Too funny

by Volker Weber

Albanians love the POTUS. But they love his wristwatch even more. It gets nabbed between :54 and :58. Check it out.

Update: According to The Register, the White House has denied reports that his wristwatch was stolen:

The White House has denied reports that enthusiastic Albanians greeted President Bush to their sun-kissed land by swiping his wristwatch. ... A White House spokesman simply said: "The President took his watch off."

Are they just habitual liars? About absolutely everything?


Zwei Parias treffen aufeinander: Bush und Albanien. Und beide genießen die unkritische Aufmerksamkeit die sie einander geben...

Christof Zachl, 2007-06-12 11:57

ich würde eher meinen, das die Uhr abgefallen ist, er schaut, sowie sein Bodyguard, in just dem Moment auf den Boden. Könnte zwar auch ein Stolpern sein aber eben auch die Uhr oder?

Samuel Adam, 2007-06-12 12:13

Sure. I believe it happens around 2:50-2:40 according to the clock of the tape. Somebody grabs his left wrist and fumbles his watch...

Cem Basman, 2007-06-12 13:01

Actually, what I find very disturbing about this visit to Albania is the double standardness with regards to security. What actually determines the security level that the Secret Service (or whoever has a say in this) requires during a Bush visit in a foreign country? He was in Germany a couple of years ago and almost an entire city was evacuated, flights were canceled and what have you. Briefly afterwards he was in a country in eastern Europe (I think it was Poland, but I'm not positive) and he took a bath in the crowd. Now again: The G8 summit was secured with enormous financial efforts and with far reaching limitations of constitutional rights. After this, he goes to Albania and takes a bath in the crowds again.

What's the difference between the two visits? Does he fear terrorists hiding in German crowds more than terrorists hiding in Albanian crowds? Or does he rely on Albanian secret services (or probably the CIA/US Secret Service themselves) to clean the crowds of anyone who is not "clean" in their sense? Something they probably would have a hard time to be allowed to do in Germany (or wait, maybe it wouldn't even be that hard!)?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2007-06-12 13:20

@Ragnar - I wondered exactly the same myself!

John Keys, 2007-06-12 13:44

The watch is on his left wrist; you can see it at 3:22 and again at 3:14. It's removed at about the 3:10 mark, and it's quite brazen and deliberate. I've never seen him interact with a crowd in the US like that. Sad that he probably has higher approval ratings in Albania than he does in the US.

Charles Robinson, 2007-06-12 14:20


I don't think that's sad, it just shows that America starts to reflect...$;-)

Rgds. Matthias

Matthias Lorz, 2007-06-12 14:37

Some photos here.

Henrik Müller, 2007-06-12 14:49

@Ragnar, good point!

Btw, maybe his watch will pop up in ebay again... watch out!

Cem Basman, 2007-06-12 18:07

Charles, Matthias, I don't even think that he has necessarily higher approval ratings in Albania than in the U.S. After all, despite dictated atheism under communist regime, most Albanians consider themselves muslims (according to Wikipedia and some among them might see enough reason to not like Mr. George Walker. The point is probably that in Albania Mr. Bush's staff was able to enforce a "proper" selection of the audience.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2007-06-12 18:08

again @Ragnar, maybe the crowd on the streets was not just the ordinary people but family, friends & officers, functionaries, clerks of the government...

Cem Basman, 2007-06-12 18:14

Are they habitual liars? No comment on that.

But I just watched footage from another angle, and it is apparent that his right hand is reaching toward his left wrist moments before the watch "disappears", and then his right hand moves down toward his right pocket. Not conclusive proof, by any means, but definitely plausible.

Richard Schwartz, 2007-06-13 05:24

Albanians get to pat his head and shake his hand? We can't even ask him questions unless we sign a loyalty oath first, and we pay his salary.

Bruce Perry, 2007-06-13 07:19

Look at the 'Some photos here' link above in the comments -- in NONE of the pictures can you see any watchband at all -- so I'm tending to believe the 'official' story.

Mike Eckert, 2007-06-13 17:58

Here is a link to another view, and it clearly IMHO shows him removing it himself. While you can't exactly see him remove it, you can see him out of arms reach from the crowd, with it on, hands then in front of himself, and then it removed, and he goes back to the crowd then.

The 'liar' comment may be a bit of a stretch in this instance.

Mike Eckert, 2007-06-14 00:42

Albanians are really obsessed with independence of Kosovo. Another Al Qaeda in the middle of the Europe. That is what our Bush wants :) Divide and concur! :) I have only one question: Will that bring us cheaper gas any time soon?

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