GW Bush’s mid-July 5-nation trip to Africa: 360 minutes in Botswana, 195 minutes in Uganda, 15 minutes at the Slave House on Gorée Island in Senegal, and three nights in a luxury hotel in Pretoria, South Africa.

All of this according to Richard W. Stevenson of The New York Times. And unexpectedly encountering an elephant and elephantette at a game park in Botswana, “Potus threw his cap over his face to shield himself from the impending coitus (which never materialized).” [Stevenson quoting Newsday correspondent Samson Mulugeta.] Believe me, I read it on The New York Times site, 12 July 2003. What would students of iconography make of such a Symbolic Republican elephant? Does anyone have a photo? USIA has one from a few moments later. [Note 1]

A week later Bush was making jest of this in campaign speeches in Dallas and Houston. According to Reuters [18 July 2003]

“It’s great to be home,” Bush said and noted that it was his first trip back to his home state of Texas since returning from Africa. On a safari in Botswana, he and first lady Laura Bush were surprised to see elephants attempting to mate right in front of them as the cameras clicked.

“That’s where we learned a lot about our party’s mascot,” Bush said.

And I do have an elephant picture, from USIA!
it goes as elephant.jpg and is moved to /blog
the littler foto is elephant-th.jpg


[Note 1] The photo was originally at, a URL that no longer works. Current URL:

[Bruce’s Blog: 2003.07.23. Post: Bxx Short Link Front Door Index: Permalink:]

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