Bush jokes with press in 'off the record' song & dance routine
President George W. Bush seems to be in high spirits of late. Just the other day he tap danced for the press corps while waiting on John McCain, and on Saturday night he was serenading a crowd of several hundred in what he said was his first -- and last -- performance for the annual Gridiron Club dinner with his own special rendition of 'Green, Green, Grass of Home.'
While video of Bush's impromptu soft-shoe routine on the White House steps was broadcast far and wide, members of the press corps were sworn to off-the-record secrecy before viewing his Gridiron song & dance. During the routine, Bush joked about Dick Cheney's penchant for secrecy, former FEMA director Michael Brown's incompetence and "some oil rich Saudi."
A few attendees apparently ignored Bush's secrecy directive and surreptitiously filmed the proceedings with cell phone cameras. Videos of the event were posted to YouTube and are reproduced below.
The Gridiron Club has only 65 active members, did not admit women until the 1970's, and did not include television or radio correspondents until just 2005. The New York Times boycotted because of the off-the-record ground rules.
Even Helen Thomas, one of the president's fiercest questioners from the White House press gallery, appeared in a skit dressed as a 19th-century schoolmarm pretending to be Condi Rice teaching democracy to foreign heads of state.
The dinner is 'off the record' but a Youtube user, framjam, captured Bush's song on his cellphone camera. From George W. Bush's performance:
" And there to meet me is my mama and papa, down the lane I look and there comes Barney, heart of gold and breath like honey; it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home.
For there's Dick and Condi, my old compadre, talking to me about some oil rich Saudi, it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home.
That old White House is behind me, I'm once again carefree, don't have to worry 'bout a crisis in Pyongyang. Down the lane I look Dick Cheney is strolling with documents he's been withholding, it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home."
From the downtown Renaissance Hotel, the annual Gridiron dinner, Saturday, March 8, 2008:
After his song, this is George W. Bush's farewell: