Paris – During private meetings with European leaders this week, President Bush has apparently played the piccolo in small, private concerts, ostensibly as a way to shore up his legacy as president. This new tactic was first unveiled Wednesday, during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to witnesses with knowledge of the meeting, Mrs. Merkel seemed more confused than impressed, remaining speechless for several minutes following Bush’s short concert.
Today Mr. Bush was in Paris for meetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Asked about the performance for Mrs. Merkel, Bush said, “Well, I tried my best to impress her, and I think I did a pretty good job. I’ve been working on ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ for three years, and I think I finally got it to a place I’m pretty happy with. I was a little nervous, so some of the notes weren’t as sharp, probably, as they could have been. But I nailed the ‘Fleece was white as snow’ part. I could tell by her face she was shocked. By how beautiful and, and melodious it was. There was just shock all over her face.”
When asked if Mr. Bush’s assessment of her reaction to the performance was accurate, Mrs. Merkel said, through a translator, “Well, he’s correct that I was quite shocked. But I don’t think it was for the reason he thinks it was.”
Asked why he thought adding a musical performance to his meetings with foreign leaders would help improve his standing in the eyes of history, Mr. Bush said, “Well, I’m looking to make a statement, you know, as far as history goes, and I’m not… I mean, the statement I’ve made with the traditional stuff hasn’t been really as great as I would like. So I thought, ‘You know, what’s a good way to improve on it that doesn’t involve the usual stuff that presidents do?’ And I came up with this. I mean, why not think outside the box? That’s what I do. I’m never in the box. I’m always outside. Unless the box has good ideas in it. Then I jump back in. So it depends.”
Today, following a meeting between with Mr. Bush, Mr. Sarkozy was asked if Bush performed on the piccolo. Sarkozy nodded his head quickly, yes. Asked what he thought of the performance, Sarkozy said simply, “Merde.”