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Bush Attends “OPEC” Meeting and Thanks “Austrian” Troops

I don’t think President Bush is stupid as many people claim, after all he did graduate from Yale and has a master’s degree from Harvard which are universities that doesn’t just hand out degrees to anyone.  However, with that said, President Bush has to be the worst public speaker we have ever had as a US president:

President Bush had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the Sydney Opera House.

He’d only reached the third sentence of Friday’s speech to business leaders, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, when he committed his first gaffe.

"Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit," Bush said to Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

Oops. That would be APEC, the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Pacific Rim nations, not OPEC, the cartel of 12 major oil producers.

Bush quickly corrected himself. "APEC summit," he said forcefully, joking that Howard had invited him to the OPEC summit next year (for the record, an impossibility, since neither Australia nor the U.S. are OPEC members).

The president’s next goof went uncorrected — by him anyway. Talking about Howard’s visit to Iraq last year to thank his country’s soldiers serving there, Bush called them "Austrian troops."

That one was fixed for him. Though tapes of the speech clearly show Bush saying "Austrian," the official text released by the White House switched it to "Australian."

Then, speech done, Bush confidently headed out — the wrong way. [Tom Raum, AP]

You would think after nearly 7 years in office his public speaking skills would have improved by now, but it actually appears they are getting worse. 

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