Bush Blogs On Clothes And Mideast

President Bush dipped into the world of blogging aboard Air Force One en route home from the Middle East yesterday. His comments are now posted on the White House website, under the heading "Trip Notes From the Middle East."

Earlier in the journey, several White House staff members experimented with blogs, including Press Secretary Dana Perino and White House Counselor Ed Gillespie. They didn't make any news. The president followed that pattern in his posting yesterday. Actually, he answered six questions that were posted online, from "David" in Bethesda, Md., "Clay" in Los Angeles, and others. Bush took the occasion to explain that he went on the trip to promote peace and to argue that his approach will eventually bear fruit. But he also had some lighthearted moments.

"Gioia" of California wrote: "Mr. President, A silly question, but who picks your attire for all the important events you attend? Love your ties." Bush replied: "Dear Gioia, I pick my own suits and my own ties. Thank you for the compliment about the ties, and thank you for your question."

Bush also turned contemplative in response to this question from "Patrick" in California: "Mr. President, During your tour of the ruins of Capernaum, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, could you describe any thoughts of personal reflection?" Bush replied, "Dear Patrick, Our trip to the Sea of Galilee was magnificent. I had the opportunity at the Church of the Beatitudes, which sits at a high point, to gaze out on the Sea of Galilee. As I reflected on the view, at that moment I was reminded of the . . . New Testament story of the calm in the rough seas, which then reminded me of the power of prayer to bring calm in a person's life."

In his conclusion, Bush said, "No question we've had a great trip--but it's also no question I'm happy to get home. I'm looking forward to seeing Laura and Barney and Beazley and the Kitty. After all, there's no better place to lay your head than in your own bed with people you love."

By Kenneth T. Walsh