Remember how Obama told the story of his first meeting with George W. Bush and how Bush used a squirt of hand sanitizer after shaking his hand? Obama's recount of the meeting in his book "The Audacity of Hope", he implied Bush was a racist that didn't like shaking hands with Black people and that he singled out Obama out of the group of congressmen in the room to be condescending to him.
If Obama didn't say so explicitly, his followers did come out and say the hand sanitizer use was racist. This wasn't the only time the media picked up Obama's racial accusation against Bush and try to extend it. In 2010, after a year of staying out of the spot light Bush travelled to Haiti to help Earthquake Refugees, black ones. The media used a video of Bush patting his hand on Clinton's back and then characterized it as an attempt to wipe off his hand after touching a black person.
It turns out now Obama uses Purell Hand Sanitizer after shaking hands with people according to his former body man, Reggie Love. Does this mean Obama is racist or that he is out of touch, distant, or paranoid and elitist? He might be all of those things, but this fact demonstrates more than that.
It should be noted that Bono, Bob Geldof and numerous other liberals continue to portray Bush's efforts, completely ignored by the MSM, to help Africans and specifically African AIDS sufferers as the greatest effort by far on the issue and even overshadowing Obama's track record. Bill Clinton on Wednesday night, strangely enough complimented Bush's accomplishments with PEPFAR and in the midst of Clinton's claim of cross party understanding and compassion, the Democrats booed.
As I re-read the 2006 account Obama told, I found it a fascinating insight in to Obama's sense of personal animus towards his ideological opponents. According to others, Bush was almost excessively kind to a rookie Senator who weeks before was a small time state legislator. A President of the United States took time out to separate the two off from the other congressmen and offer generous advice meant to help the newcomer and protect him and his family from people of both parties that might mean him harm. And Obama mocked the gesture of kindness, portrayed Bush as a messianic figure drunk on power who had a bizarre sense of humor a condescending tone and a racist paranoia about touching people of African descent. It is sometimes forgotten the incredible attacks President Bush suffered against himself and his family and his way of handling it might be the model of presidential grace in the face of unfair attacks, but when told of Obama's characterization, he seemed shocked and hurt. I think this tells us something about both Bush and Obama and how the Presidency changed them. One man grew to be a larger man and the other became a smaller man than he already was.
When the men first met back in 2006 over breakfast at the White House, things didn't go so well.
Obama recounted the meeting in his book, "Audacity of Hope," recalling Bush's use of hand sanitizer, odd sense of humor and attempt at advice.
Bush wasn't happy with Obama's description of the meeting, expressing his irritation to Bill Sammon, Fox News' Washington Deputy Managing Editor:
The two men shook hands and then, according to Obama, Bush turned to an aide, "who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president's hand."
Bush then offered some to Obama, who recalled: "Not wanting to seem unhygienic, I took a squirt."
The president then led Obama off to one side of the room, where Bush said: "I hope you don't mind me giving you a piece of advice."...
"You've got a bright future," Bush said presciently. "Very bright. But I've been in this town awhile and, let me tell you, it can be tough. When you get a lot of attention like you've been getting, people start gunnin' for ya. And it won't necessarily just be coming from my side, you understand. From yours, too. Everybody'll be waiting for you to slip, know what I mean? So watch yourself."...
Obama laughed and even "put my arm around his shoulder as we talked," he recalled, although he added the gesture "might have made many of my friends, not to mention the Secret Service agents in the room, more than a little uneasy."
Despite this display of bonhomie, Obama said the president's demeanor turned downright frightening when he laid out his agenda to the freshly minted lawmakers.
"Suddenly it felt as if somebody in a back room had flipped a switch," Obama wrote. "The president's eyes became fixed; his voice took on the agitated, rapid tone of someone neither accustomed to nor welcoming interruption; his easy affability was replaced by an almost messianic certainty. As I watched my mostly Republican Senate colleagues hang on his every word, I was reminded of the dangerous isolation that power can bring, and appreciated the Founders' wisdom in designating a system to keep power in check."
When I quoted from this passage to Bush during an Oval Office interview, the president seemed irritated to learn he had been taken to task by the senator he once counseled.
I thought I was actually showing some kindness," Bush said indignantly. "And out of that he came with this belief?"
The president added with a bit of a scowl: "He doesn't know me very well."