Friday, October 27, 2017
This is the Joke George H.W. Bush Tells Women When He Gropes Them
Christina Baker Kline for Slate writes:
In April of 2014, I was invited to Houston as a guest author for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy fundraiser, along with two well-known male authors and a male journalist who’d written a book about a Navy SEAL..
.After the luncheon, it was time to take group photos. Barbara Bush and I stood and chatted for a few minutes while the photographer readied his camera. President George H.W. Bush, whom I had not yet met, sat in his wheelchair in the center of the room, while others were arranged around him for photos in various groupings. When it came time for my husband and me to be photographed with him, President Bush beckoned me close.
“Hello,” I said. “It’s truly an honor to meet you.”
He cocked his head at me for a moment, then said, “You’re beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I said.
“You’re a writer.”
“You wanna know my favorite book?” he whispered. I had to lean close to hear him.
“Yes, what is it?”
By now the photographer was readying the shot. My husband stood on one side of the wheelchair, and I stood on the other. President Bush put his arm around me, low on my back. His comic timing was impeccable. “David Cop-a-feel,” he said, and squeezed my butt, hard, just as the photographer snapped the photo. Instinctively, I swiped his hand away.
It’s right there in the official photograph. President Bush laughing at his joke...
,Bush spokesman Jim McGrath directed Slate to a statement he released in response to allegations earlier this week that read: “At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.
at 4:12 PM