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Bush Says "Yo Harper. . . Medvedev's a 'Smart Guy'" Well Said?

Bush Says "Yo Harper. . . Medvedev's a 'Smart Guy'" Well Said?

The G-8 Summit is well under way — the dominant stories heading out of the talks settle around the speaking style of the Decider in Chief, George W. Bush. Known for his colloquial folksiness and rampant nicknamery, a few such quotes have surfaced today.

Bush sat down to meet with Dmitry Medvedev on the occasion of the Russian leader's first face-to-face meeting with Bush. At the conclusion of the hour meeting, the two had agreed on the need for Iran and North Korea to dump their nuclear ambitions — though stopped short of bridging their differences on Bush's proposal to build a missile-defense system in Europe. But the money quote circulating after the diplomatic meeting is this:

“You know, I’m not going to sit here and psychoanalyze the man, but I will tell you that he’s very comfortable, he’s confident, and that I believe that when he tells me something, he means it. . . . I found him to be a smart guy who understood the issues very well.”

And then there's the second "yo" heard 'round the world. Reporters are tittering after President Bush slung an arm around the shoulders of the Nigerian President and called out to get the attention of the Canadian Prime Minister, "Yo, Harper. The president of Nigeria." It's not the first time such casual lingo seeped into high-level talks (the first caused quite a stir) but does it make a bigger statement about the perception of the US on the world stage? Do two "yo"s make a right?


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