George W. Bush was in "one of his oddly chipper moods" during his awkward final trip to London, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd observes—but why? Perhaps, she opines half facetiously, "W. simply feels more at home in a monarchy" after years spent confessing to "Torquemada Cheney." Or maybe it's that he got to hang out with Gordon Brown, one of few world leaders "more unpopular than he is."
After the years of "poodle" Tony Blair, Brown is more of a "stiff-backed Jeeves," with all the servility to American power but none of the eagerness. But while the PM tried to keep his distance, Bush offered him a bear hug Dowd envisions sapping away votes. At their press conference Bush confessed to "hopeless idealism" on Iraq and Afghanistan—hopeless being the key word.