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Updated: 05/01/03

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Thursday, 1 May, 2003

I'm watching the President's address from the carrier Abraham Lincoln. What a spectacular setting for a "shift in focus" speech - a ship that's been at sea for ten months, whose crewmembers fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and who are now just a day's journey from their homes and families.

I watched earlier footage of the President arriving in an S-B3 Viking jet, making it the first fixed wing carrier landing of a sitting president. He had wanted to fly in on an F-18, but it's only a two-seater aircraft, and the Secret Service wouldn't allow him to do it. I liked the fact that "Navy 1" had "George W. Bush, Commander in Chief" stenciled beneath the cockpit window. He admitted that he did take the controls for a while on the flight to the ship - he had been a pilot in the Texas National Guard Air Force.

Some people will say that the President's visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln is just a political publicity stunt. Maybe so, but I have to say, I think it's pretty cool. And looking at the faces of those young sailors, one could tell that they are all just THRILLED to have him on board. There is a genuine depth of feeling from these thousands of service men and women as he moves among them.

[Even if he is just Airforce.]

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Quote du jour:

"Only events and not a man's exertions in his own behalf, can make a President."

-- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) US president, lawyer

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