has made a huge difference, hasn't it? So...

Mr Bush: Yeah.

Frei: Why not take some credit for it?

Mr Bush: Because it's just not my nature, you know?

[The post heading is a line from Beckett's Molloy.]

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