The Corner

A Crying Need for Good Shoe Jokes

The president held a news conference on board Air Force One heading from Iraq to Afghanistan.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, my opening statement: I didn’t know what the guy said, but I saw his sole….I’m pretty good at ducking, as most of you will know –

QUESTION: You were quick.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m talking about ducking your questions…I — look, I mean it was just a bizarre moment, but I’ve had other bizarre moments in the presidency. I remember when Hu Jintao was here. Remember we had the big event? He’s speaking, and all of a sudden I hear this noise — had no earthly idea what was taking place, but it was the Falun Gong woman screaming at the top of her lungs. It was kind of an odd moment.

QUESTION: Well, not to belabor the point too much, on this man, but I have a serious question about it. Obviously he’s expressing a vein of anger that exists in Iraq, and –

THE PRESIDENT: How do you know? I mean, how do we know what he’s expressing? Who –

QUESTION: We had a translator who said he shouted about the widows and orphans.

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. I’ve heard all kinds of stories. I heard he was representing a Baathist TV station. I don’t know the facts, but let’s find out the facts. All I’m telling you, it was a bizarre moment.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask something broader.

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think you can take one guy throwing shoes and say this represents a broad movement in Iraq. You can try to do that if you want to. I don’t think it would be accurate.

QUESTION: Well, then, separately from him –

THE PRESIDENT: That’s exactly what he wanted you to do. Like I answered on your question, what he wanted you to do was to pay attention to him. And sure enough, you did…

[There was a noise on board the plane.]

THE PRESIDENT: The other shoe just dropped. Look, I’m going to be thinking of shoe jokes for a long time. I haven’t heard any good ones yet.

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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