President Bush left today for his last European Union summit being held in Slovenia and will visit several other countries while he is over there:
That economic package won't help gas prices which now stand above $4 a gallon nationwide for the first time in history. But it was never more than a political gambit anyway so perhaps we shouldn't be too disapointed.
Bush's first stop is in Slovenia for his final U.S.-European Union summit. He also will visit Germany, Italy, France, England and Northern Ireland. Next month he will go to Japan and in August he will attend the Olympic Games in China.
Like many Americans, Europeans have Bush fatigue. His decision to invade Iraq stirred anti-American sentiment in many countries, although that has receded as Europeans watch the U.S. presidential campaign and weigh prospects for change under a new president.
"A lot of people like America. They may not sometimes necessarily like the president but they like America," Bush said in an interview with POP TV of Slovenia. "They like what America stands for."
Bush, in a departure statement on the South Lawn, sought to address anxieties about the economy.
"A lot of Americans are concerned about our economy. I can understand why," he said. "Gasoline prices are high; energy prices are high." He said the economic stimulus package approved by Congress should help matters.
As far as Bush's trip, one can't help but compare the leadership in Europe he will be meeting with now as opposed to his first meeting back in 2001. Germany and France have less anti-American leaders while Great Britain has a post-Blair Americanophile as Prime Minister in Gordon Brown. Bush's European legacy will no doubt be mixed - as will the rest of his record as president. But there is little doubt that the reference to "Bush fatigue" is probably correct in the sense that the Europeans are desirous of change in Washington.