WH Pool Report: Under Scotty's Skirts Edition

Puffy SuitsIn this White House pool report: too much information.


[Scott McClellan] denied he had ever worn a kilt. Stressed he had no intention of doing so.
We suspect that this kilt question may be the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Full report after the jump, including surreal scene of Korean firefighters in spacesuits:

With their visors down, and yellow bands on their arms, some looked as if they were dressed for an outbreak of avian flu. About half a dozen, on bended knee, holding on their fire hoses, gamely provided the human foreground for several White House staff photos.

POOL REPORT #4, 11/16/05

The audience for the speech at the Kaikan Auditorium was largely old, dark suited, generally silent, but conceded a few small nods of approval. One man was reading a copy of a magazine called "Arms Control Today," which seemed apt, given the ongoing six party talks in North Korea.

Speech over, the President plunged into the front row, shaking about a dozen palms, grinning broadly at some in seeming recognition. Flotus had changed into a blue pastel two-piece suit. On the way out, the motorcade passed by hundreds of onlookers spread along the route. No flags were waved, or visible protestors evident, but dozens of camera phones were held aloft as we passed. We turned into a park, where the helicopter was already waiting. About 50 feet away, were dozens of firemen dressed in what appeared to be surreal, puffy silver space suits with large green pills strapped to their backs. With their visors down, and yellow bands on their arms, some looked as if they were dressed for an outbreak of avian flu. About half a dozen, on bended knee, holding on their fire hoses, gamely provided the human foreground for several White House staff photos. Some had helmets with bold orange flaps hanging down from each side. Beyond the trees, a red fire engine was parked in front of a temple, making a surreal sight with the silver men leaning against it.

The 20-minute ride out to Osaka International Airport, offered views over blurred beautiful hills from the open back of the helicopter. Parts of the city gleamed pink in the early evening night. At the airport the President walked with Flotus up the steps, talking to her all the way, looking relaxed with a firm wave from the top. AFI wheels up at 4.32pm local time.

Scott came back but didn't brief. Asked about his Scottish roots by your pooler, however, he denied he had ever worn a kilt. Stressed he had no intention of doing so.

Asked whether he thought the Kyoto speech would anger China, Scott said: "We have good relations with China, so we're able to speak frankly....They'bre well aware of our views."

At 5.21 for several minutes Mike Green, senior director of Asia policy at the National Security Council came back for a brief on the talks tomorrow. [transcript to follow]

Green on the difference between the administration tone on North Korea and that of South Korea: "The tone is different sometimes. ...It's very much a clear and present threat for the people of the Republican of Korea....He s Bush is well aware of that, but there can be "a slightly different emphasis."

He said the de-militarized zone was as "close to Seoul as Dulles is to the White House."

On the Doha round: Fayar Shirzad, Deputy National Security Adviser,expressed confidence that the 21 members of APEC would be able to agree a statement after the talks.

"APEC has a history of being forward leaning and very ambitious on the WTO agenda. They were helpful going into Cancun and in giving momentum to the WTO talks. The region is very heavily trade dependent...We hope that APEC can do when it speaks with one voice with the WTO agenda represents a significant bloc in WTO membership, when it speaks and lays out an agenda of ambition [it could] drive negotiating dynamics in a constructive way."

At 6.00pm, AFI lands in Busan. It is a crisp,almost foggy night. The President walks down steps provided by Korean Air, sporting a long blue overcoat, gloves that looked blue, and a scarf. Flotus emerges in a white overcoat. The President greets the welcoming line, then drives out past dozens of freshly placed flower tubs - red ponsiettas and some unidentifiable yellow flower - which appear to line the length of the runway and all the way to the airport exit. APEC 2005 flags hang along the street. As the motorcade hits the highway, the view opens up to reveal, to the right over the city a full, orange moon. A lurching ride into downtown, takes us past subdued onlookers, stacks of concrete grey high rises, and construction work. Few waved at the motorcade.

Caroline Daniel

Financial Times

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