Down-Home Diplomacy

By NEDRA PICKLER Associated Press Writer

August 04,2005 | CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush has turned his remote ranch into a stage for down-home diplomacy, where a barbecue grill and a pickup truck have become his favorite tools for dealing with world leaders...

"You only invite your friends into your house," Bush said when Russian President Vladimir Putin became the first head of state to visit in November 2001. "Occasionally, you let a salesman in, or two...."

Bush has used his private residence for entertaining heads of state in a manner unlike any other president in 40 years. The others have preferred to host their counterparts at the White House or the presidential retreat at Camp David.

---I suppose people will think it partisan of me to mention that his "private residence" is barely older than his presidency. He bought the ranch in 1999, and the house was built in 2000.

In other words -- a stage set.


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